In this series in 15 parts (!) I will be discussing some of the most common SCCM 2007 Client problems that site administrators often deal with. For each set of issues, I will provide a list of the most common root causes and provide recommended strategies for resolving them and, hopefully, reducing their recurrence. In Part 1 I will discuss general SCCM 2007 Client installation problems.

Overview ^

What about SCCM 2012? Every person, to whom I mentioned this article to, immediately asked me this question. So I figured it made sense to address it up front. While this article is focused on the general aspects of diagnosing and resolving SCCM 2007 Client issues, it’s important to note that Configuration Manager 2012 addresses most of these rather well. I am concentrating my efforts on 2007 for now because many sites are still using 2007.

As a baseline, this article will presume your site is 2007 R3. If you’re still on RTM, with or without Service Packs, or R2, you really should focus on getting to R3 if you intend to migrate to Configuration Manager 2012 anyway. While it’s not technically a requirement to get to R3 before migrating to 2012, it’s still a good idea since it provides you with the latest base environment prior to making the upgrade. Even if you have no intentions of going to 2012, you should be on the latest version and have the latest Service Packs, updates and hotfixes installed.

Maintaining a proper-functioning Configuration Manager site can be either un-eventful, or frustrating. The difference will depend on how your site was designed and implemented, as well as how it’s been maintained since. In most situations where it leans towards frustration, it often involves Client issues. Whether it’s with regards to installation, site assignment, client functionality, or other related things; client management can be both a challenge and time-consuming.

Whether you have a support contract with Microsoft or not, you should always be vigilant with regards to maintaining your critical infrastructure on the latest software updates. In some cases, you may find yourself dependent on Microsoft Support, and you wouldn’t want to find out at that moment your issue results from running in an unsupported configuration (for more information).

Each group of issues outlined below will provide a list of possible root causes, sorted by most-common to least-common. I’ll follow that with a summary of explanations and things to look for, and provide a list of “helpful links” to help you troubleshoot and resolve those issues using the Microsoft-prescribed process.

General client installation problems ^

There are many types of failures that can occur during installation of a Client. Thankfully, failures are not nearly as common as successes, otherwise Configuration Manager wouldn’t enjoy the success it has and still does in today’s market. Still, there are some common causes for client installation failures.

Symptoms

  1. Computers are found in the production environment without a Client Agent installed
  2. Client Agent is installed but not functional
  3. Computer is missing from the management console and inventory reports

Potential causes

  1. Target computer doesn’t meet minimum hardware and software requirements:
    1. Windows 2000 Professional SP4, or newer (hopefully you’re on something newer?)
    2. Pentium 233 MHz CPU (aka “Molasses”, please replace these with something newer?)
    3. 128 MB of RAM (ouch! Please buy more RAM?)
    4. 5 GB of free disk space on the system boot drive (this is a rough estimate, hopefully you have more than this on your clients). Technically, you need 500 MB at a minimum, but 5 GB is recommended for the client cache space as well.
  2. Incorrect or incomplete Client Push Installation settings
  3. Incorrect localized/language client installation
  4. Faulty network connectivity
  5. Client/Domain account trust issues
  6. Installation context permissions issues
  7. DNS configuration issues
  8. Anti-virus on-demand scanning interference
  9. Hardware issues (hard drive, memory, motherboard, NIC, bad drivers)

Suggestions

This is arguably the broadest of the areas of client issues. Some of these are fairly general, but still worth considering:

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  1. Verify that the client meets the minimum hardware, operating system, and pre-requisite software requirements
  2. If you are trying to perform a Client Push installation, confirm the Client Push Installation settings within the relevant site. You will also need to allow firewall exceptions for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) as well as File and Printer Sharing services.
  3. Check your Antivirus software settings (and scanning logs). If everything else seems right, but the client is still not installing, or coming to life after installing, check the antivirus client logs and the server logs as well. Look for anything that appears to be blocking or monkeying with ccmexec.exe or ccmsetup.exe as well. I’ve seen this quite a few times with Symantec, McAfee, Sophos, Dr. Solomon, Kaspersky, ForeFront, and pretty much any antivirus product. The nature of how they try to guard a system can get in the way since it’s easy to freak out over the footprint and activity that ccmsetup.exe, client.msi, and ccmexec.exe exhibit. It boils down to how the antivirus settings are managed, and by whom.
  4. If network covers multiple countries, verify you provide adequate support for all required localized versions of Windows.
  5. Verify the clients have a valid Active Directory account which doesn’t show signs of authentication or trust issues.
  6. Verify client device driver updates. I’ve seen several installation failures resulting from bad NIC drivers, which caused excessive dropped packets and corrupted downloads. Granted, these are rare, but it gives you an idea of how broad the scope can be for troubleshooting client installation failures.

Helpful links

Next I will cover Configuration Manager Client Push Installation problems.

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1 Comment
  1. Tlouza (Rank: )
    6 years ago

    Greetings! i am new here and I have just started working with SCCM 2007 SP2.... i am having problems: 1. How do i pull a report that Lists all devices without sccm client?

    2. the space on sccm server is being occupied [C:] i have tried 'dism.exe' but it returned with "No service pack backup files were found."

    Regards, T

    +1

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