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Dell Client Configuration Utility

Systems Management

Systems Management
Dell Systems Management Solutions: Dell OpenManage, iDRAC, Repository Manager, Microsoft SCCM, Chassis Managment Controller, and more

Systems Management - Wiki

Dell Client Configuration Utility

Systems Management - Wiki

The Dell Client Configuration Utility is no longer being updated. Use DCC or DCM instead.

The Dell™ Client Configuration Utility software provides the ability to configure BIOS settings on Dell OptiPlex™, Latitude™, and Dell Precision™ systems. This version provides significant changes to the Administrator interface and adds some more flexible options for deployment. Many new BIOS settings are made available as well.

Installation

The DCCU 3.1.1230 A00 can be downloaded here. The installation requires that the .NET Framework be installed first. The DCCU will only run under the Microsoft® Internet Explorer browser.

User Interface and Backend

The new user interface is completely modified from previous versions.

  • The application resides in a normal browser window.
  • DCCU can be accessed with a link: http://localhost:1000/
  • A tray applet is now available for quick access to the application.
  • Sections can be collapsed from view for a cleaner look.

Functions and Options

BIOS Update: The BIOS update still functions the same as before but with some new options. The biggest burden here is gathering the various BIOS installers from the Dell support site. This task is outlined in my article on BIOS upgrades. Once those are saved to a convenient location you can import them with the DCCU. There are three new options that improve on the standard BIOS installers:

  • Allow version downgrades – By default the DCCU-created installer will not downgrade the BIOS if a newer version is found. You would generally leave this check box unchecked. In the past it would always upgrade no matter what version it was. This is a really nice additional feature.
  • Collect BIOS settings inventory after update – This option will drop an XML file with the current settings into the directory where it is running. If you have a tool such as Dell Client Manager, it can pick up this file and incorporate the data into the Altiris backend. Other tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager cannot take advantage of this file.
  • Time-out period before restart – This option allows you to specify the length of time after the update before the system forcibly restarts. There is no end-user notification or interaction during this period.
BIOS Inventory: No substantial changes from the previous version. This simple option creates an executable that you can run on the client. Running the executable creates a results file (TaskResult.xml) in the same directory as the executable that you can import into the DCCU to view the current settings and their various options. The only change now is that the executable file no longer self destructs, and this change allows you to run it multiple times.

BIOS Settings: This option allows you to modify the settings. There have been some substantial additions to the number of settings and an improvement in that you no longer need to import a results file to see what your options are. Additionally, a search box has been added and the settings have been categorized for ease of use in the interface. Another much-improved part of the interface is the pop-up for the boot order. While a reboot is not required for most BIOS settings, it is recommended.

Deploying Packages

The DCCU creates lightweight stand-alone executables that can be used with all major software distribution products. There is some additional functionality available with Altiris products as well that revolve around collecting inventory. Previous versions of the tool would perform a cleanup routine after executing that would remove the tool from the system that was being modified. The DCCU 3.0 version of the executable will now persist, and you can run them multiple times if needed. A major feature of the executables is that there is no end-user interaction, which includes reboots. If a reboot is configured in your package there will not be any warning; you will need to configure your deployment tool to provide any end-user feedback, such as a countdown. For example, in Microsoft SCCM you would instruct the SCCM client to perform the reboot as part of the program object properties. I suggest removing the reboot from any DCCU-created executables and instead allow your enterprise tool to perform the reboots.

Optional Command-Line Parameters

This feature is probably the best new one in DCCU 3.0, as it provides the ability to change properties on the command line. This option allows you to add some rough programmable logic into your deployments. The idea here is to incorporate a general settings executable into a scripted environment. The DCCU help file provides an excellent example of modifying the asset tag for individual systems. The script would perform the task of matching up the unique asset tag, whether that comes from end-user input or a database lookup. The script can then dynamically modify the parameter when it executes the DCCU-created executable. This effort requires an in-depth knowledge of scripting but should be simple enough for most enterprise administrators.

Step by Step

How to Enable Wake on LAN BIOS Settings Using Software Distribution and DCCU

Screenshots

BIOS Upgrade

BIOS Inventory


BIOS Settings

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