The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

No Assigned Task Sequence

I’ve been setting up a virtual ConfigMgr environment on my laptop to use both for demonstrating at client locations as well as to use for the demo portions of my presentations at MMS and TechEd. It’s running inside Virtual PC 2007, and the server VM is running Windows Server 2008 and ConfigMgr 2007 SP1 R2. It actually runs pretty peppy…I do have the VM running on an external 7200 RPM hard drive connected to my laptop via an eSATA cable.

Anyway…I set up a Task Sequence to do my OS build and capture. It worked fine. Then I imported that WIM file and set up another Task Sequence to deploy that image. It was advertised to both the “All Unknown Computers” collection as well as a special OSD Deploy collection that I had created and imported the name and MAC address of the new VM into.

After booting the new VM with the Bootable Task Sequence media CD, it kept giving me this error message: “Failed to Run Task Sequence” “There are no task sequences available for this computer.” If I looked in the smsts.log file located at “X:\windows\temp\smsts”, I saw an error entry stating: “No assigned task sequence.” Looking through the log file, I could see that it was reading the correct MAC address and had the right SMS GUID that was assigned to the system that I imported. So it was clearly recognizing the machine. It was talking to ConfigMgr correctly. It was downloading policy, but it was determining that none of those policies were applicable. If I looked at the properties of either the Collection or the system, it showed that the advertisement for the Task Sequence was applicable to that computer. So…why would it show as applicable in the GUI, but not be evaluated as applicable during the task sequence?

After beating on this for entirely too long, I finally figured it out this afternoon. I had done a housekeeping task on my VM to move all of the default “All…” collections off of the root of the Collections node (see this post). After doing so, I had forgotten to update those collections after “moving” them. Shouldn’t matter…except that the “All Unknown Computers” collection was completely empty…including not having the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” or “x64 Unknown Computer (x64 Unknown Computer)” entries.

When the new VM was evaluating policy, it went through the following steps in the SMSTS.log.

Client Identity: GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea
Netbios name: NewComputer
Client GUID = GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea, Netbios name = NewComputer, State = Unknown
Client is unprovisioned
Using unknown machine GUID: 1b554c94-8eeb-490a-8b10-ae10bd579d3d
Unknown client identity: GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea
Preparing Policy Assignment Request.
    Setting transport.
    Setting site code = CM1.
    Setting client ID = 1b554c94-8eeb-490a-8b10-ae10bd579d3d.
Executing Policy Assignment Request.

Note what happens to the GUID. It starts off with the GUID that starts with “24e41…” and a state of “Unknown”. It then switches the GUID that it is going to use for the rest of the process to the “unknown machine GUID” which on my system starts with “1b554…”…this is the GUID for the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” resource that should be in the “All Unknown Computers” collection. After switching the GUID, you see the last line that I pasted in above where it is “Executing Policy Assignment Request.”

Because I had not updated the collection…and the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” resource didn’t exist in any collection…there wasn’t any advertisement that was applicable to that GUID. It behaved exactly like it should have. It just took me a long long time to figure out why it was failing. Once I updated the collection, the “problem” went away.

In this instance, it was definitely a PEBKAC issue…Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.


March 20, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, Microsoft, MMS, TechEd | 4 Comments

How to Move Collections in ConfigMgr

One of the little aspects of working in the ConfigMgr console that I don’t like is the number of builtin collections that are all at the top level of the collections node (“All Systems”, etc). I don’t like that they take up so much room at the top of the list (since they all start with the word “all”) and causes me to need to scroll/search in order to find the collections that I have created. I would prefer to have them in a folder (which doesn’t exist in the Collections area because of the way security works in collections). You will also note when right-clicking a collection, that there is not a “move” option. So…how do you do it?

While you can’t create a true folder, you can use subcollections. Start off by creating a new empty collection named “Z_All Builtin Collections” at the root of the Collections node. After it is created, right click this “Z_All…” collection and choose New, then “Link to collection”. In the dialog that pops up (screen shot below), choose the topmost “All” collection which is probably “All Active Directory Security Groups”, then click OK. image Repeat this process for all of the builtin collections. Make sure you don’t skip any of them. Once you do that, you will have the original collection at the root level and a link to that collection underneath the “Z_All Builtin Collections” collection. This link is an identical replica of the original…even down to the Collection ID.

Now…go back to the original ones, right click it and choose “Delete”. This will bring up the “Delete Collection Wizard”. Click next, then note that this is a dialog for deleting an “instance” of the collection. You can delete the original instance while leaving the one that you created in the “Z_All…” collection intact. Repeat for all of the original ones.


After doing this, you will have a Collection node that looks something like this:

image Now that you have done this, be sure to update all of these collections…you could run into problems if you don’t. More on that in my next post.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, Microsoft | 15 Comments