Helpdesk Troubleshooting Guide – Part1: ConfigMgr (SCCM) Application Deployment

By | 09.08.2017

This ConfigMgr troubleshooting guide focuses on the most common issues a Helpdesk employee has to deal with. If the ConfigMgr console is used to troubleshoot, read-only rights are enough. Part 1 deals with application deployment issues.¬†If you feel something is missing, please leave a comment ūüôā

Troubleshooting Tools

Configuration Manager Trace Log Tool (cmtrace)

Cmtrace is a great log viewer for ConfigMgr logs. It’s included in the¬†System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit.
It allows live viewing of log files and has a helpful highlighting of errors, failures and warnings.

Client Center for Configuration Manager (sccmclictr)

https://github.com/rzander/sccmclictr

A nice tool to troubleshoot and control the SCCM client. For example, you can remotely trigger policy updates, software installations and repair or uninstall the SCCM client.¬†Windows Remote Management (WinRM) has to be enabled on the target client. Since this isn’t enabled in every environment, an alternative is the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Support Center. But it hasn’t all the features¬†sccmclictr has. You can download it here:¬†https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42645

Configuration Manager Client Control Panel Applet

The SCCM Client brings its own applet to the Control Panel. You can start it from the Control Panel –> Configuration Manager

ControlPanel

ConfigMgr LogFile Opener

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ConfigMgr-LogFile-Opener-b6c62c41

A very useful Powershell script for opening single or multiple ConfigMgr logs with cmtrace.

Log Files

The SCCM client logs are located in %windir%\CCM\Logs

Troubleshoot Application Deployment Issues

Application not showing up in Software Center

  • Verify if the application is deployed to the client
    • Open the ConfigMgr console
    • Choose “Devices” from “Assets and Compliance”
    • Search for the affected client, right click on it and choose “Properties”
    • On the “Deployments” tab, ¬†sort by “Type” and check if the missing application is listed

ConfigMgrConsoleProperties ConfigMgrRessourceProperties

If the application isn’t listed here, it isn’t deployed to the client. Depending on the permissions your Helpdesk has in ConfigMgr, either check the corresponding collection or talk to the ConfigMgr guys. There is nothing you can do on the client.

  • Verify that the client has received the deployment, using AppDiscovery.log

AppDiscoveryLog

If you can see ” +++ Did not detect app deployment type…” in the AppDiscovery.log, it means the client successfully received the policy for the application deployment. The SCCM client has already checked if the application is installed. If the log doesn’t contain any information about the required deployment, run the “Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle” ¬†in the¬†Configuration Manager Client Control Panel Applet:

ConfigMgrCtrlPnlApplet

You can also trigger this task remotely, using sccmclictr:sccmclictr-1

  • Requirements for the application are not met
    • An application can be configured with requirements, e.g. 64-bit Operating System. If the requirement is not met, the application doesn’t show up in the Software Center. Using the Client Center for Configuration Manager, verify the status of the application. In this example, the requirement is set to Windows 7, but it is deployed to a Windows 10 client:

sccmclictr-2

  • Multiple users are logged in
    • If multiple users are logged in, only the user with the lowest session ID (Task-Manager -> Users) sees the deployment in the Software Center.
  • Software Distribution Agent stopped working
    • The Software Distribution Agent is a component of the SCCM client. Rarely this component stops working. All other component are still working fine. If the last entry in¬†AppDiscovery.log is from long ago, and doesn’t show activity when the “Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle” is triggered, the SCCM client has to be re-installed.

ConfigMgrCtrlPnlApplet-2

Note:

The “Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle” is used to check if new policies are available. A new policy can be an application deployment for example.¬†“Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle” re-evaluates if applications which are deployed to a client are still installed. So if you uninstall an assigned application manually and trigger this cycle, the application shows up again in the Software Center. If it’s a required deployment and the deadline is already reached, the installation starts automatically.

Error during Application Installation

  • Software Center Status

SoftwareCenter-1

  • sccmclictr Status

sccmclictr-3

  • Check AppEnforce.log
    • AppEnforce.log logs the installation process. It shows the executed command line, the error code and the detection result.

AppEnforceLog

As you can see in the log, the application was not discovered on the client, so the installation command line was executed. It finished with exit code 0 (success). The ConfigMgr client tried again to discover the application, which was successful.

The common exit codes are

0 – Success
3010 – Reboot required

The Windows Installer (MSI) exit codes can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/de-de/help/229683

If the exit code is 0 but the application is not discovered, check on the client if the application is installed. If yes, the ConfigMgr guys have to look into the configured discovery method for this application.

Note:

To troubleshoot application specific installation problems, the Windows Event Viewer is a good place to do so. Depending on what kind of installation source it is (MSI, EXE) and how the logging is configured for the deployment, you may find application related log files in %windir%\temp.

  • Check CAS.log
    • If AppEnforce.log doesn’t show any information, there might be a problem with the content download. A possible reasons is a full ConfigMgr cache:

CASLog

You see “The number of discovered DPs (including Branch DP and Multicast) is 1” in the log above. It means the client found one Distribution Point in its subnet, which holds the required content. If the log states that there is no distribution point discovered, the client might be in a subnet which is not assigned to a Distribution Point. For example VPN or Wifi, depending on your configuration.

To clear the ConfigMgr cache, which is located in %windir%\ccmcache, use the Configuration Manager Client Control Panel Applet, or sccmclictr:

ConfigMgrCtrlPnlApplet-3

sccmclictr-4

Hope this helps a little. Part 2 will deal with the Microsoft Update deployment.

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