December 2009 Archives

Publish applications in XP Mode

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Since my upgrade to Windows 7 x64, the University is not yet supporting an x64 VPN client.  Though we list Shrewsoft and have directions at http://www.oit.umn.edu/vpn/download-vpn/index.htm (it is known to work, but not supported).  It doesn't work with 2-factor consistantly (or at all).  So I started using XP Mode to VPN in and run what I needed.  I wanted to use remote desktop, but I couldn't publish it under XP Mode Applications in my start menu on my Windows 7 box.  I put a shortcut in the start menu on the XP Mode box and nothing.  But I refused to resign myself to using the full console.  So, I googled for about 4 minutes and came across this discussion on a technet forum.  I know, I about gave up after 3 minutes, but I put in the extra effort :)  My extra diligence was well rewarded, as I came across this discussion:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovirt/thread/ca15ebad-1712-4815-9d94-7bb252be7204

Basically what Microsoft did was create an exclusion list of executables, shortcuts, snap-ins, etc. so they wouldn't show under XP Mode Applications.  All you need to to do is navigate to the correct registry setting on the XP Mode computer and delete the string value you want to show and place a shortcut under %allusersprofile%.  Also remember that if the application isn't in the exclusion list, you just need to drop it under %allusersprofile%.

To make it easy, here's the answer provided in link above(substitued the application you want for wmplayer.exe):

Please remove the string value named wmplayer.exe from
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtual Machine\VPCVAppExcludeList" node in the registry inside the xp vm.
Reboot the xp vm.
create the shortcut for media player in %allusersprofile% and check if its getting published

Thank you Rashimi U R

Hope you find this useful!

Update:  After viewing my blog post I realized all the images I imbedded are too big for the little bit of space I get, so you'll see tons of links below... sorry for that. 

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After a little discussion on the email list about the MIFs that pointed pointed to an article that referenced the execmgr.log, I figured I'd do a little post on the execmgr.log.

The execmgr.log log records all advertisements that run.  Below is a snip from the log file for a successful install execution of program that was advertised to a computer.  It has been santized to not give out site specific information.  I'll begin discussion of the log below the image.

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This log snip takes you from the computer receiving the policy through the successfull running of the advertisement.  The tool I used in the example to view logs is trace32, which can be found in the ConfigMgr 2007 Toolkit. 

The ConfigMgr log files are very detailed and describe in plain english (most of the the time) what's happening.  A lot of the lines of the log are self explanatory, but we'll take a look at a few.

Line 4:  "Requesting content from CAS for package [packageID] version 8

What you want to do when you see "CAS" in a line is take a peak at the cas.log on your client system.  What the cas.log logs is the Content Access Service, maintains the local package cache.  In this case, if we look at the cas.log during that timeframe we see the following:

 

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What the above cas.log shows us is where the package will be run from or downloaded from , depending the settings of the package.  As you can see in the log it gets the content name and size.  It'll request to get the locations where it it can download the file from, once it gets this information it'll pick one.  Now, let's go back to the execmgr.log

After line 4 and 5 ConfigMgr will verify the package and that it is available.  As you can see in the log, this was an optional program.  Once the advertisement is run, we'll see the program that is being executed. In our case it shows us the script that is being executed, in line 12 of the snip.

You'll notice in the next line that state change for the program changes from NotExist to NotifyExecution.

Make note of the first warning line, line 16.  for this install this error doesn't affect us at all, since scripts do not contain a resource section.  Which is what error code 1812 means, so this is expected behavior.  To get the exact definition of error code 1812, I used functionality in trace32 to look it up:  to look up error codes in trace32, press ctrl + L and an error lookup box will appear, enter in your error code and click lookup.  Please note, not every error code definition will be available in trace32, if trace32 doesn't have the definition, google the error code.

In line19 it shows you the commandline that will be run.  In our case Windows know .vbs needs to be run by WScript, so it uses that executable.  We also specified in our package to run the program from the DP, so it lists our working directory as one of our DPs.

In line 22, you'll see "Raised Program Started Event..."  that means that your program is now executing.

NOTE:  lines 23-25 can be ignored in this example that is a different test package.  I left them in there so you can see that multiple actions can and do take place as once in the configmgr client.

Line 26:  Is the line we always want to see, "Program exit code 0"  This means the program executed successfully.

In the next couple lines you'll see it raise the success event and then in the las t line it will write out that the execution status is Success.

Now, we've just walked through a successful advertisement run.  But now you ask, what other logs are out there that had a hand in this.  Well, let's look a few:

ccmexec.log, what it does:  records activities of the client and the SMS Agent Host Service

What's going on in it during the process we just walked through, well here's a snip.

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This log line was writting 9:23:23 AM.

We run in native mode, you will see entries in the ClientAuth.log:

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If you see copious errors in the ClientAuth.log like, "There are no certificates in the 'MY' store." You likely do not have a certificate for your computer.  But that's a post for a different day, moving on.

The client also needs to know what server is it's site, this is logged in the clientlocation.log.

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We also have the Data Transfer Service active at this time, which records all BITS communication.  Though there isn't much activity here, since we ran the package from the DP.

