May 2009 - Posts

[OpsMgr] DB Grooming – How it works

I came across this post on Steve Rachui's Manageability blog - ConfigMgr/OpsMgr:

A while back I wrote up a blog post on how grooming works for the OpsMgr DB and the warehouse

Recently I put the detailed grooming steps for the OpsMgr DB into a graphical form that I share here.  Please note – even though there are specific tables shown here don’t consider this posting sanction to modify these tables.  Doing so is unsupported and the tables are included here as information only and to show the total snapshot of the grooming process.  Further, the diagram below shows the detail around grooming the OpsMgr DB for partition objects (event/perf) but leaves detail about grooming other data types, such as self-tuning threshold data, alerts, state changes, job status, etc.  Information about ACS grooming, discovery data grooming, data warehoulse grooming, etc., is also absent.  All that to say, grooming is a multi-step process and, while many of the moving parts are shown below, many are also not detailed.


[OpsMgr] Service Level Dashboard 2.0 for Operations Manager 2007 R2 now available

Posted on The Operations Manager Support Team Blog:

“The Service Level Dashboard Management Pack 2.0 for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 was delivered late last week by the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team, and is available for you to download today from the System Center Catalog.

Assisting you in tracking, managing, and reporting on your line-of-business (LOB) application service levels, the Service Level Dashboard displays a list of applications and their performance and availability against service level goals.

Download the SLD 2.0 here:


For more information on the Service Level Dashboard Management Pack 2.0 see

J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer

[SCVMM] P2V using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 may fail with error 3154 (0x8099319E)

From the System Center Virtual Machine Manager blog:

“When you perform a physical to virtual (P2V) conversion using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, the P2V job may fail with the following error:

Error (3154)

An internal error has occurred trying to contact an agent on the servername server.

(Internal error code: 0x8099319E)


This issue can occur if the port used by BITS to perform the P2V on the source computer is in use by another application or service. The default port used for P2V in SCVMM 2008 is 443.

Note: Beginning with VMM 2008 R2 we will use port 40443 by default to avoid this type of issue.


To resolve this issue, perform one of the following methods:

Method 1

Stop the service or application which is currently using port 443 by performing the following steps:

1. On the source computer, run the following command to determine which process is listening on port 443:


2. Stop the service or process listening on port 443.

3. Retry the P2V job.

Method 2

Change the default port used by Virtual Machine Manager for P2V by performing the following steps:

1. Open Regedit.exe.

2. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\Settings

3. Create a new DWORD value with a name of P2VBITSTcpPort and set the decimal value to a port number less than 32768.

Note: You will need to choose a TCP port that’s not already in use.

4. Restart the Virtual Machine Manager Service.

5. Retry the P2V job.

More Information

For additional information on troubleshooting P2V issues, please refer to the following web site:

For additional information on System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, please refer to the following web site:

[HP] EDS, an HP Company, Welcomes Symantec as EDS Agility Alliance Marks Five-year Anniversary

Doesn’t seem like 5 years since this was setup but it’s produced some great solutions and long may it continue:

PLANO, Texas, May 28, 2009

EDS, an HP company, today announced the five-year anniversary of the EDS Agility Alliance, a coalition of technology and business service providers that work with EDS to develop and provide dynamic technology services and business solutions.

Additionally, Symantec Corp., the maker of security, storage and systems management solutions, has joined the alliance to provide EDS clients with industry-leading capabilities and innovative approaches to the challenges customers are facing in today’s environment. The joint solutions EDS and Symantec offer will help clients secure and manage their information.

Customers around the world have distinct needs and are faced with unique challenges – from safeguarding their interactions, information and infrastructure to implementing processes and policies to protect their organizations and identify threats. Through this alliance, EDS and Symantec joint customers will experience benefits including:

  • Security management solutions that protect their business interactions, critical information and IT infrastructure, and optimize security processes to support security and compliance policies;
  • Endpoint threat management to improve their threat recognition and reduce the administrative burden of protecting endpoints against known and unknown threats;
  • Content monitoring and data loss prevention that protect individuals’ private information and corporate information assets; and
  • Data protection and backup solutions that restore critical information in the event of loss or catastrophe.

