Making sense of error codes in System Center

The logs for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) are full of error codes – well they are in the environment I look after! Making sense of them can be difficult. It took me a while to realise that these error codes are not specific to SCCM but are generic Windows error codes.

To make sense of the error code, we can pass it to a command line application and get a string / message which explains things a bit more.

The syntax is :

net helpmsg x

Where x is a decimal integer error code.

But all the error codes I see are in the format “0x8007565”. If we pass this error code into the helpmsg command it doesnt return the message. We first need to convert it from a hex value to a decimal value, the easiest way to do this is using the built in calculator.

  • Open calculator and change to programmer mode
  • Switch from decimal (DEC) to hexadecimal (HEX) mode.
  • Type the second ‘nibble‘ of the value (the last four characters of the hex value)
  • Switch from HEX back to DEC and the value should be converted to a whole number.
  • Put the number into your “net helpmsg x” command line and you get a message back.

Capture

What does this message mean?

I have found that searching the internet for these error codes and messages, can waste a lot of time. They are generic and all sorts of windows components return them. The best way to troubleshoot is to find out which SCCM component logged the message and what was it doing at the time, use this information and the error message to try and deduce what is wrong. Sometimes google isn’t the answer!

 

 

SCCM ConfigMgr DP broken distribution caused by corrupt share permissions

Today i encountered a strange issue with a new distribution point in SCCM v1511.

I had prestaged most content to the DP and this worked fine, status messages were getting back to the MP and so the pie chart in DP Configuration Status section of the console was getting greener and greener. Great!

My prestage script finished sometime over the bank holiday weekend, so I took the DP out of prestaged mode and expected to see content flooding to it. But it didn’t. I started getting errors like this in the content status view. (Ignore the site code and DP name, I have redacted them – they were correct and sane!)

30/08/2016 14:48:00 Distributing content Distribution Manager failed to find or create the defined share or folder () on distribution point "["DISPLAY=\\DPNAME.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XXX"]\\DPNAME.COM\" for distributing package "XXX00174". Possible cause: Windows NT distribution points might not have at least one available NTFS drive. Solution: Verify that there is at least one NTFS drive with enough free disk space to store the package. Then, verify that the distribution point directory exists, has the proper permissions, and is accessible. Retry Interval is 15 minutes, number of retries left is 5. Error XXX00174

So i checked the status messages and found I was getting a status message id 2324 from the problem Distribution Point.

30/08/2016 06:00:00 Failed to create virtual directory Failed to create virtual directory on the defined share or volume on distribution point "["DISPLAY=\\DPNAME.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XXX"]\\DPNAME.GLOBAL.ARUP.COM\". Possible cause: Distribution Manager requires that IIS base components be installed on the local Configuration Manager Site Server in order to create the virtual directory. Distribution Manager also requires that IIS Web Services be installed on the Distribution Point Server that needs to support Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). Solution: Verify that IIS base components are installed on the local Configuration Manager Site Server, and IIS Web Services are installed on the Distribution Point Server. Error

I didnt think there would be an issue with the BITS feature, because I had used the Pre-reqs Installer script on this DP – every time I have used it before its been perfect. Besides if the BITS role was missing SCCM would have failed to add the DP role to this server last week. I checked and BITS was still enabled.

The first error was more accurate – “Possible cause: Windows NT distribution points might not have at least one available NTFS drive”. What had happened was that the permissions on the share SMSPKGD$ had become corrupt. However, if i checked the permission they seemed fine. I found a forum post somewhere which suggested just deleting the share and letting SCCM recreate it.

So I stopped the share from Server Manager then rebooted the DP. It took maybe 5 -> 10 minutes for the share to be recreated. But once it was, all distribution issues were resolved!

Reactivating Broken Windows 7 KMS Activation

How to reactive a broken Windows 7 KMS activation.

Run command as admin : “slmgr /dlv” To display current license information.

If “Error: Product key not found” is displayed – reload KMS key for specific product from technet

“slmgr /ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx”
“slmgr /dlv” should now show product license information but say un-activated

Run “slmgr /ato” – you should get a message saying successfully activated.

Running “slmgr /dlv” – should show you the activation information and also say “activated” as confirmation.

Howto Host PDF Files on MediaWiki

This is a continuation of my series of posts about MediaWiki on Windows. Previous post’s can be found at :

  1. Installing MediaWiki on Windows Server 2012 R2 Core
  2. Installing VisualEditor for MediaWiki on IIS
  3. Enabling Media / File Uploads For MediaWiki on Windows Server

Enable PDF Filetype for Upload to MediaWiki
Edit your LocalSettings.php file (usually found at the root of your MediaWiki install) – add the following lines at the end of the file.

#### Add Allowed Upload Filetypes ####
$wgFileExtensions[] = 'pdf';

Initally, I thought this would be enough to host PDF files on my wiki – but unfortunately when I added a media entry via the VisualEditor menu, it looked like this :

Screenshot of PDF added to a wiki page via VisualEditor for MediaWiki.
Screenshot of PDF added to a wiki page via VisualEditor for MediaWiki.

I wasn’t happy with this result so found a better method of hosting PDF’s on mediawiki PDF Include Extension.

To enable this extension – all you need to do is create a folder called ‘PDFInclude’ in your extensions directory – download the code and add to a file called PDFInclude.php inside the newly created directory and add the following to the top of your LocalSettings.php file.

## PDF Include Extension
require_once "$IP/extensions/PDFInclude/PDFInclude.php";

Check the Special:Version page of your wiki to ensure the extension has loaded correctly. You can then use it in your wiki pages by using the following syntax :

<pdf width="width" height="height">Path</pdf>
<pdf width="800px" height="1000px">http://www.example.com/example.pdf</pdf>

This will give you an embeded PDF document in your wiki and you can control the size etc… see the extensions page for more information.