Troubleshooting content in Configuration Manager 2012

At the Microsoft Management Summit earlier this year I attended a nice session about Software Delivery Advanced Topics and Troubleshooting. I this blog I want to write down the key take aways of this in-depth troubleshooting session.

 

First of all I would like to give you a quick overview of the new content library in Configuration Manager 2012, so you have some background information. This content library is the new file repository for the content on site servers and distribution points. The content library stores a single instance for all object types, like applications, packages, updates, OS deployments etc. The content library exists of three components:

  • Data library – stores the information about each file in the file library
  • File library – stores the actual files
  • Package library – stores the information about the content in each package

The new content library eliminates the compressed content on the site servers, like it was there in Configuration Manager 2007 and earlier. While submitting changes to applications, each time a snapshot of the changes is saved for versioning purposes.

While distributing content to distribution points, a single instance of a file is distributed from a site to a distribution point. The new Package Transfer Manager (PkgXferMgr) component performs the distribution of the content but the distribution manager still processes the distribution jobs. The data that is distributed to a site or distribution point is still compressed. The compressing format is changed so it can support the single instance file storage.

Distrbution of content happens in the following ways:

  • Site to site distribution is still done by senders
  • Site to distribution points is done by the Package Transfer Manager (PkgXferMgr)

With all that said, when troubleshooting content, you can use the following log files and SQL tables.

SQL Tables in the Configuration Manager 2012 Database

  • SMSPackages – stores the information about all packages      
  • PkgServers – stores the mapping between packages and content servers to which the packages have been distributed.      
  • PkgStatus – stores the distribution status of each package.

Site Server logs

  • distmgr.log: This is the primary log file that logs everything related to creation, modification, deletion and distribution of content.
  • despooler.log: Despooler is the component that receives and processes content distributed between sites and this log file logs messages related to processing of content received from another site (like a parent site)
  • sender.log: Sender is the component that sends/copies content bits between sites (like from a parent site to a child primary site).

 

  • pkgxfermgr.log: Package Transfer Manager is a component that is used to send/copy bits from a primary site to a remote distribution point.      

MP logs

  • MP_Location.log: When clients request content they send a request to the management point asking for all the locations where the content can be found. Management point logs all the incoming requests and the outgoing replies in this log file. This can be used to troubleshoot why clients are not getting any content.  

Client logs

  • LocationServices.log: Together with MP_Location.log this log file presents the complete picture in terms of when clients request content locations from the MP and what locations do the clients receive.
  • CAS.log, DataTransferService.log and ContentTransferManager.log: Everything related to content download on the client side is logged in these log files. Start with CAS.log which initiates the download process.

Common errors

While being in the process of creating applications and distributing them to servers, distribution points and clients you can run in to some common errors.

Creating an application

Case: When creating an Application at the Central Administration Site the logs can be monitored for the following errors:

Look in the DistMgr.log at the Central Administration Site for the following errors:

  • Remote Differential Compression (RDC) is missing: “Classnotregistered – Error code”
    Remote Differential Compression is not configured in IIS.
  • Site Server out of disk space
    Be sure that you will have enough disk space available to create the Application and store it in the Content Library
  • File server or source folders not accessible
    Be sure that the Central Administration Site can access the UNC source path of the application

Site to site content distribution

Case: The in the Central Administration Site created application will be distributed to the Primary Site in the hierarchy.

Look in the DistMgr.log at the CAS for the following errors:

  • Out of disk space while creating the compressed copy
    Be sure to have enough disk space available to save the compressed copy that is used to distribute the content to the site server.
  • Two different package version of a compressed file are being created (Will auto recover within 30 min)
    This can happen while changing an Application while Configuration Manager is preparing the synchronization and just created the compressed application.

Look in the Sender.log at the CAS for the following errors:

  • Waiting for schedule
  • Out of disk space on the destination site
    Be sure that the destination site server has enough disk space to be able to save the compressed copy of the application and the extracted copy of the application.

Look in the Despool.log at the Primary for the following errors:

  • Invalid key in the instruction file (recovers in 60 min w/AD extended)
  • Site Server out of disk space
    Be sure that the destination site server has enough disk space to be able to save the compressed copy of the application and the extracted copy of the application.
  • No SQL data on PCK file (replication issues) retries every 5 min
  • Out of disk space or writing errors to the content library. retries every 5 min
    Be sure that the destination site server has enough disk space to be able to save the application and the extracted copy of the application in the content library

Site to distribution point distribution

Look in the DistMgr.log at the Primary for the following errors:

  • Unable to connect or access denied to remote distribution point
    Be sure that the Primary Site server has access to the distribution point..
  • Error creating virtual directories for IIS
    Be sure that
  • Out of disk space creating bundle for distribution
    Be sure that the distribution point has enough disk space to be able to save the extracted copy of the application.

Look in the PkgXferMgr.log at the Primary for the following errors:

  • Waiting for schedule when windows are set
    Why?
  • Out of disk space on the destination site
    Be sure that the distribution point has enough disk space to be able to save the extracted copy of the application.
  • Invalid file hash after files have been copied
    Be sure that the content source and the distributed application have the same version of the files. Update the application source and try again.

SMSDPPRov.log at the remote distribution point

  • Out of disk space or writing errors to the content library. retries every 5 min
    Be sure that the distribution point has enough disk space to be able to save the extracted copy of the application.
  • Hash errors when copying to the Content Library
    This can happen when an on demand virus scanner interfere with the distribution of the files.

Client and content issues

When the Clients fails to get content you are able the look in log files when the following happens:

Content is not available on a distribution point, look in:

  • LocationServices.log
  • ContentTransferManager.log

Content download failed from a Distribution Point (for any reason like not reachable or access denied issues) , look in:

  • DataTransferService.log
  • FileBITS.log (for content downloaded using SMB)

Hash mismatch after content is downloaded, look in:

  • CAS.log

Till next time!

Comments

 
Comments

I have an issue where software updates are downloaded to sourcesupdates folder on the SCCM server and after 24 hours or so, the newly created folder and all content is gone. However, it does appear that the content is available as clients are receiving the content. Does the content within the “source” folder get deleted after being submitted to the sccmcontentlib structure? I also previously had, let’s say, a “Server 2003″ folder under sourcesupdates. For this months updates, I selected updates for Server 2003 released in September 2013. When I input the UNC path for the download, I cannot get to the Server 2003 folder because it is gone. I create the folder from the SCCM server and am told that it already exists. In this case, I changed the folder name slightly and all works as it should. Tomorrow I am betting the folder is gone. Please advise. Thank you

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