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Also, there's activity in the locationservices.log, which logs the service getting the MPs and DPs.

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Now you ask how many logs can there be, and my answer is more.

Our next log is the PolicyAgentProvider.log, which records policy changes:

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We also have the scheduler.log, which records schedule tasks for client operations, you'll see mention of the program.

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Are there more?  Yes, there are... but I waited too long to decide to do this and the logs rolled over so screen shots are not available.

But this should get you started on using log files to troubleshoot software deployment errors. 

So now you ask, are there professional flow charts out there to troubleshoot client issues.  Yes, there are.  You can begin to access them them at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb632812.aspx 

As always there's a lot more out there, but I hope this helps you as you troubleshoot.

 

Hotfix for ConfigMgr Consoles

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After several unsuccessful attempts to send an email with the fix for the ConfigMgr consoles not being able to enumerate advertisements in the advertisement node, I'm  uploading it here.

ConfigMgrConsoleHotfix.zip

In the zip file you'll find the x86 and x64 versions of the hotfix and the directions on how to install it.  Please remember that the console cannot be running at the time of the hotfix install.

Below is my original email.  Feel free to comment below:

Turns out a hotfix for fixing collection enumeration works for the advertisements node enumeration.  Please find the hotfixes for 32bit and 64bit as well as instructions attached.

 

NOTE:  this hotfix does NOT work on Win7, since it is not yet supported.  For those of you running the console on Vista or XP it should work.  The fix has been verified on Server 2008 and Vista, I don't have any XP machines available so I was unable to verify there.

 

This hotfix needs to be run on the computer running the ConfigMgr console.  It is already run on the site server during the same time as the SQL 2008 upgrade.  This was done to prevent having to declare downtime for the site server if consoles stopped working.  Since the issue we had was not addressed in the KB article, neither myself nor the MS tech thought to run it right away on the remote consoles.  But after some digging on his end (with information and notes that aren't public) we noticed that the issue was the same, just a different node.

 

This hotfix is included in SP2, hence the upgrade of the console to SP2 in test resolved the issue.

 

Now I have question.  I've been preparing for the SP2 upgrade this weekend in case we didn't find a hotfix.  And here is the question:

 

Is anyone opposed to upgrading to SP2 this weekend?  I would declare a downtime from about 6 PM - 10 PM tomorrow night (Friday, December 11, 2009)

 

Feel free to email me directly if you have concerns.  Please respond by noon tomorrow if you have concerns about upgrading to SP2 tomorrow night.  If I do not hear from anyone by noon tomorrow, I'll schedule the upgrade.  My main reason for this is to prevent future issues in using SQL 2008 as our reporting services point.  There shouldn't be any issues with the known hotfixes out there, but just like this one there may be slight exceptions that would be nonexistent if we went to sp2 first.

 

Update:  I realize that noon is about 40 minutes away.  So I'll extend the deadline for reasons to not upgrade from 6 - 10 tonight until 2 PM this afternoon.

Task Sequence Error Catching

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Quite awhile ago I watched a webcast by Steve Rachui on OSD and he showed how he caught errors in the TS and moved them to a new location where the logs would be easily accessible to him.  I just stumbled upon his blog post explaining what he did and figured I'd better get it blogged so I can find it again :) and share it with other's at the U.  Here's the link:

http://blogs.msdn.com/steverac/archive/2008/07/15/capturing-logs-during-failed-task-sequence-execution.aspx

Also worth noting is the website that linked me to that blog.  It's maintained by Kenneth Titlestad in Norway who has some amazing skills when it comes to deployment.  He has lots of good stuff on his site to review.  Here it is:

http://www.deploymenttech.com/index.php

 

SQL 2008 Upgrade for ConfigMgr

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This Friday, December 4, 2009 from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM we will be performing the SQL server 2008 upgrade from SQL Server 2005.  Access to ConfigMgr console will be be unavailable during that time.  Additionally, no ConfigMgr features will be functioning at the time of the upgrade; the whole service will be unavailable.  Systemstatus will be updated, please watch there for official communication.

New version of SCCM Client Center

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Looking for a user friendly way to get up to the minute information and fix a remote computer from the comfort of your desk?  Try Roger Zander's SCCM Client Center!  http://sourceforge.net/projects/smsclictr/  It will provide you will many tools to troubleshoot your client computers from your desk and not have to remote desktop or use remote assistance.  Find out the clients cache location, size, and what's in it.  Find out what packages are advertised to a computer and rerun and advertisement if needed.  The list goes on of what you can do with this free tool.  See Roger's blog here:  http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/rzander/default.aspx

Most of the information you get from the SCCM Client Center and what you can do with it can be gotten and done from the configmgr console with the ConfigMgr extensions.  The client center is a bit more user friendly though.  For the latest of Rick's right click tools, go to:  http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/rhouchins/archive/2008/04/09/sccm-right-click-tools.aspx 

 

Both of these tools are great and will benefit you as you familiarize yourselves with them.  Take some time, get to know them and they'll be a great help to you.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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