SMS: Troubleshooting inventory MIF backlog problems

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MIFs may build up in the ..SMS\Site.srv\\Deltamif.col directory (or the ..SMS\Site.srv\\Deltamif.col\Process directory in version 1.2) for a variety of reasons. This article outlines troubleshooting suggestions to why the build up occurs and how to resolve it.

Before you proceed, verify the following information:
  • The SQL Server tempdb has the SELECT INTO/BULK COPY option set.
  • Successful network and communication links exists between SQL Server and the computer running Systems Management Server.
  • The SQL Server login information is correct.
If any of these conditions is not true, take appropriate steps to correct it.


The ..SMS\Logs\Datalodr.log and the Windows NT Application Event Log on both the SQL Server computer and the Systems Management Server site server provide information about possible causes. You should also check the SQL Server error log.

NOTE: Before you begin troubleshooting, dump the Systems Management Server and Master databases and then back up the Systems Management Server directory structure and the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS registry key.

Site Speed

The site speed (set in Site Properties on the Services tab) should never be set to Very Fast. A setting of Medium or Fast will process MIFs faster because the Site Configuration Manager does not have to continually perform watchdog cycles which gives the Dataloader utility a chance to run uninterrupted for a longer period of time.

SQL Server Configuration

If Open Objects is set to less than 5,000, Dataloader can get backed up. Tempdb should be 20 to 30 percent of the largest database on the SQL Server. User connections must be set appropriately.

For additional information about important tuning parameters, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
166244 SMS: SQL Server Tuning Parameters for Systems Management Server
Use Performance Monitor to check the Cache Hit Ratio and make sure that the database is in cache (it should be above 99 percent), not paging out. Add RAM and/or dedicated memory to SQL Server if necessary.

Database and Transaction Log Size

Make sure that the Systems Management Server database and its transaction log are not full, and that the transaction log is 20 percent of the Systems Management Server database size. If the database is less than 20 percent free, failures may occur.


Make sure that the Systems Management Server Executive Service is running on the site server.

Client Resynchronizations

Check the Windows NT event log for a high number of client resynchronizations (Event 186). If there are several resyncs, they may occur because duplicate SMSIDs are assigned. For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
127052 SMS Unique ID (SMSID) Allocation

138021 How Inventory Dataloader Finds Matching Computers in SMS

SQL Server Service Pack

Apply (or re-apply) the latest SQL Server Service Pack.

SQL Server Tracing

You can enable SQL statement input and output in the Dataloder.log by setting the
   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\SMS\Tracing\SQL Enabled
registry parameter to 1. To disable SQL tracing, set the value to 0.

The Systems Management Server Executive service must be stopped and restarted for the change to take effect.

NOTE: SQL Tracing should be disabled when you are not performing troubleshooting steps. Leaving it enabled causes the Dataloader to slow down and the log to fill up more quickly.

DBCC Checks

Run SQL Server DBCC CHECKDB and DBCC NEWALLOC statements on the Systems Management Server database in Single User Mode.

Site Reporter

Check the ..SMS\Site.srv\ to see if files are present. If there are, and the site is a child primary site, ensure that site-to-site communication is functioning properly. To determine this, do the following:
  • Look in the appropriate sender log.
  • Check the addresses.
  • Check the Windows NT Application Event Log.
  • Check the Outbox scheduling.
If files are present in the subdirectory, temporarily move them to another subdirectory to see if the MIF processing improves.

User Group MIFS

Check the SMS\Site.srv\\Deltamif.col directory for UMF files. If there are several UMF files, and they are large, you probably have a large number of users, groups, or a complicated trust matrix in your environment.

You may want to change the default polling interval for user and group enumeration using the Setgug.exe utility. For additional information about the utility, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
171005 SMS: Site Config Manager Service Locks Trusted Service Account

MIF Size

Check the SMS\Site.srv\\Deltamif.col and SMS\Site.srv\\Deltamif.col\Process directories and note the MIF size. Larger MIFs (that is, MIFs that contain custom information or extensive software inventory) will be processed more slowly.

I/O Errors

If SQL Server devices and Systems Management Server directories are on the same drive or the drive is mirrored with a single disk controller, check for I/O disk errors reported in the SQL Server log file and/or Performance Monitor.

If disk I/O appears to be a bottleneck, you may need to move SQL Server devices to another physical disk drive, install a second controller, and so forth.

SMSMaint Script

Run the SMSMaint.sql script from the BackOffice Resource Kit.

SPID Performance

Monitor the SQL Server spid performance by using SQL WHO and Performance Monitor to correlate this to the Dataloader thread. For additional information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
117559 How to Correlate Spid, Kpid, and Thread

Inventory Frequency

Decrease inventory frequency if necessary. For example, if there are six child sites of 2,000 to 4,000 computers, plus clients that inventory every time they log on, and they report to a central site, an expected backlog will occur.

Systems Management Server 1.2 Dataloader is multithreaded. If MIFs are large, and/or the number of clients is large, a Systems Management Server version 1.0 or 1.1 site may have a MIF backup and the troubleshooting suggestions provided in this article may not help. If the site is running Systems Management Server 1.0 or 1.1, consider upgrading to Systems Management Server version 1.2 (and the latest Systems Management Server service pack).


Article ID: 176517 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 2.3
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.2 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbconfig kbdatabase kbdataloader kbinfo KB176517

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