ConfigMgr: The case of the missing asset inventory data aka faulty Server Locator Point

I’ve bumped into an issue where asset inventory data was missing from managed devices. So, I’ve started troubleshooting by examining SCCM Client log files on affected devices. InventoryAgent.log file which records activities of the Hardware (and Software) Inventory Client Agent showed that inventory was running on a scheduled basis without any errors being logged, that the inventory report was created and sent to the Management Point.

Inventory: Collection Task completed in 6.657 seconds
Inventory: 19 Collection Task(s) failed.
Inventory: Temp report = D:\WINDOWS\system32\CCM\Inventory\Temp\c270ec00-8fce-40ce-823b-cd1af0f998ce.xml
Inventory: Starting reporting task.    
Reporting: 17 report entries created.
Inventory: Reporting Task completed in 0.235 seconds
Inventory: Successfully sent report. Destination:mp:MP_HinvEndpoint, ID: {5715713A-8EBD-4F52-A65F-9177CF67474F}, Timeout: 80640 minutes MsgMode: Signed, Not Encrypted
Inventory: Cycle completed in 16.484 seconds
Inventory: Action completed.

This led me to the conclusion that problem was not on the Client side. Next step was to check the server side…

Dataldr.log file on the server side records activities related to processing of sent MIF files and hardware inventory reports to the Site Server. There I’ve realized that there are no records of processing hardware inventory reports from affected clients. So, on one hand there are records on the Client side showing that HW inventory reports are generated and sent to the Management Point. On the other hand, there are no records of HW inventory reports reaching server. Data seems to be lost on the way between the Client and the Server. Let’s try to figure out what is the process in between.

The fact that affected devices were WORKGROUP devices was indication that there is something wrong in the process how workgroup devices locate the Management Point. Workgroup devices, as they are unable to query information that is published in the Active Directory, use Server Locator Points to locate the Management Points.

In order to understand the health state of the Server Locator Point, the following checks were performed initially:

  • Check if the SMS_SERVER_LOCATOR_POINT service is running as expected

  • Check the health status of the SMS_SERVER_LOCATOR_POINT component in the Configuration Manager Console under the Site Database à System Status à Site Status à Primary Site à Component Status.

 

Considering that both checks did not indicate that there were any problems with the SLP, I also wanted to take a look at the IIS log files to see if there are any entries showing HTTP requests reaching the SLP component.

I use SMS Trace utility to parse IIS log files. To narrow all entries to only the ones that I was interested in, I’ve used the following filter – show me all lines which contain “/sms_slp/slp.dll” substring. It shows HTTP requests against the Server Locator Point.

This is where I’ve realized that we are not dealing with the case of the SLP service failure (service not running). Instead, it was the case of the SLP service corruption (service runs, but doesn’t work as expected). Server responded with the 403 Forbidden HTTP status code to all Client requests against the Server Locator Point.

As a quick fix solution, I have removed and reinstalled the Server Locator Point. After successful reinstallation, SLP started to respond to Client requests, Clients were able to find the Management Point and the asset inventory information started to flow in.

For more information about valid SLP queries and responses, you may refer to an article on the TechNet blog: Questions about Service Locator Points (SLP’s)http://blogs.technet.com/b/mwiles/archive/2011/03/21/questions-about-service-locator-points-slp-s.aspx

ConfigMgr: The case of the missing asset inventory data aka faulty Server Locator Point

The limit of Software Inventory rules

On the Inventory Collection tab of the Software Inventory Client Agent Properties recently I have stumbled upon an issue where the New icon has been greyed out and disabled, not allowing me add any new rules defining the software inventory scope.

Image

After some googling around, this behaviour turned out to be documented and by design. In Configuration Manager 2007, there is a maximum limit of 64 rules. I am not sure if it is applicable to Configuration Manager 2012 as well, but it is worth to keep this limit in mind. Sometimes you learn things which are well documented the hard way.

For more information, refer to the Configuring Software Inventory Rules article on Microsoft Technet – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc181215.aspx

The limit of Software Inventory rules

How to force hardware/software inventory on SCCM Client?

