Remember this?: Software Distribution is currently paused on this computer with ConfigMgr 2007

This is more of a remember this for my self then probably in general, as this is a problem that we don’t run into that much. Only for me it was the second time already, but I couldn’t directly remember anymore what the problem was. So this post will be more of a reminder for the eventually next time…

RegLocStateX64Also this will be a short post as it will just describe the problem we ran into with my current customer and what the solution was. The problem we ran into was that after we deployed a new machine we could advertise software to it, but the installation would never start. Looking into the execmgr.log we could see the following message: “This program cannot run because a reboot is in progress or software distribution is paused.”.

Well, the solution for this was actually quit simple, just the searching for it took a while… Looking into the registry we could see that the Software Distribution-State-Paused-key was set to 1 and changing this back to 0 resolved the problem. This key can be found in the following location:

  • x86 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\Mobile Client\Software Distribution\State\
  • x64 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\SMS\Mobile Client\Software Distribution\State\ (see picture)

We’re still not quite sure what caused this problem, but it seems to be something with ending a Task Sequence with a restart. After resolving the issue we found some other people with the same issue here and they are also guessing and linking it to the last step of the Task Sequence.

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Remember this?: Re-run Advertisement for one (or more) specific client(s) with ConfigMgr 2007

I’m not sure if this is going to be a ‘remember this’ –series, but at least in this case it fits really good. We all know it, but sometimes we need a refreshment.

RegLocX64We all know those scenario’s where we send an Advertisement to a Collection of clients and for some reason we may want to rerun the Advertisement for only one (or more) specific client(s). In this case we can use the general rerun options of an Advertisement (like always rerun), but they will affect all clients in the collection and won’t work for user-targeted Advertisements. So what’s left in this case? Well the option I like the most is that there is a registry change that we can make to trick the Advertisement to run again. When we look at a client’s registry, we will see the following the following registry key (depending on the architecture). 

  • x86 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\Mobile Client\Software Distribution\Execution History\System\
  • x64 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\SMS\Mobile Client\Software Distribution\Execution History\System\ (see picture)

As this key is located in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, it can also be found by opening regedit and then make a connection with a remote client. Under System we will find the PackageID of each Package that has previously run. When we now delete the PackageID, for the Program that we want to rerun, it will trigger the Program to run again (during the next evaluation) even though it already completed successfully.

To find the PackageID that we need we can open the Configuration Manager Console and select the Packages –node (under Site Database > Computer Management > Software Distribution). In the overview there will be a list of all the packages with the corresponding PackageID.

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Installing and enabling Remote Server Administration Tools with ConfigMgr 2007

It took me a while to figure out something that is actually very simple and logical… I couldn’t get the different parts of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) enabled by command-line on Windows 7 x64… On Windows 7 x86 it’s pretty straight forward, as it can be done with the default DISM commands. But on Windows 7 x64 it is kind of hard to get it to use the correct version of DISM.

ConfigMgrClientThis is all because the ConfigMgr client is 32-bit application and whenever a 32-bit application wants to access %windir%\System32, it will be redirected to %windir%\SysWOW64. I tried everything, even specifying the whole path to the DISM executable, but it all didn’t matter… Until I finally figured out that there is just something called SysNative. WOW64 recognizes SysNative as a special alias used to indicate that the file system should not redirect the access. As it was kind of hard to find this information I will post my solution here to install RSAT and enable some features. This is the batch-file I ended up:

REM ======================================================
REM SET DISM Directory based on OS Architecture
REM SET RSAT Version based on OS Architecture
REM ======================================================

IF EXIST %WINDIR%\SysNative\dism.exe (
    set DISM=%WINDIR%\SysNative\dism.exe
    set RSAT=amd64fre_GRMRSATX_MSU
) ELSE (
    set DISM=%WINDIR%\System32\dism.exe
    set RSAT=x86fre_GRMRSAT_MSU
)

REM ======================================================
REM RUN WUSA to install RSAT
REM ======================================================
   
wusa.exe %~dp0%RSAT%.msu /quiet

REM ======================================================
REM RUN DISM to enable features
REM ======================================================

%DISM% /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools
/featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles
/featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles-HyperV /quiet

REM ======================================================
REM EXIT Errorlevel
REM ======================================================

EXIT /b %errorlevel%

The first part of the batch-file set the variables based on the architecture and the second part will do the actual installing and enabling (in the example it will enable the Hyper-V manager). To conclude this story, follow the next five steps to install and enable Remote Server Administration Tools with ConfigMgr 2007:

  1. Download the full installer(s) of Remote Server Administration Tools (amd64fre_GRMRSATX_MSU.msu and/ or x86fre_GRMRSAT_MSU.msu) here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d&displaylang=en.
  2. Copy the code above and create a batch-file.
  3. Create a new Package in ConfigMgr 2007 (Site Database > Computer Management > Software Distribution > Packages) and point the Data Source to the location where the installer(s) and the batch-file are.
  4. Create a new Program with the newly created package and use as command-line the name of the, just created, batch file.
  5. Create a new Advertisement of the newly created program and it is all ready to install and enable!

More information about File System Redirector: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384187(VS.85).aspx

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Installing/ Deploying Windows Live Writer with ConfigMgr 2007

First of all, this post is not (meant as) a Step-By-Step. I will just show the big picture. As I like to install everything with ConfigMgr 2007, I also wanted to install my blogging tool with ConfigMgr 2007. My blogging tool is Windows Live Writer, nice, simple and easy. As it was kind of hard to find information about which command-line to use, the command-line will be part of this post.

To install/ deploy Windows Live Writer with ConfigMgr 2007, simply follow the next 4 steps:

  1. Download the full installer of Windows Live (WLSetup) here: http://download.live.com/*.
  2. Create a new Package in ConfigMgr 2007 (Site Database > Computer Management > Software Distribution > Packages) and point the Data Source to the location where you keep the installer.
  3. Create a new Program with the newly created package and use the command-line: wlsetup-all.exe /AppSelect:Writer /quiet. This command-line will only install the Windows Live Writer and is based on this article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd550747.aspx.
  4. Create a new Advertisement of the newly created program and it is all ready to install/ deploy!

* Keep in mind that it will first start with downloading the web installer. Cancel this download and press “Try Again”, this time it will start to download the full installer.

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