Symantec and EDS also plan to combine technical and marketing resources to identify and address industry trends, solution innovation and process improvements.

“At a time of increasing data breaches and security threats, safeguarding important business information and protecting IT infrastructures have become mission critical to businesses around the world,” said Greg Robins, director of Global Alliances at EDS, an HP company. “By adding Symantec to the EDS Agility Alliance, we are responding to our clients’ need for more innovative security products and solutions that help them better secure their mission-critical business data and address specific enterprise security issues.”

EDS and Symantec have been working together for nearly a decade, implementing Internet security, compliance, storage and risk management solutions for clients. The elevation of Symantec to EDS Agility Alliance partner will enable greater innovation and integration of technologies to better align solutions to the needs of clients.

“Symantec’s addition to the EDS Agility Alliance marks our commitment to providing an even more powerful set of solutions to our clients, helping them prepare for future security threats and ensuring that their critical business data is protected,” said Bill Robbins, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Symantec.

In addition to Symantec, EDS Agility Alliance members include Cisco, EMC, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Xerox.

About EDS
EDS, an HP company, is a leading global technology services provider, delivering business solutions to its clients. EDS founded the information technology outsourcing industry nearly 50 years ago. Today, EDS delivers a broad portfolio of information technology, applications and business process outsourcing services to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries, and to governments around the world.

About HP
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

[HP] HP Helps Small and Midsize Businesses Save Time and Money

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 28, 2009

HP today expanded its Total Care initiative for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with several new products, solutions and services that reduce costs, improve productivity and enhance efficiency.(1)

To help SMB customers keep their businesses up and running with less capital and fewer employees and technology resources, HP has introduced infrastructure offerings including storage, virtualization, remote access and consolidation solutions.

“In today’s economic climate, SMBs need technology solutions that take out costs while helping drive even greater competitive advantage so they can survive and thrive,” said Kathy Chou, vice president, Worldwide Small and Medium Business Strategy, HP. “Through our Total Care initiative, HP is helping customers achieve their business goals.”

Customers can better manage data growth while reducing the complexity and costs of storage through:

  • The HP StorageWorks X1000 and X3000 Network Storage Systems unify file and application storage to simplify storage infrastructures. With a single, unified system, SMBs do not need to invest in separate storage systems for file and database data. The new network-attached storage solutions provide up to 35 percent more usable capacity through file deduplication(2) while also increasing file serving performance by up to 30 percent.(3)
  • The HP StorageWorks 2000i and 2000sa G2 Modular Smart Arrays feature 2.5-inch, small form factor drives that increase storage capacity by up to 33 percent per unit of rack space.(4) They also reduce power requirements up to 50 percent.(3)

“AMI has surveyed thousands of SMBs over the past 10 months and the results show that to survive in this economy, taking costs out of their business and improving data management are high on their agendas,” said Anil Miglani, senior vice president of strategy consulting firm AMI Partners. “SMBs need products and solutions designed from the ground up to help them meet these goals while also focusing on growing their business. HP is well-positioned to help SMB customers thrive in this economy because of its comprehensive Total Care portfolio.”

