The System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager toolkit contains various tools to help you manage and troubleshoot Configuration Manager.
An overview of these tools is shown below, note that the ones marked in red require R2 to fully function:
Server Based Tools
- DP Job Manager – A tool that helps troubleshoot and manage ongoing content distribution jobs to Configuration Manager distribution points.
- Collection Evaluation Viewer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting collection evaluation related issues by viewing collection evaluation details.
- Content Library Explorer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting issues with and viewing the contents of the content library.
- Security Configuration Wizard Template for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager – The Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an attack-surface reduction tool for the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Security Configuration Wizard determines the minimum functionality required for a server’s role or roles, and disables functionality that is not required.
- Content Library Transfer – A tool that transfers content from one disk drive to another.
- Content Ownership Tool – A tool that changes ownership of orphaned packages (packages without an owner site server).
- Role-based Administration Modeling and Auditing Tool – This tool helps administrators to model and audit RBA configurations.
- Run Metering Summarization Tool – The purpose of this tool is to run the metering summarization task to analyze raw metering data
Client Based Tools
- Client Spy – A tool that helps you troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Configuration Manager Trace Log Viewer – A tool used to view log files created by Configuration Manager components and agents.
- Deployment Monitoring Tool – The Deployment Monitoring Tool is a graphical user interface designed help troubleshoot Applications, Updates, and Baseline deployments on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Policy Spy – A policy viewer that helps you review and troubleshoot the policy system on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Power Viewer Tool – A tool to view the status of power management feature on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Send Schedule Tool – A tool used to trigger a schedule on a client or trigger the evaluation of a specified DCM Baseline. You can trigger a schedule either locally or remotely.
- Wakeup Spy – A tool that provides a view of the power state of Configuration Manager client computers and which operate as managers or manages.
Download the toolkit here.
Microsoft has just released more information and a resolution for a problem scenario in an SP1 CU2 or CU3 environment where child primary sites were entering maintenance mode after the Central Administration Site (CAS) had been upgraded to Configuration Manager 2012 R2.
- This issue has been resolved for all new System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager upgrades as of November 14, 2013. New installations or upgrades will download updated setup prerequisite files.
- Customers that are working with site servers not connected directly to the Internet should use the Configuration Manager Setup Downloader.
- Existing hierarchies that have already upgraded the central administration site but cannot upgrade child primary site(s) can be repaired by running a SQL script against the site database at the child primary site(s).
More details about the issue and the SQL script to fix existing hierarchies can be found here.
When attempting to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client on a site system hosting the management point (MP) role and that site system has CU3 installed, the installation will fail.
To work around this issue you would have to:
- Uninstall the MP role first.
- Install the Configuration Manager client
- Reinstall the MP role.
More details are documented in the following KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2905359
Hope this saves you some troubleshooting time!
The book is divided into three main topics.
Part 1: WMI for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager administrators is designed to familiarize you with basic WMI concepts and tools, show you how to use WMI classes to create Configuration Manager queries, and help you understand the underlying database design of Configuration Manager so you can create custom reports for querying the information you need.
Part 2: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager reporting is designed to familiarize you with SSRS and show you how to integrate SSRS with Configuration Manager 2012 and to customize and create new reports using SSRS.
Part 3: Configuration Manager deployment tips provides tips that cover a wide variety of different scenarios to help you ensure the success of your deployments.
The ebook is free and available for download here: Microsoft System Center- Configuration Manager Field Experience
Today Microsoft has announced the General Availability of System Center 2012 R2.
Since yesterday System Center enthusiasts around the globe are able to download the latest binaries for Configuration Manager -and any of the other products from the System Center suite- through MSDN or Technet subscriptions. Additionally System Center 2012 R2 also popped up on the Technet Evaluation Center.
While you are waiting for your Configuration Manager download to complete also make sure to start the download of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 . It is rather big in size and from what I’ve experienced it seems the download of the ADK is rather slow and may take some time.
For a full overview of what is new in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager have a look here.
Time to update our lab environment!
Yesterday Microsoft has released an update to address issues that occurred with Cumulative Update 3 (CU3) for Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 (SP1).
The issues the update resolves are the following:
- The SQL Update part of the Cumulative Update 3 installation fails when the date format on the instance of Microsoft SQL Server is defined in the DD/MM/YYYY format.
- The All Windows RT and All Windows RT 8.1 Preview entries should not appear in the supported platform list for new configuration items.
- Task sequences that contain Windows 8.1 as a condition on the Options tab generate an exception when they are changed or accessed.
Full details and download information can be found here.
Recently I bumped into an interesting issue with status messages on a Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 site.
The following occurs when trying to run a status message query: an error message is displayed indicating “the status viewer was unable to retrieve the stored queries list from the database”. When closing the initial dialog box 2 more errors are shown and in the end no status messages are displayed at all.
The following screenshots show the exact errors:
We spent quite some time troubleshooting this issue but nothing on the server or any of the logs was pointing into a direction of a possible cause. Turns out that to resolve this issue you need to modify the startup type of the SMS Executive and Component Manager Services. Set the startup type to Delayed Start and then reboot the system after the change.
We tried to get more information from Microsoft Support to better understand the root cause. Apparently what is part of the issue is the way how the Configuration Manager infrastructure was implemented. In this particular case the site server and SQL are installed on one system and the SMS Provider is installed on another remote system. By implementing the delayed start of these services on the site server we ensure all required elements are starting in timely and sequential manner. Bottom line: all other services (eg. SQL) are starting up before the Configuration Manager services.
I hope this saves you some troubleshooting time in the future.
Note: this blog post was previously also posted on my SCUG blog.