Tips and Tricks: Resolving “Failed to create virtual directory” Error When You Install a Remote Distribution Point in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

Tips and Tricks: Resolving “Failed to create virtual directory” Error When You Install a Remote Distribution Point in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

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The Configuration Manager console has been greatly improved in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, which enhances its usability. In addition to improvements in performance and layout, the console now supports a quicker way to monitor the status of distribution point site system roles.

Using this new monitoring capability, you might see that the installation of a distribution point on a computer other than the site server (known as a remote distribution point) displays an error, with the message Failed to create virtual directory. This failure often indicates that the distribution point computer must be rebooted so that the IIS installation and configuration can complete. This might not be the only reason for this error, but try the following process to resolve the problem:

  1. Reboot the remote distribution point and wait a few minutes.
  2. Distribute content to the distribution point.

The following screenshot shows an example of this Failed to create virtual directory error:

Note: There is a known issue in the current release where the error might not always clear to return the distribution point status back to a success state. We hope to address this issue in a future release.

If you double-click this message, the following dialog box provides more detailed information:


To see whether you have resolved the problem, refresh the Configuration Manager console, and look for the new messages IIS was configured successfully and Content was distributed to distribution point:



  • You might experience a remote distribution point installation failure with the error that the virtual directory could not be created.
  • To resolve this error, try rebooting the remote distribution point computer and then distribute content to the distribution point.
  • Check whether you now see messages that say that the IIS configuration is successful and that the content is distributed to the distribution point.

For more information about managing the content library in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, see Content Management in Configuration Manager in the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Documentation Library.


--Michael Wray

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


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  • Hi Michael

    thanks for the info. In my case the management point msi was failing to install. There were errors in the application log file to this effect. I manually ran the mp.msi file from \program files\Microsoft COnfiguration Manager\bin\x64\mp.msi and got error saying that IIS wasn't started. Turned out my default website was site ID=3. This can be checked using IIS Mgr and expanding the left tree down the Sites, then on the right side view the list of sites shows the ID column. Mine was 3, it seems that SCCM needs the default site to have an ID=1. To change it, run net stop was, answer Y to stop the listed services. Edit the file %WINDIR%\System32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config and search for ID="3" (or whatever your default site id currently is) and change it to 1. Save the file and then net start w3svc. Retry the installation of the management point (I ran the mp.msi file manually) and it should then be successful.

    Hope it helps someone else.


  • So was this issue pre or post SP1 ?  

    We have this issue on a couple of remote DPs and even though they have successfully recieved content and the IIS dirs are there, the error has not cleared.  Been over 2 months on one of the dps.

  • This entry was written about well before SP1 was released (Dec 2012 / Jan 2013). I have a 2012 SP1 CU2 environment and I still occasionally see this error.

  • Any idea what to try next if a simple reboot doesn't fix it?

  • I am running R2 and just deployed a Windows 7 64-bit DP and I am having this problem. Content is distributed just fine but I still have the error "Failed to create virtual directory". IIS is working and everything else seems to be fine. How can I resolve the error so my DP shows green?

  • We had a similar issue where the error status wouldn't clear (the error was displayed for 3 days). In our case, I ended up selecting one the Deployment Packages (listed under that DP) and triggered a Validate process. Once the validation process completed the Error Status for that DP disappeared.

  • if none of the previously listed does not work, you can put the empty file xxxx.dpu in the folder, where xxxx is DPID.
    P.S. Don't do it if DP was migrated from SCCM 2007!