To further help customers protect and grow their businesses, HP unveiled:

  • The HP Virtualization Bundle, the industry’s first integrated solution that allows SMBs to more easily and cost-effectively deploy virtualization by transforming existing server disk drives into highly available shared storage. The bundle allows customers to reduce costs up to 35 percent by eliminating the need for external storage to support application high availability.(5) The bundle includes HP server, storage and networking technology as well as integrated virtualization software from HP and VMware.
  • HP Secure Remote Access solutions, which help reduce costs, eliminate business disruptions and maximize sales opportunities for SMBs with mobile workforces. These solutions, powered by Citrix XenApp™ Fundamentals, allow mobile workers to maintain constant and secure connections with critical business applications regardless of their location or connectivity device. As part of the solutions, which include servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers, HP is offering SMB channel partners discounted servers and storage through the HP SmartBuy program. Additionally, partners can take advantage of a one-year free trial of Citrix XenApp Fundamentals.
  • The recently unveiled HP 4410t Mobile Thin Client, which provides enhanced security access to server-based computing and reduces IT workload while providing the mobility of a notebook. With improved data security, easy manageability, no hard drive, fewer moving parts and lower power consumption, this thin client reduces SMBs’ carbon footprint and costs.

HP solutions deliver cost, energy and time savings
To help customers reduce costs, improve productivity and more efficiently manage data and operations, HP announced:

  • The HP Total Care Branch Office Consolidation solutions, which offer customizable configurations of servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers to help SMBs significantly reduce the time needed to consolidate multiple branch sites into a single location. According to an IDC white paper, the solutions can reduce total technology costs by up to 25 percent when combined with improved technology practices.(6)

New printing solutions deliver professional-quality output at significant cost and energy savings versus competing laser printers:

  • Saving up to 50 percent on energy consumption with HP Instant-on Technology, (7) the HP LaserJet Enterprise P3010 Printer series ($549-$999)(8) is a high-performance networked(9) printer for businesses needing to print high volumes with added protection for confidential documents on a variety of media types.
  • Through HP Smart Template Printing, SMBs can save time and money by printing marketing materials and business documents on free, customizable templates at the touch of a button from a PC or notebook.(10)
  • The HP Officejet 6000 Printer series ($89-$119)(8) delivers professional-quality prints at fast speeds, offers up to 40 percent less cost per page and energy use than comparable laser printers.(11) The series also was recently classified as “Highly Reliable” by Buyers Laboratory Inc.
  • The HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer ($229)(8) is HP’s first entry-level, wide-format printer with individual inks. Ideal for creating business documents and marketing collateral, it delivers professional color documents and photo-quality, borderless prints at the lowest cost per page versus in-class inkjets.(12)

As part of the HP Eco Solutions program, the three new printers are ENERGY STAR® qualified and use significantly less energy than competitive laser printers(7) based on several key environmental attributes listed on the HP Eco Highlights label.

HP also announced the new HP Scanjet N6350 Networked Flatbed Document Scanner ($899),(8) a simple-to-use, versatile page scanner with integrated networking expected to be available for purchase worldwide in June.

New collaborations and solutions drive growth
HP is providing value-added resellers (VARs) and channel partners with new revenue-generating opportunities by expanding its cloud computing services through agreements with Cobweb and Cast Iron.

  • Cobweb, a leader in hosting services, enables VARs in the United Kingdom to offer private-label Microsoft® solutions via the cloud to SMBs. The pay-as-you-go model allows SMBs to efficiently run their business with fewer resources.
  • Cast Iron Systems enables SMBs in the United States to integrate software-as-a-service applications with existing infrastructures already running applications and databases.
  • Measuring just over 1-inch thick and starting at 2.33 pounds, the HP Mini 1101 Notebook PC, introduced yesterday, is an ideal companion PC for SMBs and frequent business travelers. The Mini 1101 offers a 10.1-inch diagonal standard or optional high-definition (HD) LED widescreen display, a keyboard that is 92 percent the size of a standard notebook PC keyboard, and a built-in webcam and microphone. Mobile SMB workforces can choose optional integrated HP Mobile Broadband, which allows access to the Internet, corporate intranets, email and critical business information in more places around the world.
  • The recently introduced HP ProBook s-series is ideal for small businesses seeking the best combination of business features, functionality and value. The series incorporates a choice of finishes, a mercury-free design and HD LED backlit displays in a variety of screen sizes.(13) It also includes a set of professional innovations previously found only on higher-priced models. To help keep energy costs down, the portfolio holds an Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT®) gold rating and is ENERGY STAR qualified.

