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  • How to make the System Center Configuration Manager Client install faster

    When working with System Center Configuration Manager 2007, 2012, or 2012 R2, one of your primary tasks is to ensure that the Configuration Manager Client Agent is successfully installed and running properly. The agent must be running to make client configuration changes, to deploy software, to inventory the system, to process compliance audits, etc.

    Many folks think they can verify that the Configuration Manager Client Agent is fully installed and functional as soon as the Control Panel item appears as shown in Figure 1.

    001-All-Control-Panel-Items-Configuration-Manager-Client-Agent

    Figure 1. The client agent in Control Panel.

    What if that applet doesn’t appear in Control Panel? For example, maybe I am deploying the Configuration Manager agent to a Windows 8.1 client through a Client Push action. If the applet isn’t available I know that the installation could still be underway. So I want to verify that the deployment has begun on the client.

    To do that I connect to the Windows 8.1 client and run Task Manager. Yes, it really is this simple…

    002-Task-Manager-Configuration-Manager-Client-Agent

    Figure 2. Ccmsetup.exe is still running.

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    I’ve called out ccmsetup.exe because it is the process that the Client Push, and most deployment types, launches. If ccmsetup.exe is running I know two things:

    • The Client Push worked to begin the client agent deployment
    • The deployment is not yet finished

    So I may have only started this deployment recently, or perhaps the computer is under load and can’t spare much resource for the setup process. The latter is more likely the cause of the delay based on the performance data in Figure 2.

    How Do I Speed Up the Client Agent Install?

    I don’t. I simply wait a few minutes. I don’t reboot the computer, I don’t defrag the hard drive, run ipconfig/release, install an add-on tool, restart services, change the priority of processes, or do anything else.

    Ccmsetup.exe always verifies that its prerequisite software exists before installation, and installs anything required before installing the actual client agent. This usually takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, and I’ve seen it take upwards of 30. In all those cases, the client eventually installed successfully and the story had a happy ending. Tampering with the installation is not necessary and may cause more trouble than it’s worth.

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    So when in down about client agent installation speed, I strongly recommend that you just wait. Maybe take a walk outside? It’s a beautiful day. SCCM will be ready to go when you return.

    Enjoy and happy configuring!

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

    Mike Danseglio teaches Security classes at Interface Technical Training. His classes can be attended in Phoenix, Arizona or online from anywhere in the world with RemoteLive.

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