Controlling Configuration Manager 2012 Using Hidden Files

Controlling Configuration Manager 2012 Using Hidden Files

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GrayAndYellowGearsThere are some files that you can use in order to activate or deactivate some features in Configuration Manager 2012 on client side or server side, such as preventing Software Inventory for a particular folder or preventing the installation of ConfigMgr files on a machine. Here’s some information on some of those files and how you might use them to control your Configuration Manager environment.  The files are as follows:

  • NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS
  • ARCHIVE_REPORTS.SMS
  • SKPSWI.DAT

So what do these files do?

SKPSWI.DAT

This file can be used for skipping the Software inventory Process for a partition or for a folder. If you want to prevent software inventory on a drive/partition or folder you can create a hidden file named SKPSWI.DAT and place it on the root of the drive/partition/folder.

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When do you, or can you use it?

In order to avoid the overhead of running software inventory on large disks with a large number of files that you do not need collected, you can create a hidden file named Skpswi.dat and place it in the root folder of each disk drive that you want excluded from software inventory. From that point forward, no software inventory will occur for those drives or folders unless the Skpswi.dat file is removed.

The Skpswi.dat file can also be used to avoid a software inventory collection rule. For example, if you have a rule to inventory "\WINDOWS", that entire folder tree will be skipped on any Configuration Manager client that has a Skpswi.dat file in the \ WINDOWS folder. Disks with a Skpswi.dat file are not scanned to find files that are to be collected.

You can also place this file in the root of any folder structure you want to exclude from software inventory. This procedure can be used to disable software inventory on a single workstation or server client, such as a large file server. Software inventory will not inventory the client drive again unless this file is deleted from the drive on the client computer.

For more information see the following:

How to Exclude Folders From Software Inventory: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb632671.aspx

ConfigMgr (SCCM) - Skip Software Inventory : http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/6568.configmgr-sccm-skip-software-inventory.aspx

NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS

This file is used to prevent Configuration Manager from installing binaries to a volume. By default, when you install System Center 2012 Configuration Manager on a remote Site System, the SMS Site Component Manager Service installs the binaries (files and folders) for the Site System on the NTFS-formatted volume that contains the most free space. You may want to use an NTFS volume other than the default volume for your remote Site Systems by preventing ConfigMgr from enumerating certain NTFS volumes.

In order to prevent CM from enumerating an NTFS volume, on the remote server you can create a text file that is named NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS and put the this file on the root folder of all NTFS volumes where you do not want to install the binaries (SMS folder) for the ConfigMgr components.

By default, the Configuration Manager Site server role component installation files are installed on the first available NTFS formatted disk drive with the most available free disk space. However, some files are not installed in the default installation folder. Configuration Manager will not install site role component files on a drive that contains a file named NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS. Instead, site role components will be installed on a different NTFS formatted disk drive that does not contain the NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file.

The NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file prevents site system role component installation, on a drive with this file present, for all site systems that are installed by site component manager. If site role installation files are already present on the drive before placing the NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file on the drive, the installation files are not moved.

Our recommendation is to create the NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS on a volume where you do not want Configuration Manager to put files, before installing Configuration Manager or a Configuration Manager Site server role component.

For more information see the following:

How to specify the NTFS volume that a Systems Management Server 2003 remote site system is installed on: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/871234

How to Prevent Configuration Manager From Installing Files on a Specific Drive: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb632890.aspx

ARCHIVE_REPORTS.SMS

This is a client side file and is used when hardware/software inventory troubleshooting needs to be done.

When troubleshooting ConfigMgr client software or hardware inventory, you might want to retain the XML files that contain details on what the latest scan discovered (regardless whether the scan was a full scan or just a delta). In order to do this we have to create a file named “archive_reports.sms” and place it in the following location:

ConfigMgr 2007: Place archive_reports.sms in %systemroot%\system32\ccm\inventory\temp\ or within %systemroot%\SysWOW64\ccm\inventory\temp\ depending if the machine is x64 or x86. Normally, on a regular client this would be as follows: C:\WINDOWS\system32\CCM\Inventory\temp\

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ConfigMgr 2012: Place archive_reports.sms in %systemroot%\ccm\inventory\temp\ for both 64-bit and 32-bit computers.

There are two situations where you can use this depending on the type of client:

1. To keep inventory reports on a client (that is not an MP), create the following file:

  • ConfigMgr 2007: %systemroot%\system32\ccm\inventory\temp\archive_reports.sms
  • ConfigMgr 2012: %systemroot%\ccm\inventory\temp\archive_reports.sms

2. To keep inventory reports on a MP (that is also a client), create the following file:

  • ConfigMgr 2007 or ConfigMgr 2012: <x>:\sms_ccm\inventory\temp\archive_reports.sms

The XML file will be saved in the inventory\temp folder.

Important

Delete the archive_reports.sms file when you are done troubleshooting or you will collect all other files from this point forward.

Here is an example of Discovery generated XML

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Here is an example of Full Hardware Inventory XML

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Here is an example of Delta Software Inventory XML

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For more information on logging please see the following: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rslaten/archive/2006/03/14/sms-2003-logging.aspx

Radu Tomoiaga | Support Engineer | Management and Security Division

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  • Good information and clearly explained. Thx!

  • The file name that should be used to exclude a drive/folder from software inventory is SkpSWI.dat (not SkpWI.dat).  

    How to Exclude Folders from Software Inventory in Configuration Manager -

    technet.microsoft.com/.../bb632671.aspx

  • Hi

    Is 'NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS' file case senstive?

    Is this file has to be a text file only?

    technet.microsoft.com/.../bb632890.aspx

    Above technet URL asking to create 'no_sms_on_drive.sms' file only. Text file is not mentioned in this URL.

    Please clarify

  • You forgot to detail the "die_evil_bug_die.sms" file.  Is that still in use?

  • Yes the name is Skpswi.dat . In the screenshot the name is correct. There was a typo here.

    The link is also provided in this article

    How to Exclude Folders From Software Inventory: technet.microsoft.com/.../bb632671.aspx

  • Hello Navdeep,

    In the link provided in this blog you can find:

    To prevent Configuration Manager from installing files on a specific drive

    1.Create an empty file named no_sms_on_drive.sms.

    2.Place the no_sms_on_drive.sms file at the root folder of any drive that you want to prevent Configuration Manager 2007 from installing files on.

    noteNote

    You can create a no_sms_on_drive.sms file in the root folder of all drives except for drives that you have specified as server share site systems.

  • Hi Mearsma , you can find more info about die_evil_bug_die.sms in here:

    blogs.technet.com/.../dial-me-in-baby-and-the-other-magical-files-of-configuration-manager.aspx

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