Special financing
To help SMBs deploy their technology solutions while also conserving capital, HP Financial Services is offering flexible leasing and financing options. Recommendations from HP Financial Services on how SMBs can make the most of their technology budget are available in the white paper “Leasing helps small, midsized companies s-t-r-e-t-c-h their IT investment dollars.”

Additional information about HP’s new offerings to help SMBs thrive in challenging times is available in an online press kit at

About HP
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

[ConfigMgr 2007] Examining some common problems for the Software Updates Client Agent

This post by Brent on the The Configuration Manager Support Team Blog  is worth sharing:

Hello System Center,

In this post I'd like to share information gleaned from recent support incidents regarding the Configuration Manager 2007 Software Updates Client Agent. The goal for this post is to help by providing details on common problems driving calls to support.

To lay some groundwork, the Software Updates Client Agent is heavily dependent upon the default software update components on the client system. Thus the Software Updates Client Agent often faces similar challenges as seen by Windows Software Updates Services deployments.

Online Content:

The online TechNet library for Configuration Manager has a cornucopia of data covering Software Update Client Agents and their configurations and so please explore relevant links at need.

Before beginning, ensure you’re familiar with the topic: About the Software Updates Client Agent

Some of the common problems related to the Software Update Client Agent:

Windows Update Agent is Misdirected

This is an all too common scenario which has a consistent trigger resulting in settings on the client regarding its Active SUP being incorrect.

The Symptom: With regards to patching, your client goes AWOL. In other words, yesterday your client was reporting for duty and downloading updates just fine, but today, while it may still report inventory and execute software deployments, it's no longer taking software update related actions. At least not from your Site.

Note: This is observed both when clients attempt the scan action as well as after a successful scan when trying to pull down updates.

The Trigger: If this sounds like your situation then take a look at the client’s effective Policy. The one common driver we've seen is application of a Group Policy which overwrites the clients current policy, such as it’s assigned and active SUP. We also see incorrect ports, server names, and related settings passed to Configuration Manager clients by policy. Where do these come from? Good question! They're not from the Group Policy fairy. Investigate any domain or related policies that may have been configured or orphaned and are being applied to the clients. It's also possible that the client has local Group Policy disabled or an error was fat fingered into the expected Policy when configured. Find more here: Troubleshooting Group Policy Configuration for Software Updates

Windows Update Agent connection to the SUP blocked on the network

Another common scenario is a configuration that blocks the client from communicating across the network. This problem is seen elsewhere in Configuration Manager but receives significant attention here as the goal of keeping clients patched is very visible.

Note: Like the first issue of policy delivered settings, network connectivity blocks are observed both when clients attempt the scan action as well as after a successful scan when trying to pull down updates.

Two key flavors are noted:

1. Proxy Servers - Blocking traffic in a variety of ways.

2. Ports blocked - On client firewalls, on the SUP server, and at points in-between on the network.

Also keep in mind the traffic involved in Patch Management can quickly run afoul of settings intended to mitigate floods. The following link is a Forums post regarding SUP to MU Sync's but the issue is also relevant for this topic:

Find more here: Ports Used in Software Updates

Assorted Functional Problems on the Client

1. Registry Settings related to WUA Options. Commonly known as AUOptions, these are often delivered via a Group Policy, or set on clients by other means. These are worth noting as they could drive unexpected client behaviors. These are usually set when WSUS has been directly managing a client and not usually found when managed by Configuration Manager.

Find more here: WSUS Client-side Configuration Options:

2. Anti-Virus Software. As in other areas of the product, we can see operational collisions with legitimate patching actions. This can block or slow down the process.

3. BITS on the client. Often impacted by our friend Group Policy, these may not be directly associated with patch configurations. And sometimes BITS just isn't functional.