In order to force Hardware Inventory on SCCM Client, run the following VBScript:

hInventoryActionID = "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}"
Set oLocator = CreateObject("WbemScripting.SWbemLocator")
Set oServices = oLocator.ConnectServer( , "root\ccm\invagt")
oServices.Delete "InventoryActionStatus.InventoryActionID=""" & hInventoryActionID & """"
wscript.sleep 3000
Set cpApplet = CreateObject("CPAPPLET.CPAppletMgr")
Set actions = cpApplet.GetClientActions
For Each action In actions
If Instr(action.Name,"Hardware Inventory") > 0 Then
action.PerformAction
End if
Next

For more information, refer to the following MSDN article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc144592.aspx

 

In order to force Software Inventory on SCCM Client, run the following VBScript:

sInventoryActionID = "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000002}"
Set oLocator = CreateObject("WbemScripting.SWbemLocator")
Set oServices = oLocator.ConnectServer( , "root\ccm\invagt")
oServices.Delete "InventoryActionStatus.InventoryActionID=""" & sInventoryActionID & """"
wscript.sleep 3000
Set cpApplet = CreateObject("CPAPPLET.CPAppletMgr")
Set actions = cpApplet.GetClientActions
For Each action In actions
If Instr(action.Name,"Software Inventory") > 0 Then
action.PerformAction
End if
Next

For more information, refer to the following MSDN article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc145432.aspx

How to force hardware/software inventory on SCCM Client?

How to extend hardware inventory information to include physical memory location?

In certain cases, beside the total amount of physical memory information, it is useful knowing the actual physical memory bank distribution across hardware memory slots. This is especially true when memory upgrade must be considered within the company in order to meet requirements imposed by the new version of client operating system.

By default, this is not included in Configuration Manager hardware inventory which therefore must be extended by editing sms_def.mof file. The Win32_PhysicalMemory WMI class represents a physical memory device located on a computer system and available to the operating system. To include Win32_PhysicalMemory WMI class in the scope of hardware inventory, the following lines should be added to the sms_def.mof file:

//* Physical memory location inventory.

[ SMS_Report(TRUE),
SMS_Group_Name("Physical Memory Location"),
SMS_Class_ID("Microsoft|PHYSICAL_MEMORY_LOCATION|1.0") ]
Class Win32_PhysicalMemory: SMS_Class_Template
{
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
uint64 Capacity;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
string Description;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
string DeviceLocator;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
string Manufacturer;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
uint16 MemoryType;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
string PartNumber;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
string SerialNumber;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
uint32 PositionInRow;
[key, SMS_Report(TRUE)]
uint32 Speed;
};

In this example Capacity, Description, DeviceLocator, Manufacturer, MemoryType, PartNumber, SerialNumber, PositionInRow and Speed properties of the Win32_PhysicalMemory WMI class will be queried and included in hardware inventory.
For a list of all available properties, you may refer to MSDN: Win32_PhysicalMemory Classhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394347(v=vs.85).aspx

Once this is done and first managed devices run hardware inventory based on extended sms_def.mof file, you can then create custom Configuration Manager report to display collected information. For a custom Configuration Manager report, the following query can be used:

SELECT
v_GS_SYSTEM.Name0 AS 'Computer Name',
Capacity0/1048576 AS 'Capacity (MB)',
Description0 AS 'Description',
DeviceLocator0 AS 'Device Locator',
Manufacturer0 AS 'Manufacturer',
PartNumber0 AS 'Part Number',
SerialNumber0 AS 'Serial Number',
MemoryType0 AS 'Memory Type',
PositionInRow0 AS 'Position In Row',
Speed0 AS 'Speed (ns)'
FROM
v_GS_PHYSICAL_MEMORY_LOCATION
JOIN
v_GS_SYSTEM ON v_GS_SYSTEM.ResourceID = v_GS_PHYSICAL_MEMORY_LOCATION.ResourceID
ORDER BY v_GS_SYSTEM.Name0

How to extend hardware inventory information to include physical memory location?

