SMS: Troubleshooting server, component, and hierarchy issues

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Article ID: 241001 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q241001
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SUMMARY

When you experience a server, component, or hierarchy problem with Systems Management Server (SMS) 2.0 or SMS 2003, you can use several tools to help isolate and diagnose the cause of the problem. These tools include:
  • Built-in SMS status system
  • Built-in status message queries
  • Troubleshooting tips and system flow diagrams
  • Windows NT Application and System Event logs
  • Microsoft Knowledge Base articles
  • Sophisticated logging capabilities
This article describes how to most effectively use these tools for SMS troubleshooting.

MORE INFORMATION

Built-in status system

SMS 2.0 and SMS 2003 use a sophisticated status system to track Component Status and Site System Status, as well as Advertisement Status and Package Status. Status information is displayed in the System Status node of the SMS Administrator console and should be the first stop when you troubleshoot any SMS problem or monitor the general health of the site and hierarchy.

Component Status

Critical, Warning, and Informational status messages are generated regularly by every component. If you experience a problem and do not know where to begin troubleshooting, look at the Component Status under the Site Status node. If you see a lot of critical error messages or warning messages, you can establish a baseline by resetting the status counters. To do this, right-click the components with the error and warning messages, and then click Reset Counts, All. When you refresh the Site Status, all the components turn green (no errors). When you reset the counters, the status messages are not deleted. You are still able to see previous messages in the Status Message Viewer tool. If a component continues to experience a problem, it continues to generate status messages and the Component Status is updated.

To view messages that a specific component generated, right-click the component, and then click Show Messages, All. This starts the Status Message Viewer tool. After the messages are loaded into the tool, you can sort columns by clicking the column heading. If you place your mouse pointer over the message description, the full description of the message (including possible causes of the error message and additional troubleshooting information) is displayed.

Note All components and their functions are listed in Appendix C, "SMS Component Definitions," of the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Administrator's Guide (both online and hard copy).

Site System Status

The Site System Status node displays all the site systems for the site (for example, Client Access Points (CAPs), distribution points, SQL Server, site server, logon points, and component servers). The information displayed in this node is collected and updated by the Site Status Summarizer Component on a maintenance cycle of 24 hours.

Package Status and Advertisement Status

Package Status allows you to monitor when a package has reached the target distribution points. All packages must arrive at a distribution point before they are accessible to clients. If Package Status shows a package as "retrying," check the Component Status to see which component did not work.

Advertisement Status summarizes the total number of clients that have received or run an advertisement, or that did not run an advertisement. If Advertisement Status shows one or more error messages, please refer to "Built-in Status Message Queries" section of this article.

Detailed information on the SMS Status System is described in Chapter 20, "Understanding the SMS Status System," of the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Administrator's Guide (both online and hard copy).

When you need to work with Microsoft Technical support on a site or site hierarchy problem, Microsoft recommends that you have a status message export file ready for the support professional to analyze. For more information about how to export a status message file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
232183 How to export SMS 2.0 status messages for analysis

Built-in status message queries

SMS provides the most commonly required troubleshooting and site maintenance status message queries. These queries are located under the System Status, Status Message Queries node in the SMS Administrator console. You can use these queries to locate clients that experienced error messages with installation or a specific advertisement, as well as to monitor usage, security, or other problems for a specific site in the hierarchy.

Troubleshooting tips and system flow diagrams

Information about process and component flows to help isolate where a problem is occurring is provided in Appendix D, "System Flows," of the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Administrator's Guide (both online and hard copy). These flows are updated (along with additional flows and troubleshooting information) in the Microsoft BackOffice 4.5 Resource Kit. All flows contain file and folder names and locations, registry dependencies, SQL trigger information and thread component information. Flow diagrams and troubleshooting tips are provided for almost every aspect of site-to-site communications and client-to-site communications.

Windows NT Application and System Event logs

Windows NT Event Viewer often contains valuable information that is critical to the troubleshooting process. When a site or a site system is experiencing a problem, always check both the Application and System event logs to determine if the problem is caused by temporary network problems, device drivers, or third-party software.