Assorted Patch Installation Experience Issues

Many support issues are opened which are not due to direct failures but due to unanticipated behavior or experiences on the client - usually related to a configurable option. These include:

1. Failed Patch Installations - Sometimes a client doesn't have software that qualifies to be patched despite Administrative expectations. This can happen when a vulnerable file is no longer present or has been updated by another process. This has also been seen where there is confusion over the vulnerable product or product version involved. This can be complex to puzzle out and is further muddled by competing scan solutions which can evaluate compliance using different criteria with different results.

2. Unexpected Patch Installations - It happens: A deployment targets the wrong collection full of systems not intended to be patched or patched with the configured settings. When a patch installs on a system you didn't expect, check the targeted collections and related details. Let’s avoid the uncomfortable silence on the support phone when the incorrectly targeted collection action is identified. Awkward!

3. Pop-up’s and Notifications - Finally, several issues are opened which are tied to the Pop-up behaviors as seen on clients:

a) Requests to enable Software Updates on clients - triggered by the Windows Security Center. This is external to Configuration Manager but if your users are reporting this you may wish to ensure policy is not disabling Automatic Updates.

b) Enforcement of Mandatory Deployments (Deadlines). Patch installation times, and what behavior can be expected, is a matter of configuration. Enforced deadlines along with the problem noted below make for very unhappy end users.

c) Deployments Hidden from end users. Misconfigurations of deployments, tied with the deadlines mentioned above, often result in the 'patched and rebooted without warning' situation. Good times.

Find more here:

About the Software Updates End User Experience

Computer Client Agent Properties

Software Updates Client Agent Properties: Update Installation Tab

How to Hide Deployments on Client Computers

General Information:

The following are links you may find useful when approaching Software Update Client Configuration issues and strategies regarding WSUS specific details for the Update Agent:

Configure Automatic Updates in a Non–Active Directory Environment:

Brent Dunsire
Product Quality Program Manager
System Center Configuration Manager 2007

[MS Security Bulletin] Major Revision - Issued: May 26, 2009

The following bulletins have undergone a major revision increment.  Please see the appropriate bulletin for more details.
  * MS09-003 - Critical

Bulletin Information:
* MS09-003 - Critical
- Reason for Revision: V3.0 (May 26, 2009): Added an entry in the section, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This
    Security Update, to announce a detection change to the update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (KB959897).
    This is a detection change only. There were no changes to the security update files in this bulletin. Customers who have
    already installed the KB959897 update successfully do not need to reinstall. 
- Originally posted: February 10, 2009
- Updated: May 26, 2009
- Bulletin Severity Rating: Critical
- Version: 3.0

[MS Security Bulletin] Minor Revisions - Issued: May 26, 2009

The following bulletins have undergone a minor revision increment. Please see the appropriate bulletin for more details.
  * MS07-026

Bulletin Information:
* MS07-026

  - Reason for Revision: V1.1 (May 26, 2009): Added an entry in the section, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This
    Security Update, to announce a detection change. The detection no longer offers the MS06-019 and MS06-029 updates,
    but instead will only offer MS07-026. There were no changes to the binaries. Customers who have already successfully
    installed the MS07-026 update do not need to reinstall. 
  - Originally posted: May 8, 2007
  - Updated: May 26, 2009
  - Bulletin Severity Rating: Critical
  - Version: 1.1

[ConfigMgr 2007] ConfigMgr and OS Deployments/ MDT 2008 Training in London in June

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that my fellow MVP Johan Arwidmark (MVP in Setup & Deployment), is coming to the UK next month to deliver the following ConfigMgr-related courses:

Mastering SCCM 2007 - London June 2 - 4

This highly popular lab is developed and presented by John Marcum, Microsoft MVP in SCCM 2007.

