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MDT 2010 Application ordering (New Tool) December 9, 2009

Posted by keithga in MDT 2010, PowerShell, VBscript.

Got an E-Mail from a friend of mine recently:

Are you bored? 🙂 Might be a good utility to build. The PowerShell script [..] posted at http://blogs.technet.com/mniehaus/archive/2009/09/09/sorting-the-contents-of-an-mdt-2010-deployment-share.aspx shows how to rearrange the items in a folder – basically, it just reorders the GUIDs in the group and then saves the modified GUID list. The script only does alphabetical sorting, but some might want to manually rearrange – not terribly easy to do in PowerShell, so it would require a real UI.

For most scenarios, I recommend using Application Dependencies to ensure that applications install in the correct order.

I really didn’t think much of it until recently. When I had some applications that could install stand alone, by themselves, however when both were installed, they needed to be installed in a specific order. If I were creating a CustomSettings.ini file, I would manually ensure that the Applications were placed in order. However, if the user selected the applications from the wizard, then there was no way to ensure the order of the apps unless we modified the order within the ApplicationGroups.xml manually. <yuck>

The blog above shows how application ordering can be done. Simply create a temporary sub-folder, an move the items *in order* to the temporary subfolder and then move everything back.


This solution should work for sorting both Folders and Application Items within MDT 2010. The application is a simple wrapper around the MDT 2010 Powershell provider, and simply makes calls to move Applications and/or folders using Powershell.

User Interface

The wizard will prompt you for the correct MDT 2010 Deployment Share to use. The deployment share must be visible within the MDT 2010 console on the same machine and using the same user account. If you have not opened any MDT 2010 Deployment shares on this computer and this account, please run the MDT 2010 console, and open your Deployment Share.

When selected, the wizard will display a list of all applications and application folders present on the MDT 2010 Deployment share. You may highlight the Application you wish to move, and use the “Move Up” and “Move Down” buttons to rearrange the order of the application. 


When you are done, press the “Commit” button to run the Powershell script that performs the re-ordering. The applications will not be sorted until the script has finished running.

The MDT 2010 Powershell Provider will do all the necessary work to ApplicaitonGroups.xml on the back end.


You can view the script by saving the results to a txt file.

Restrictions and Limitations

It is recommended that you backup your MDT 2010 deployment periodically,

You can sort the contents of only one folder at a time.

You can not sort Folders within Application entries. Folders are always displayed first.




This tool is provided “as-is”, with no warranties.
You agree not to hold the author, Keith Garner liable for any damages.
This tool is provided “Free of Charge” for “Evaluation” purposes only.
This tool is copyrighted by the author, Keith Garner, and he retains all
ownership, this tool is not public domain.
You are not permitted to redistribute this tool without the express written
consent of the author, Keith Garner.
The license for this tool can be revoked and/or superseded at any time, by the author, Keith Garner.
Of course, you should backup your critical files before running any 3rd party program downloaded off the internet.

By Keith Garner ( http://keithga.com ) – Deployment Consultant – Dec, 2009
Xtreme Consulting Group ( http://deployment.xtremeconsulting.com )
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 ( http://microsoft.com/deployment )
Copyright Keith Garner (keithga.com), All Rights Reserved.



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6. Raphael - October 12, 2010


Is it possible to have the same thing for the drivers (to re-order them !) ?


and thx for the two other programs, they’re great !!

(I’m french, sorry for my english)

7. Tomator - September 9, 2010

Worked flawlessly. I owe you a beer.

8. Kevin - August 23, 2010

Thank you very much! Have been looking for a simple way to do this for months

9. schmurtz - March 28, 2010

Thanks a lot, I was about to do this software by myself.
Really usefull, good job !

10. Jim Cummins - March 21, 2010

Thank you so much! I was going nuts doing copy pastes all over the place to get these to work!!!!

11. Zach Stokes - February 1, 2010

Thank you VERY much for creating this. This is a very useful tool!


12. tony - January 20, 2010

Thank you very much for creating both of these tools. I find them extremely valuable when trying to organize the display screens for our site staff.

Thanks again.

13. PeterD - January 8, 2010

Even though it may of been a one line fix its well worth it.
Has a lot of benefits 🙂

Many thanks for taking the time create another invaluable tool.


14. PeterD - January 6, 2010

Many thanks for the tool Keith.
Michael passed on the details. It worked a treat!

As posted on the Technet Forum….

I’m not sure how easy it would be to modify but could another version be created to allow ordering of the task sequences?
I have quite a few in my list which need sorting.

Many thanks

keithga - January 6, 2010

OK, you convinced me.

Typically the most common reasons for sorting within MDT has to do with applications. In scenarios where two applications that could be installed independently however must be installed in a specific order when installed together.

For Task Sequences, it’s not as important, however I’ve produced a version for Task Sequences (it was a one line fix).

New Tool:

15. tmintner - December 17, 2009

Where did you only see the applications folder? In the tool itself? Did it prompt you for the Deployment Share path?

16. TomBoomer - December 17, 2009

When I ran this I saw only the Applications Folder with no applications listed. Good try though.

keithga - December 24, 2009

Sorry for the delay, I’ve been OOF for the past few weeks

I just tried this again on another machine (Windows Server 2008 R1), and it works fine (note: you may need to install Powershell 2.0).

You may be getting a delay due to the performance of your machine, I tried running my Windows Server 2008 R1 machine within a Virtual Machine, and it only displayed the Applications, but if you waited a few more seconds the rest of the dialog box displays.

In fact, the display of the string “Applications” at the top of the tree is a good indicator that the app is able to communicate over Powershell with the Deployment share.

1. You don’t have any applications defined for the Deployment Share specified.
2. You may be running on a slow machine (virtual Machine?)
3. There *may* be some problems with the components on your machine, Do you have Powershell 2.0 installed? Can you retry on Windows 7 w/ MDT 2010?


keithga - December 30, 2009

I have made a fix to MDT2010Ordering.zip that was preventing it from displaying applications at the root of the Applications folder.
All applications should display now in the wizard. The zip file now points to the correct location.

17. Josh Mascote - December 10, 2009

I have not tried this yet, but does this also re-order the way applications show up in the LiteTouch Wizard?

tmintner - December 10, 2009

Yes that is the intention.

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