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  • How to Force System Center Configuration Manager Client Updates

    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.

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    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.

    You may also like:  How to Verify a System Center Configuration Manager Client is Finished Installing

    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

    See what people are saying...

    1. andy barzyk

      nice tool.. thanks

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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!

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. Allan Ray U. Ellamedo

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

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