During this lab you will, from start to finish, learn how plan, deploy and manage System Center Configuration Manager 2007. The lab is based on real world configurations and scenarios, using a multi-tiered hierarchy, Windows Server 2008 domain controllers and SQL server 2008. We will not only deploy and configure SCCM 2007 but also we dive into software deployments, software updates and how to prepare the Windows Server 2008 active directory environment for SCCM 2007. We also go behind the scenes for to learn troubleshooting techniques.

Focus is 100% on giving you practical knowledge that you can bring back and use in your environment. This is the one training you need to master SCCM 2007.

More details and pricing at:


Mastering MDT 2008 and SCCM 2007 OS Deployments - London - June 16-18

This highly popular lab is developed and presented by Johan Arwidmark, Microsoft MVP in Setup & Deployment, and one of the foremost experts on Windows Deployment worldwide.

During this lab you will, from scratch to finish, learn how to build deployment solutions based on Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 (formerly known as BDD 2007) and SCCM 2007 OS deployments. The lab is based on real world configurations and scenarios, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista with MUI Packs, Branch office scenarios, replication, creating hardware independent images, working with drivers, assigning applications in rich dynamic ways. We also go behind the scenes for some advanced troubleshooting and customization. We will not only add in the MDT deployment database, but also deep down into how to add server deployments, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, to the solution.

Focus is 100% on giving you practical knowledge that you can bring back and use in your environment. This is the one training you need to learn mastering Windows Deployment using MDT 2008 and SCCM 2007.

More details and pricing at:

Other dates/ non-UK locations are also available, details on the website.

Spaces are filling up fast so make sure you get booked on them ASAP (and don’t forget to mention where you heard about it from ;-))

DON’T FORGET - Johan will be presenting at our next meeting on the 18th June - full details here

[WSUS] SP2 Release Candidate now Available on Connect

A heads up that you can now download the SP2 Release Candidate of WSUS SP2 from Connect, details below. Don’t think you need to have friends in high places to get access because as it says on the Connect site:

We appreciate your participation in this Service Pack 2 RC Program for WSUS 3.0. Please remember that the only requirement in order to participate in the program is that you are a registered Connect user, so if you are not yet, please sign up!

WSUS logo

Thank you for joining the WSUS 3.0 Service Pack 2 Release Candidate Program and we welcome you to provide feedback on the Service Pack 2 through the channels listed below. By including you in our development process, we can ensure that our products meet the needs of our customers and are reliable.

WSUS 3.0 SP2 addresses a number of product features and fixes and includes the addition of support for Windows Server 2008 R2. This RC program will end August 2009, so we encourage you to report your bugs by then.  The release notes on SP2 can be downloaded along with the build which provides more details on the installation.

Please, remember that in order to be able to download the builds and documentation for WSUS 3.0 SP2 RC, you need to be a registered Connect user. So please sign in or sign up for an account now!!

[SQL 2005] UPDATED: PRB: 'Script table as' reports an error for linked servers created using...

Full Title: PRB: 'Script table as' reports an error for linked servers created using MSDASQL provider in SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008


Consider the following scenario:

  1. You create a linked server from SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 to an ODBC data source using Microsoft OLEDB provider for ODBC drivers (MSDASQL) in SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. You try to use the 'Script Table as' option on one of the tables on the linked server in the SQL Server Management studio.

In this scenario, you will receive the folowing error message in the second step:
[LinkedServer].[ DatabaseName].[dbo].[TableName] contains no columns that can be selected or the current user does not have permissions on that object.

[ConfigMgr 2007] The Out of Band Management Console on Windows XP SP2 Fails to Connect with...

Full Title: The Out of Band Management Console on Windows XP SP2 Fails to Connect with Error 0x80072EE9

This post is a quick AMT troubleshooting post from Carol Bailey:

It's recently come to our attention that the out of band management console that is used to connect to AMT-based computers has a problem running on Windows XP SP2.  We're in the process of updating our Supported Configurations documentation for this, and the June update will have the following troubleshooting entry added to the topic "Out of Band Management Console Issues":..


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