Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SMS_Distribution_Manager Caught in a Loop

The other day I came across (read: caused) a potentially major and annoying issue when rebuilding a secondary site server. Things were going very well ... used a new site code, the server software installed perfectly, applied the R2 feature pack, configured site settings and setup all our packages to sync to the new server. With 250+ packages it was going to take through the weekend to finish, which i wasn't too worried about.

While that was going on, i decided to do a bit of package cleanup, deleted some old Novell uninstall packages that we no longer needed, to help clean things up a bit. What I didn't pay attention too is that these packages were scheduled to transfer, so when the packages were deleted ... the schedules weren't removed. Imagine my suprise on friday afternoon when i saw 60000 informational messages in my Site Status for this new site. The distmgr.log file was going crazy re-processing these 4 packages that no longer exist.

The bad part, is that because the server was stuck on these 4 packages, nothing else was getting processed by the site server ... which means no packages were installing.

After searching for fixes, the only ones i came across required the original package (with the original packageID). I didn't have this, soo i decided to fudge it a little:

1) i found 4 small .PCK files in the SMSPKG and copied them to a new folder
2) rename the .PCK files to the names of the missing packageIDs
3) copied them back into the SMSPKG folder
4) used the preloadpkgonsite.exe utility to tell the primary server that the package has arrived at the site server

At this point the secondary site server processed the package and unpackaged it too the SMSPKGx$ folder.

Probably not the best way to fix this ... but hey it worked!

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