Running the Configuration Manager Control Panel applet from the command line

…or ‘How I learned to stop worrying when Configuration Manager didn’t show up in the Control Panel!’

So I’ve been playing with Windows Thin PC lately at the office. It’s kinda awesome.

It’s a 32bit only OS, but that’s just fine! It’s meant to be an ultra thin base for ‘kiosk’ type deployments. It’s really not meant to have much installed on top of it either, so it’s missing plenty of libraries and supporting pieces of the OS in an effort to remain small. The installed footprint is something close to 1GB and ram usage is beautifully small. That said, sometimes things don’t work quite right due to the missing libs.

I’ve been using Thin PC because my office refuses to use Citrix for some reason (Past history – I swear, working in Higher Education people have such vivid memories it’s like 10 years ago was yesterday…) and there’s no one who is willing or able to try an App-V kinda thing. I’d love to try it in my free time, but I lost that about a year ago. Oh well.

In lieu of that, since our SCCM setup works so darn well, and I’m also the master of Group Policies, I end up making Thin PC based kiosks with single applications installed on them. Any additional updates or patching are handled via WSUS (since I don’t install anything 3rd party on these) but I also install SCCM just in case we need to further manage them down the line, and so we get good reporting on them.

The issue I was having is that after running the SCCM client install, I wasn’t seeing the ‘Configuration Manager’ icon show up in the Control Panel. I saw ‘CCMExec.exe’ running in Task Manager, so I was pretty confident all was well, but I really, really wanted to see that applet.

Thankfully, you can launch it from the ‘Run’ prompt!

Woah! Check that out! It launches the normal Configuration Manager Properties page! It’s worth noting that this appears to work on multiple versions of SCCM and Windows ( SCCM 2007 and 2012, Windows XP and higher) so it may be of use for various configurations beyond this one.