Microsoft has come up with a new tool called SCCM 2012 Support Center Tool. You might wonder why this tool ?. The reason is when you call up Microsoft Technical Support to address an issue with Configuration Manager clients, you would sometimes need to manually collect log files and other information to help support personnel to diagnose and address the issue. This tool will collect all the necessary files so that you need need not do it manually. The System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Support Center helps you to gather information about System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients, so that you can more easily address issues with those clients when working with product support specialists. SCCM 2012 Support Center tool gathers a bundle of log files which will help product support specialists to examine log files and other client data for in-depth analysis of issues with Configuration Manager clients.
SCCM 2012 Support Center Tool also includes Configuration Manager Support Center Viewer, a tool that support personnel can use to open the bundle of files that you create using Configuration Manager Support Center. SCCM 2012 Support Center tool also includes PowerShell cmdlets that can be used to create a remote connection to another Configuration Manager client, to configure the data collection options provided on the Data Collection tab, and to start data collection. So this tool will create a zip file as output that contains all of the relevant log files on your Configuration Manager client that you can send to support personnel.
The installation is very simple, you need to check the system requirements before installing this tool. In this post I will be installing the support center tool on my SCCM Primary site server. Run the installer and accept the license terms and click Install.
Click Finish to complete the installation.
Launch the Configuration Manager Support Center, the first thing that you see is that of Data Collection. This window allows you to select the various kinds of tasks that are very useful for troubleshooting client related issues. You can click on Collect Selected Data and choose to collect only the data for enabled tasks or collect data for all the items.
When you run the Data Collection step for the selected items all the relevant data is collected and stored in a .zip file.
In the next tab we see Client Details feature. Click on Load or refresh to get the information about the configuration manager client properties such as Client ID, Hardware ID, client version, Site Code etc. You can also connect to a remote machine and check the client properties.
The next feature that we see is the Client Policy. There are lot of things to know here, when you click on Load Actual Policy you see the set of policies that are applicable to the configuration manager client. You also have got an option to request policy and evaluate policy.
In the Content tab, when you click Content you get to know what applications, packages and updates have been deployed or assigned to the client. You get to know about the application name, whether its installed or not and many other properties. If you click on Invoke Trigger it allows you to run the actions such as Application deployment evaluation, Software updates deployment evaluation, Software update source scan, Windows installer source list update. You can also monitor the progress of application deployment and software update deployment by clicking on Monitoring. The Cache option gives you the information on client cache configuration and details about cache contents.
When you click on Inventory tab, you can Load the inventory data for that client. The Invoke Trigger invokes inventory related client actions such as File collection cycle, Discovery data collection cycle, Hardware inventory cycle, IDMIF collection cycle, Software inventory cycle and Software metering report cycle.
On the Troubleshooting tab, you can click on Start troubleshooting. This executes troubleshooting tasks listed in the left column of the below screenshot and displays the state of each task.
The last one is Logs. We normally use CMTrace tool to view the configuration manager log files. With this feature you can open the log file right in the same window and use filters to include or exclude the entries from the log file.
One of the cool feature of this tool is you can connect to remote machine using an option called Remote Connection.
Provide the remote machine name (IP address also works here). Specify the credentials to connect to remote machine and click Apply. You can also use Integrated Authentication to connect to remote machine.
Overall this is a very good tool and I can say it’s a All in One tool that can be used for troubleshooting sccm client related issues.