Microsoft Knowledge Base articles

When an error message or an event is generated, always note the exact error message. Use the exact error or event number when you search for the issue in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base is included with a Microsoft TechNet subscription and is also available on the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/ms772425.aspx
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article contains a keyword list for searching SMS articles:
199435 SMS: Keywords list for searching

Sophisticated logging capabilities

After you use the SMS Status System to isolate the component that is experiencing the problem, you can enable one or more levels of component logging. Logging for all server components (with the exception of the SMS Site Provider) is disabled by default in SMS 2.0 and in SMS 2003 for performance reasons. If logging is enabled for all components, you may experience as much as a 15 percent performance degradation at the site server. Logging is very disk I/O intensive. If you want to enable logging, consider placing the log files on a different physical disk on the site server than on the disk that holds the SMS directory structure.

Each log has a maximum log file size. When that log size is reached, SMS renames the log file in the same directory with the extension .lo_.

Enabling logging

You can enable logging using either of the following methods.
Method 1: Use Service Manager in the Tools node of the Administrator Console
  1. To start Service Manager, right-click Service Manager in the Administrator console, and then click Start.
  2. Expand the nodes in the left pane to drill down to the appropriate server or component. In the right pane, right-click the component, and then click Logging.
  3. When you are prompted to enable logging, set the file location and the name of the file.

    Note When you troubleshoot a process, you can highlight multiple components and enable/disable logging for all components at once. You can also specify that all components log to a single file to make process troubleshooting simpler.
Method 2: Edit the registry for the site or component server on which you want to enable logging
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate the Component key under the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Sms\Tracing
  3. Set the Enabled value to 1 to turn on logging. Set the Enabled value to 0 to turn off logging.
  4. Quit Registry Editor.

Trace levels in logging

The information provided in the component logs is detailed enough to isolate the vast majority of problems. When you narrow down the problem to a specific action on which a component is not working, SMS provides two additional trace levels to the default log files:
  • SQL tracing
  • Network Abstraction Layer (NAL) Logging

SQL tracing

You can use SQL tracing when the component is interacting with SQL, and an error message is occurring but the SQL error log and the component log do not indicate where in SQL the problem is actually happening.

To enable SQL tracing, follow these steps:
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate the Sqlenabled value in the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Sms\Tracing
  3. Set the Sqlenabled value to 1 to turn on SQL tracing; set the Sqlenabled value to 0 to turn off SQL tracing.
  4. Quit Registry Editor.
  5. To initiate SQL logging, first you should stop and then restart the service that contains the thread(s) where SQL related action is being monitored.

Network Abstraction Layer (NAL) logging

NAL logging provides detailed information about how the component is attempting to connect to a network resource. To enable NAL logging, open the Turn_on_nal_logging.reg file on the site or component server that is experiencing the problem. To disable NAL logging, open the Turn_off_nal_logging.reg file on the site or component server. Both of these .reg files are located on the SMS CD-ROM in the Support\Reskit\Platform\Diagnose folder.

Keep in mind that enabling these two additional types of tracing further affects performance and makes the log files exceptionally hard to read.

The system flows in Appendix D of the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Administrator's Guide and the Microsoft BackOffice 4.5 Resource Kit list all the default log file names and components in the introduction of each flow.

Primary and secondary site Setup creates logs by default. Setup creates C:\Smssetup.log. Windows Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Setup logs are in the Windows folder under System32\Wbem\Logs. Secondary sites may also have a Bootstrap.log file on the root of the SMS target installation drive.

Log files always indicate when a component generated a status message and what that message was. A convenient way to look up a status message without having to query for it through the Administrator console is to use the tables in Chapter 26, "Status Messages," of the Microsoft BackOffice 4.5 Resource Kit to look up the message by ID number.

You can use the Smstrace tool to read, search, and view log files in real time. You can install this tool on any Microsoft Windows NT-based computer from the Support\Reskit\x86.bin\Smstrace folder on the SMS CD-ROM.

Properties

Article ID: 241001 - Last Review: September 30, 2007 - Revision: 6.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kbinfo kbnetwork KB241001

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