Microsoft SMS 2003 SP2 (Systems Management Server) only offers limited support for Windows Vista. You have to wait for SMS 2003 SP3 in order to use all its features. So far, I didn't find an official Microsoft document with more details about the supported features. I am currently playing with SMS 2003 SP2 to find out how compatible it is with Vista, and if it can be used to manage Vista.

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The first major problem, I encountered, is that Client Push Installation of the Advanced SMS client isn't possible. The probable reason is the failure of CCR (Client Configuration Request).

However, it is possible to install the SMS client manually, by starting the setup on the share (SMSclient) on an SMS server. In my test, this worked perfectly fine. However, managing Vista with SMS 2003 SP2 only worked partly.

Software distribution, worked without major problems. I was able to distribute an MSI package containing Firefox (just for the fun of it) as an attended installation, and as an unattended installation.

I, then, tried several remote management tools; some worked, some didn't. These tools had no problems with Vista: Resource Explorer, Windows Diagnostics, Performance Monitor, and Remote Desktop. These tools didn't work: Event Viewer and Remote Assistance. Some of these Windows tools started by the SMS are incompatible with Vista. The Event Viewer of Vista is quite different to the that of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Shitanshu wrote that SP2 doesn't support Hardware Inventory for Vista, so I didn't try it. He has further information regarding the compatibility of SMS 2003 SP2 with Vista and Longhorn Server.

I, also, didn't test the distribution of Software Updates since we used WSUS for that. I wouldn't risk that with SMS 2003 SP2, anyway. My overall impression is that it is better to wait for SP3 before using SMS 2003 with Vista in a productive environment.

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The only exception could be the OS deployment feature pack. We are currently using it to deploy Windows XP and are quite satisfied with it. Technically, there shouldn't be a big difference with Vista since they both use WIM images. I am planning to test this soon and will probably report about it here.

  1. Avatar
    Tom R 15 years ago

    I know this is a very old article but… I’ve found that you have to enable (start and set to automatic) the remote registry service in Vista to push the client installation to it. By default this service is set to manual start. That may fix some of the other problems as well. I’ve had no problem pushing patches to them with ITMU. We are on SMS 2003 SP2.

  2. Avatar
    hara 15 years ago

    Hi ,

    I jsut have a related question, Is the SMS 2003 Sp2 is compatible with XP Sp3?
    I have discovered that when in SMS console ,creating Package there is no XP SP3 option???
    Also when tested current ITMU implementation I run in to some issues!!

    Appreciate any information on this..


  3. Avatar
    BillD 14 years ago

    Thanks for your reply Tom R, this helped me with my Win7 machines. the Remote Registry is turned OFF by default!

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