#ConfigMgr and Unknown Computer – SMSPXE.log displays a “Rejected” entry

Hi everybody!

Let’s talk about Unknown Computer Support in ConfigMgr Current Branch. I’m personally not a big fan of this feature, but some customer have a requirement to enable this option and that’s OK .

In one case we had to enable this because the customer missed to get a hardware list from his hardware vendor and was not able to do a bulk import of the devices to ConfigMgr. So we decided to build a service which is using PowerShell in a WIM to create a computer asset in the CMDB. The other reason to enable “Unknown Computer” support can be, the issue with DELL SMBIOS GUIDs.
If you boot some DELL devices (also new models like Latitude 7280), you receive a different SMBIOS GUID on the Screen of the Device compared to the one you get with WMI or in the SMSPXE.log of the Distribution Point. Here an example:

DELL Screen:
2017-07-05 21_38_52-20170705_124207.jpg ‎- Photos

SMSPXE.log
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This can be a reasons to enable Unknown Computer support. But I’m still not a fan of. Why? Normally when you PXE boot a Unknown Computer it will create a new entry in the Console called “Unknown”. To find all the current Unknown devices select the Devices and filter them by “Unknown”:

2017-07-05 21_31_19-srvitsm33vm - Remote Desktop Connection - __Remote

But not all devices are listet – for some reason and I couldn’t find out why. Reply to me if you have some information’s about.

If you now would like to boot the device again as Unknown, you won’t be able and the SMSPXE.log will show you a “Rejected” message for the specific SMBIOS GUID.

No advertisement found, No boot action, Rejected, Not serviced
 2017-07-05 21_43_34-Remote

You can do any queries to find the MAC or the SMBIOS GUID of the device in the Console (GUI), but you won’t find any entries.
To get that sorted, start the SQL Management Studio and navigate to your CM_SiteCode Database. There select “Tables” and scroll down to the table called dbo.LastPXEAdvertisement. You can right click the table and show the first 1000 entries. This will list you a few entries and hopefully your SMBIOS will be listet there.

Run the following query to get your SMBIOS GUID (for your own use, change the bold entries, DB name and GUID)

select * from [CM_ABC].[dbo].[LastPXEAdvertisement]
where
SMBIOS_GUID = ‘4C4C4544-0037-4E10-8047-B4C04F425331

To delete the PXE flag for the Unknown device run the following script:
Be careful with deleting entries from any databases. This is a workaround. Make sure you’re aware what you do!

delete from [CM_M01].[dbo].[LastPXEAdvertisement]
where
SMBIOS_GUID = ‘4C4C4544-0037-4E10-8047-B4C04F425331

This is how you will be able to boot the device again as Unknown Computer. Each PXE flag also get an Advertisement ID from your deployed Task Sequence. You can find this entry in the same table called LastPXEAdvertisementID.

Hope this helps.

 

Still buggy: #ConfigMgr Current Branch 1610 – download still hangs in the console

I thought that some bugs will be fixed during the time. Ok, sometimes it happens with a new KB :-).

Today I had to upgrade a 2012 R2 ConfigMgr Server to 1606 and then 1610. 1606 is not an big deal as you have the baseline ISO for that. After that you will receive the 1610 in the console. But it hangs still with the status “Downloading”.

As one solution you will find to restart the SMS_Executive. But with restartig the service you won’t still be able to install the CB 1610. Restarting the SMS_Executive restarts also the SMS_DMP_Downloader and you can follow the process using the dmpdwonloader.log under the log folder from your Primary Site server.

In that log you recognize that some cab files can’t be downloaded. All sources will be downloaded to the CM “Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\EasySetupPayload” folder. The log shows you the download link of the mssing root cab file and also the used proxy server. Copy that link to your preferred browser link bar and download the cab file. Place it in the EasySetupPayload folder. – Restart SMS_Executive. The download will continue after 1-2 minutes.

In my case was ConfigMgr not able to download all the prereq tools to the “redist” folder. Some where Ok, but not all. 14 tools where still missing. If you have the same issue, navigate to \EasySetupPayload\”extractedCABName”\SMSSETUP\BIN\x64 and run setupdl.exe to download all the Prereq tools. You can directly download the contet to the \EasySetupPayload\”extractedCABName”\redist folder.

Restart the SMS_Executive Service again. The Configuration Manager 1610 Update should now switch to the status Available.

configmgr

Have fun installing 1610.

 

 

 

Configuration Manager 1602- backup your CD.Latest folder

Today I got a support case where I had to restore my first ConfigMgr Current Branch 1602.

No prob, we do have a nice SQL DB backup of the ConfigMgr database.

Let’s do the following:

  1. Close all consoles
  2. Stop all SMS Services (will also be done by the recovery wizard)
  3. Start the setup.exe from the CD.Latest (“Your Install Directory”\Microsoft Configuration Manager\cd.latest\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64)

But here I got stock. The “Recovery Site” option was greyed out. Of course I tried different ways to start the splash.hta or the setup.exe using admin rights. No way. The option was never available.

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During research I found that the Site Maintenance job in ConfigMgr is also creating a folder called CD.Latest. But the customer did never activate the Site Maintenance job as they use a third party backup solution to backup the SQL Databases.

However, I configured the Site Maintenance Task and started the SMS_SITE_BACKUP service. This was creating the CD.Latest folder under my backup folder.

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With this version of the setup.exe file could restore the database .

What we did:

–          Stopped all services
–          Detached the no longer needed CM_”SiteCode” database from the SQL Server using the SQL Server Management Studio
–          Restored the good database from Sunday (used the SQL option “override existing files”)
–          Started CD.Latest from the newly created backup folder (F:\Backup\W01Backup\CD.Latest)
–          Used “Site Database that has manually recovered” as we restored it in SQL

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Conclusion

Please be aware of a very important change required to your backup strategy in Configuration Manager 1511, 1602 (and later). As you know regular upgrades will be available for the product (every 4 months or so) and you will be able to upgrade using update packages in the “Updates and Servicing” node of the Administration > Cloud Services workspace.

–          Make sure you enable the “Site Maintenance” Job for the site.
–          Backup the Backup folder as this will allow you to restore the ConfigMgr 1602 server in case of a bare metal restore

This folder will be required when you are recovering a failed site so it must be included in a backup strategy. Note that the built in backup maintenance task will back up this folder automatically. Also note that there is no point in backing up this folder once. It must be ongoing because, when upgrades are installed, Configuration Manager also updates the CD.Latest folder with the current files.

Find more informations on TechNet:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt703293.aspx