An error when performing Software Update Point synchronization

When performing Software Update Point synchronization on the child primary site, the following error was logged in the wsyncmgr.log file:

Sync failed: WSUS server not configured. Source: CWSyncMgr::DoSync

In my case, affected primary site was child-site of the central primary site which is configured to perform synchronization with the Microsoft Update.
First thing I have stumbled upon was the following TechNet article: Troubleshooting Software Updates Synchronization Failureshttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb735874.aspx which also contains possible solutions for the exact problem I was experiencing. However, none of the suggested solutions worked for me.

After spending some time troubleshooting, it turned out that there was a problem with the synchronization between the central (parent) and the affected primary (child) site. In order to fix the problem, I had to make sure that:
1. Standard Sender Address is configured appropriately on both sites and that
2. Public keys between the sites are manually exchanged (How to Manually Exchange Public Keys Between Siteshttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb693690.aspx)

Once synchronization between sites was successfully established, error in the wsyncmgr.log file was gone and Software Update Point synchronization works as expected.

An error when performing Software Update Point synchronization

Custom DCM report for showing summary compliance for a configuration baseline by computer

Recently I had to come up with a custom Desired Configuration Management (DCM) report which shows summary compliance for a configuration baseline by computer.
This report is linked from the builtin Summary compliance by configuration baseline report which passes Configuration Baseline Name and Configuration Baseline Content Version as input parameters to my custom report.

Here is the actual query used within my custom report:

SELECT
v_R_System.Name0 AS 'Computer Name',
v_CICurrentComplianceStatus.ComplianceStateName AS 'Compliance State Name',
v_CICurrentComplianceStatus.ComplianceState AS 'Compliance State',
v_LocalizedCIProperties_SiteLoc.DisplayName AS 'DCM Baseline Name',
v_ConfigurationItems.CIVersion AS 'DCM Baseline Content Version'
FROM
v_BaselineTargetedComputers
INNER JOIN v_R_System ON v_R_System.ResourceID = v_BaselineTargetedComputers.ResourceID
INNER JOIN v_ConfigurationItems ON v_ConfigurationItems.CI_ID = v_BaselineTargetedComputers.CI_ID
INNER JOIN v_CICurrentComplianceStatus ON v_CICurrentComplianceStatus.CI_ID = v_ConfigurationItems.CI_ID AND v_CICurrentComplianceStatus.ResourceID = v_BaselineTargetedComputers.ResourceID
INNER JOIN v_LocalizedCIProperties_SiteLoc ON v_LocalizedCIProperties_SiteLoc.CI_ID = v_ConfigurationItems.CI_ID
WHERE
v_LocalizedCIProperties_SiteLoc.DisplayName = @name
AND
v_ConfigurationItems.CIVersion = @cicontentversion

Custom DCM report for showing summary compliance for a configuration baseline by computer

Configuration Manager: empty Asset Intelligence Hardware Inventory views

Recently I’ve had an issue with Configuration Manager that information about the installed software applications on Configuration Manager Clients was missing from reports. After digging deeper, it turned out that data was missing because v_GS_INSTALLED_SOFTWARE view in the Configuration Manager database was empty. In order to resolve this issue, make sure that Asset Intelligence Reporting Class Settings are enabled appropriately.

To do that, open Configuration Manager Console and navigate to System Center Configuration Manager -> Site Database -> Computer Management -> Asset Intelligence. Right-click Asset Intelligence, and click Edit Asset Intelligence Reporting Class Settings. I’ve enabled options as shown on the following screenshot:

Edit Asset Intelligence Reporting Class Settings window
Edit Asset Intelligence Reporting Class Settings window

Keep in mind that enabling Asset Intelligence reporting classes will increase computer resource usage during Configuration Manager Client hardware inventory so therefore it is not recommended to enable all Asset Intelligence reporting classes. Changes in the GUI will be reflected in the SMS_DEF.MOF file.

After applying changes, Asset Intelligence reports that depend on the hardware inventory classes enabled using this procedure will not display data until clients have performed hardware inventory using the new hardware inventory reporting policy based on the contents of the updated SMS_def.mof hardware inventory file.

This has solved issue in my case, but it is still unclear to me how come that reporting classes became unchecked.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

Configuration Manager: empty Asset Intelligence Hardware Inventory views