Yearly Archives: 2013


VMware vCenter virtual appliance : schedule reboot

My experience is, in my whitebox environment to reboot the VMware vCenter virtual appliance from time to time. I used to do this manually but I decided to create a scheduled task. Hey we are IT people right? 🙂

vmware001

First login to the console with your password (I hope you changed the default root/vmware password combination :-))

vmware002

go to the /etc directory and open the crontab file

Edit the crontab (just press the i key for insert, and go to the bottom line).

As you see there are 5 options before the command :

  • minute (from 0 to 59)
  • hour (from 0 to 23)
  • day of the month (from 1 to 31)
  • month (from 1 to 12)
  • day of the week (from 0 to 6, 0=sunday)

If you use a * it means every, In my example every friday at 1 o’clock in the morning my appliance will reboot itself)


SCCM 2012 R2 : Call to HttpSendRequestSync failed for port 80/443 with status code 500, text: Internal Server Error

Today a customer ran into a problem with SCCM 2012 R2. Clients didn’t get online and packages didn’t get distributed. After some investigationn I found the following problem internal Server error. As you probably know SCCM 2012 clients use HTTP or HTTPS (internet, PKI) to communicate with the SCCM server. This is how you can test this :

Test with the following urls in you browser :

http://SCCMSERVER/sms_mp/.sms_aut?mplist

and

http://SCCMSERVER/sms_mp/.sms_aut?mpcert

You should receive a return with your SCCM server name and capabilities etc.

I didn’t and after some investigating I decided to reset the SCCM site. This is how you do that :

 

reset001

First open Configuration Manager Setup by installed programs (not starting the setup from the DVD!)

reset002

Choose next.

reset003

Choose the perform site maintenance or reset this site

reset004

Choose reset site with no configuration changes.

Now wait for 15 minutes and after that try it again. It can take some time before everything is set and up and running again.


SCCM 2012 Site Status Critical Component Server

While configuring a SCCM 2012 R2 server I noticed some Critical errors in the Site Status.
After some investigating I found the problem how to fix this. You must add the SCCM service account and the computer account(s) to the local administrator group of the site server.

critical_error

Go to the local users and groups and add the SCCM service account and the computer accounts to the the group. (You manually have to tick the computer box to enable to add computers)

comp_management

When this is done you noticed that the services are on green again :

errors_gone


Force SCCM 2012 Deployment

Sometimes you want to immediately deploy (install) a package and you don’t want to wait for the SCCM agent to start the task.

They are multiple ways to do this, one of them is to use the tools described in my previous posts.

The other way is to go the configuration menu of the client, configuration manager and go to “evaluatiecycles voor installatie van toepassingen” (dutch) and click Nu Uitvoeren (also dutch)

In English it’s called Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle.

ForceDeploy001


Manually install SCCM client

Yesterday a customer asked me how to manually install the SCCM 2012 client. This is how you do that. Create a network connection to your SCMM Management Point server.

For example net use q: \\SCCMSERVER\SMS_SITEIDNR.

Go to the client directory and execute the following command :

 

PushA

Replace sccm-mp with the name of your SCCM management server and ofcourse make sure you use the correct sitecode.

After executing you instantly see ccmsetyp.exe in your running processes :

PushB


Great SCCM 2012 tool : PoshCAT

In the past I used the SCCM Client Actions Tools (link) but there is now a new successor called PoshCAT by Kaido Jarvemets. I found this tool so useful I decided to write a blogpost about it.

First : you can download the tool here.

After starting the Powershell script you notice the following screen :

Posh001

In the upper right corner you can enter your credentials :

Posh002

It’s easy to force client actions, like for example a hardware/software inventory :

Posh003

Or restart the service or install the ConfigMgr Client manually :

Posh004

Check for WMI problems :

Posh005

WSUS and Endpoint options :

Posh006

APP-V configurations :

Posh007

Deployment actions :

Posh008

And other options like ping, reboot etc.

Posh009

I found this tool easy to use and very stable. The SCMM Client Actions tool (older, see start of the post) has some options PoshCat doesn’t have. I made some screenshots of this also :

Client schedule actions :

SCCM001

Client health actions :

I found a minor issue with the Check client version, I was running SCCM 2012 R2 and it reported that the client agent was outdated. I didn’t look into that, but the other options are working fine.

SCCM003

Client agent actions :

SCCM002

Advertisement actions :

SCCM004

Other actions :SCCM005

For the SCCM administrators, consultants, troubleshooters etc. it’s easy to have hold onto these tools. You are up and running in notime 🙂


Great way to document your installations

There are several tools when documenting your installations. Ofcourse you can use tools like Snagit and there are many others. But sometimes you are installing something on a server and you don’t have access to one of those tools. Then you can use the Problem Steps Recoder default build in Windows (Server). Just hit run psr and hit enter.

recorder001

Choose Start Record and proceed to installing the software. When you are finished just hit Stop record and enter a file name. The tool creates a zip file with an mht file (opens in Word) within.

Here are some screendumps how it looks :

 

Dump001

Dump002

The tool automatically creates screendumps and writes down what your mouse and keyboard input was. Ok, when you hit the delete key 20 times, it shows the delete button 20 times. But you can easily edit this or use copy paste to another document.


VMware : System logs are stored on non-persistent storage

I recently reinstalled my VMware servers using USB sticks. After the first reboot I noticed an yellow warning. When highlighting the different servers I noticed the “System logs are stored on non-persistent storage” warning.

log001

This is how you can fix that :

log002

Select a persistent (SAN?) storage that you can use and go to Browse Datastore.

log003

Create a new folder

 

log004

Give it a name.. 🙂

 

log005

After that go to advanced settings bij the configuration tab of your ESX server.

log006

Go to the Syslog tab.

log007

Give the name of the datastore between brackets and the name of the folder you just created. Hit ok and you notice that the warning is gone :

 

log008