Unified physical and virtual IT management for midsized businesses
(thanks to Essentials team member Stephanie for this article!)
If you've tried to use the Remote Assistance task in the Essentials Computer space to connect to a Vista or Windows Server 2008 computer, you've found that the task to initiate a Remote Assistance session does not work. The task does not work because of a change in how Remote Assistance works in Vista and Server 2008.
In Windows XP and Server 2003, Remote Assistance was initated by using helpctr.exe. In Vista and Server 2008, Remote Assistance is initated by using msra.exe. helpctr.exe cannot be used to connect to Vista and Server 2008 computers. msra.exe can be used to connect to XP, Server 2003, Vista and Server 2008 computers. Also, msra.exe can only be executed on Vista and Server 2008 computers.
The Remote Assistance task in the Essentials computer space only uses helpctr.exe. That said, you do not need to wait for a new management pack release to get this functionality. Below are instructions on how to create your own task for Remote Assistance that will display in the Computer space and work with Vista and Server 2008.
In the Authoring space (the paper and pencil in the bottom of the wunderbar) expand Management Pack objects and right click on 'Tasks'. Choose create a new task. Choose Console Tasks\Command Line. Click next. Name the task "Remote Assistance for Vista/Server 2008". Chose a task target by clicking the Select... button and target "Windows Computer". Chose next. In the Application field, enter %SystemRoot%\system32\msra.exe. In the parameters field, add:
In the working directory, chose %SYSTEMROOT%\system32. Uncheck the option to display output when the task is run.
Now from the Computers space, choosing a computer in a view such as All Computers, your task will appear in the available tasks lists next to the Remote Assistance task that uses helpctr.exe. Note that this new Remote Assistance task will only work if you are using the Essentials console on a Vista or Server 2008 computer.
If you experience issues while evaluating Essentials 2010 Beta, please go to Forums or Microsoft Connect(if you are in TAP program) and report the issue. Please send the log files for the issue at email@example.com. Log file details and locations associated with the feature area are listed below.
Where <#> is an initial value of “0” and is incremented each time the Setup.exe is run.
%AppData%\Local \SCE\LOGS for Windows Server 2008
<LocalApplicationData> \SCE\LOGs for Windows Server 2003
There is only one instance of this file. Logging information is added to this file each time setup is run.
Contains the Windows Server Updated Services (WSUS) prerequisite check information
Contains the Essentials prerequisite check information.
Contains the WSUS prerequisite check information, modified for use in Essentials
Contains the Adjusted WSUS and Essentials prerequisite check information.
Contains the Windows Installer logs for the Essentials installation.
A log file created by WSUS. It will create WSUSSetupmsix.log and WSUSCa_x.log files
If debugging WSUS is required, we will need WSUSSetup.log WSUSSetupmsi_x.log and WSUSCa_x.log
WSUS registers some ASP.Net settings, so these files are created
Log file for installing Operations Manager component of Essentials
SQL Server Setup Logs:
Where:<version> is the SQL Server version number.
%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\ <version #>\Setup Bootstrap\Log\ <timestamp_version
SCEVMMClient.log: Contains the Windows Installer logs with chainers for the SCVMM client installation.
SCEVMMServer.log: Contains the Windows Installer logs with chainers for the SCVMM server installation.
<LocalApplicationData> \SCE\LOGs for Windows Server 2003
Log for OOBE/Feature Configuration
For locally distributed content
Event log for activities performed by Essentials.
This table indicates the current support for the indicated operating systems by System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 components.
Support installing the System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 management server?
Support installing the System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 agent (to manage the computer)?
Support installing the System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 remote console?
Windows Server 2008 R2
System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 supports managing computers running either the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. However, the following steps are required to enable management:
1. Upgrade the System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 Server to WSUS 3.0 SP2. For instructions on how to download WSUS 3.0 SP2 and the improvements in WSUS 3.0 SP2, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972455.
2. For Windows 7, download the Windows Client 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 Operating System management packs for Operations Manager 2007 and import it into System Center Essentials 2007 SP1.
3. For Windows Server 2008 R2, download the Windows Server Operating System management packs for Operations Manager 2007 and import it into System Center Essentials 2007 SP1.
For known issues refer to KB article KB974722
[Correction: The Vista SP1 package will be availabe via the Microsoft Update Catalog - I'll provide a link to the KB article detailing how to import Vista SP1 into Essentials once the article is live!]
Windows Vista SP1 will be released as an update on Microsoft Update (MU) Catalog. The patch is very large and there is a bug in Windows Server 2003 in the WinVerifyTrust API that will cause signing validation to fail.
What this means is that once you approve this update on a System Center Essentials 2007 server on a Windows Server 2003 server, every time the server sync’s from MU it will redownload the package, fail the cert validation, and so the download will fail. The problem will continue until you install the WinVerifyTrust patch on the System Center Essentials server. This patch is a hotfix (not a public GDR), so is not intended to be widely distributed. We recommend it only be installed on the System Center Essentials server itself.
You can obtain this hotfix here:
Windows Server Update Services cannot download large Windows update files in Windows Server 2003http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888303/en-us
Do you know what time it is? Yes, it’s THAT time…time for you to check out the next full release of System Center Essentials – SCE 2010! For those of you who were with us for the release of System Center Essentials 2007 a little over two years ago, you know that this is Microsoft’s IT management solution specifically designed for midsized businesses. From one console, SCE allows you to monitor and manage your servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services.
Over the last two years, we’ve been getting some great feedback from customers using SCE 2007, investigating ways to improve on the existing features AND address a new trend we’ve been seeing with customers’ virtualizing server workloads. Based on all this input, the engineering team has invested a lot of work into making the following updates in this next release. We’ve -
Plus a lot, lot more!So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading my blog entry and head to this URL to download the SCE 2010 trial! http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ee470677.aspx
Sr. Product Manager