Using System Center Configuration Manager on a wide computer scope can result in unexpected or untrue reporting. For example, some computers can be off for a long time or an administrator has removed it from managed computers, they are inactive clients.
When you deploy an Application or Software Updates with SCCM 2012, some reports can be totally wrong, they don’t reflect the reality, if a lot of computer are no more managed but still exist in SCCM.
To workaround this, Microsoft introduced the Inactive Client property. SCCM Client gets and puts information to the management point and if it doesn’t report for a number of days, it will be set as Inactive Object. Inactive Clients can be excluded from reporting in order to be more accurate.
Inactive Client report
Let’s see how to change the default number of days before an object will be set as inactive .
If you manage a System Center Configuration Manager solution in your enterprise, you may have branch sites with slow bandwidth. When you deploy an Application, users in this remote site complain of slow network connections because of SCCM’s downloads.
Several solutions can be used to solve this issue, as BranchCache or deploy a Distribution Point on site. Using BranchCache needs to modify configuration on Windows Servers and Clients, like role installation and GPO. Moreover Distribution Point needs infrastructure on site, so budget allocation. Fortunately, Microsoft allows us to easily manage BITS transfer using SCCM.
Let’s see how to do deploy this configuration on remote sites.
Do you know that you can easily display a World Map of your servers location with System Center Configuration Manager 2012?
This feature is built in with SCCM, and it lets you to quickly have a look on the health of your infrastructure. Moreover, some managers like to have this map available for project presentation.
SCCM Server World Map
In this post, I set the location for one Primary server, but you can do it for all Primary and Secondary sites. Let’s see how to do that:
When you are deploying a “big” software update like KB2919355, with System Center Configuration Manager, you can have the error code 0x800f0821 on some computers.
The computer receives the update, downloads it and starts to install it but the installation will fail.
Installation failed 0x800f0821
This error is raised because the execution time was reached. Depends on computers and servers, you may or not have this error on all SCCM clients.
Let’s see how to change the configuration in SCCM.
When you deploy a computer with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 using OSD, the WinPE phase displays a name like “IT Organization“. It is possible to change this name by your real corporation name.
WinPE IT Organization
Let’s see how to do that.
Sometime, you may need to activate Powershell in your SCCM WinPE boot image. This can be used by advanced script, or to display a GUI in Powershell. System Center Configuration Manager 2012 offers the possibility to easily integrated this feature.
How to enable this feature with SCCM 2012 R2:
By default, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 use a small TFTP block size, 512 bytes. This behavior is set to be compatible with all network configuration, but the result is that the PXE boot speed can be slow using Operating System Deployment with SCCM.
We can resolve this problem by adding a registry key on the PXE Server. Modification must be made on PXE Distribution Point.
When you want to deploy a new VMware virtual machine with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), you could have an error during the WinPE phase. The VM will start WinPE but constantly reboots after few seconds. If you detect this behavior, it means that the network vmware driver is missing.
SCCM OSD Network connection
You can resolve this issue by adding the VMware drivers into your WinPE boot image. Moreover, these drivers can be use later to install it in the operating system with the task sequence.
It is possible to change the product key in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012). By example, if you installed the product in trial mode and get your license key after the installation.
SCCM 2012 Evaluation period
Change Product Key
Unfortunately, the license key can not be changed using SCCM Console but we must change it using Configuration Manager Setup.
SCCM Configuration Manager Setup
SCCM Configuration Manager Setup
- Select Perform site maintenance or reset the site.
SCCM Perform site maintenance
- Select Upgrade the evaluation edition to a licensed edition. Copy/paste your license.
SCCM Change Product Key
System Center Configuration Manager 2012 brought the possibility for a collection to refresh its members using Incremental Update. It means that the collection will periodically evaluate new resources only, and does not execute a Full Update Membership.
SCCM Collection Incremental
By default, the interval is set to every 5 minutes. But if you want to increase or decrease it, you can do it easily with the SCCM Console.