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If you aren’t installing Cumulative Updates for SCCM 2012 SP1/R2, you are setting yourself up for a lot of extra work! Issues that you have with SCCM are likely fixed with one of these updates. This is especially true if you plan to start using a role in SCCM (for example, operating system deployments). Instead of spending hours troubleshooting a problem, keep your SCCM infrastructure updated and avoid the problem altogether!
Cumulative Updates should not be thought of as a standard single issue hotfix. Rather, they are a collection of fixes and feature enhancements. Today, we are going to install Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for SCCM 2012 R2. These steps are the same for 2012 SP1 and are identical for nearly all CU installations.
A SCCM 2012 R2 environment without the current Cumulative Update
Getting the correct SCCM Cumulative Update and installation checklist
Before installing the update, you need to check your site status, back up your database, and ensure all pending reboots are cleared. Launch the Configuration Manager console and navigate to Monitoring/System Status/Site Status. All roles should be normal. If you have any roles in a warning or error state, resolve those issues now.
Site Status showing a healthy Configuration Manager environment
Ensure that you have a recent backup of your SQL database, as this CU will make changes to the database. If you do not currently back up your SQL database, read more about backups in Configuration Manager 2012 here. Finally, check your servers for pending reboots, or reboot your servers manually. I use Server Manager to achieve this. Servers with a pending reboot will report their manageability as Online – Pending Reboot.
Using Server Manager to check for pending reboots
Installing a SCCM 2012 Cumulative Update
The SCCM Cumulative Update process has three major steps. First, you apply the update to the site server. Next, you install the updated console on administrative machines. Finally, you deploy the updated Configuration Manager client packages.
For safety, close the Configuration Manager console on any administrative machine. On your site server, launch the CU install and proceed through the wizard.
Server that is ready to install CU3 for SCCM 2012 R2
In most installs, you will accept all of the default options in a CU installation. To deploy the updated client/console, you will certainly want to update the site server’s console version. You will also want to update the site database during the CU installation.
The CU update will create new client and console packages for deployment. By default, these installs are stored in \\SITE-Server\SMS_SITECODE\hotfix\.
Creating packages for each update component in SCCM 2012
In my environment, the install took about 15 minutes. If you have any issues, you can view the installation log in C:\Windows\Temp.
Site server that has been successfully updated to the current CU
You will need to repeat this process for all site servers in your Configuration Manager hierarchy. Restart your site server(s) before proceeding to the next part of this guide. Once your server is back up, you can verify the installation by navigating to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\Setup and checking the value of CULevel. For CU3, the value should be 3.
Updated server with a new version number
Updating the Configuration Manager console and clients
On your site server, launch the Configuration Manager console. Navigate to Software Library/Packages/Configuration Manager Updates. You should see four new packages: one for site servers, one for consoles, and two for clients.
R2 CU3 update packages
Start by deploying the console update to any machine with the Configuration Manager console. You can use this query to create a collection that targets just those machines:
select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS on SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS.ResourceId = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS.DisplayName like "%System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Console%"
Be sure to edit the DisplayName line to reflect the console name used in your environment.
Successful deployment of the SCCM 2012 R2 CU3 console
Finally, deploy the client packages to their correct architecture. If needed, you can use this query to create a collection for x64 clients or to modify it for x86 clients:
select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.SystemType = "x64-based PC
With your client updates being deployed, you have successfully updated your Configuration Manager infrastructure to the latest Cumulative Update! If you ran into any issues or have any other update tips, be sure to post a comment below.