How to Force System Center Configuration Manager Client Updates

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How to Force System Center Configuration Manager Client Updates

2 8 Mike Danseglio
Added by July 7, 2014

When working with System Center Configuration Manager 2007, 2012, or 2012 R2, you probably make changes to client configuration settings. Some of the changes don’t need to reach your managed clients very quickly, while others could be considered more important. For example, you may need to enable compliance evaluation and run an evaluation cycle prior to an impending IT audit. You need those settings retrieved and applied quickly so you have enough time to run your SCCM reports.
If you’re like most administrators, you’ll follow these steps:

1. Make the configuration changes in the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager console.
2. Instruct users to open Control Panel, click Configuration Manager, and select the Actions tab.
3. Click Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle, and then click Run Now. This is shown in Figure 1.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager The Run Now button is a trap

Figure 1. The Run Now button is a trap!

4. Read the message and click OK.
5. Expect the cycle to instantly finish.
6. If the cycle does not complete immediately, repeat steps 3-5.

What’s Really Happening?
The text in the message said, “The selected cycle will run and might take several minutes to refresh.” That is an accurate statement. The cycle does not always run immediately, and may run as a background thread at a low priority. That means there is a significant chance that the cycle will take a few minutes.

The Configuration Manager client is designed to not interfere with normal system operation. As a result, it uses its own internal logic to measure system activity and resource utilization and adjusts its behavior accordingly. That means when the CM client believes the system is too busy, it slows down or pauses its work. Regardless of how many times you press the Run Now button.

How Do I Force the Client to Do It Now?
You don’t. The Run Now button is a suggestion. There is no, “Do this immediately” button included with the System Center Configuration Manager client software. It is simply not designed to accept demands for instant results.

Is There Another Way? Perhaps a Tool…?
Yes! Luckily there’s an out-of-box tool called Client Center for ConfigurationManager that can help. While not included with the official Configuration Manager installation, it is well worth exploring for its rich client analysis and control options.

Enjoy and happy configuring!

Mike Danseglio -CISSP / CEH
Interface Technical Training – Technical Director and Instructor

Mike  teaches Microsoft System Center classes at Interface Technical Training in Phoenix, AZ. Many of his classes can be attended online from anywhere with RemoteLive

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  1. Avatar Rafael Bashiyo

    Mike Danseglio, Please…help me to fix a issue with SCCM 2012…. I downloaded Software update catalog to make HOMOLOGATION of Windows 10 version 1803…and, created a group to apply .. I stablished a time to run the deploy, and okay… Status appears that was deployed to 6 computers, but only one installed the updates…the others no signal…..but SCCM reports appears Status; Deployed , and GREEN color… so strange…. Could you help me to solve this problem,pleeeeease? Thanks

  2. Avatar andy barzyk

    nice tool.. thanks

  3. Avatar Bobby B

    Please keep in mind guys. You are not there to work on a Microsoft server but more to enjoy the Microsoft experience that Microsoft has chosen to provide. Windows 8, and 10, Windows Phones, are wonderful examples of where Microsoft clearly knows better than you do. The new leadership will keep applying this infallible knowledge until people realize they are useless and must retire themselves to using a community developed OS such as Linux.

  4. Avatar LB

    SCCM creates major issues for me and my field tech’s. After an image, they sit there for who knows how long for post-image pushes of updates, software, etc… to happen and it’s a considerable waste of resources and manpower.

  5. Avatar Jay Reafs

    Hey Joe,

    find the collection you want to push, highlight it, right click and choose “Client Notification” and then choose “Download computer Policy” this will make SCCM push the application package to the clients listed in the collection. Let me know if this helps!

  6. Avatar Mike R

    This is unfortunate. I understand the design limitations, but in any application of this type, a “Do It Now” button/command/function is necessary. We’re trying our hardest to convince our IT management that SCCM is the tool for Windows and one of the main points they argue is that Puppet and Chef have “Do It Now” capability. Major flaw in the application in my opinion.

  7. Avatar Joe

    Hi, I have a problem that I can’t figure out. I have System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The issue I have is that it takes a very long time to push out the client. Sometimes it doesn’t show up on the end-user computer for 1 or 2 days. Is there a way to shorten that time or to force it immediately?

    Thank you, I appreciate any help and guidance you may provide me.

  8. Avatar Allan Ray U. Ellamedo

    Thanks for this. I will try this and hopefully this is my luck.

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