SCCM 2007 – Advertisements seem to be stuck at “waiting”

This is probably the most common type of problem for any Configuration Manager Site admin to wrestle with. For some reason, clients just stop running Advertisements for Application and Update installations. This is not about Advertisements which report “Succeeded” (yet don’t install), or “Failed”. This is really about those which show “No Status”, “Accepted” or “Waiting”, yet never seem to get moving.

David Stein By David Stein - Thu, May 23, 2013 - 0 comments google+ icon

David is an author and consultant, working for Endurance IT Services in Virginia Beach, Virginia, specializing in Microsoft enterprise systems and Business Process Automation.

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SCCM 2007 Client troubleshooting

Symptoms

  1. Users report that expected Software applications are not being installed.
  2. Reports show Advertisements in a “Waiting” state, seemingly indefinite.
  3. Distribution Points seem to be taking too long to replicate or update content

Potential Causes

  1. Package or Deployment content has not been copied to the required Distribution Point (DP) servers. This is often associated with having only a single DP server, or in protected DP server environments where there is no “fallback” unprotected DP accessible to the client.
  2. A previous Advertisement completed and requires the computer to be rebooted before it will run the next Advertisement.
  3. Another Advertisement is stuck in a “Running” state, causing other Advertisements to report “Waiting” on another Advertisement.
  4. Advertisement was set to “Run only when a user is logged on”, but no users have logged on to the affected computers since it was assigned, or users have logged on during a time period outside of an assigned Maintenance Window schedule.
  5. Client roamed into a different Site in the hierarchy but hasn’t obtained the correct DP server yet.
  6. Client roamed into a different Site in the hierarchy after receiving the Advertisement policy assignment in the originating Site, but the current Site does not have the package content available on the Site’s DP server
  7. The Advertisement was received by the client too close to the beginning of a closing Maintenance Window schedule, or was received outside of an applied Maintenance Window.
  8. Double-Bonus! Client IP subnet was reconfigured by someone such that it no longer resides in a Site Boundary within Configuration Manager.

Suggestions

  1. If it appears to affect all Clients, or related groups of Clients (same site, etc.):
    1. Have you allowed enough time for the distribution Content to replicate to the required DP servers? Remember that the larger the Content set is, the longer it can take to replicate.
    2. Have you allowed enough time for the Advertisement to be deployed? I’ve seen situations where an Administrator expected all of his clients to have Microsoft Office installed within a few minutes, when it actually took an hour, often longer, for the clients just to get their Policy updates.
    3. Verify that the Package has been assigned to all appropriate Distribution Point servers or Distribution Point Groups for which the intended Clients may be assigned to or roam into. Review the Advertisement settings. Check that the execution conditions are correct (“Run only when user is logged on” can be a problem for running “Per computer – unattended” installations).
    4. If the Advertisement was intended to run regardless of assigned Maintenance Windows, be sure that it was scheduled accordingly within the Advertisement properties.
    5. Verify that Client locations within the network (subnets, AD sites), and DP assignments are in alignment with corresponding Site Boundaries.
  2. If the issue appears isolated to specific clients even in a given Site:
    1. Verify client functionality. Make sure the Client is assigned, approved and reporting properly. Review the Client Installation, Site Assignment and Inventory Reporting tips I discussed earlier.
    2. Inspect the RebootCoordinator.log and CCMexec.log files on the client for indications of another (previous) Advertisement requiring reboot.
    3. The “Double-Bonus” item I mentioned is pretty rare, but it does happen. Basically, if someone modifies the DHCP scopes or changes the LAN/VLAN configuration in your environment such that a range of IP addresses is no longer part of any existing Site Boundaries in Configuration Manager, AND if you had Advertised a package to clients in that subnet prior to that change, they may get stuck waiting for a valid DP to pull content from. Verify the IP subnet and AD Site configuration settings (AD Sites and Services console, or using a script), and compare them against your Configuration Manager Site Boundaries and make adjustments as necessary. You may need to force a Policy Refresh on the affected clients as well, or simply restart them, in order to get them to clear things up.
  3. General: Look for patterns that might point to something in common. Is the Advertisement working on any clients? If so, what do they have in common? If you can identify a pattern it can help solve the problem much quicker.

Helpful links

Series NavigationSCCM 2007 Client Troubleshooting – Part 9: R3 Client Power Management - SCCM 2007 – Advertisements report “running” state indefinitely

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