It seems not everyone is aware that there are a handful of command line parameters available for the ConfigMgr console executable. They are listed here on the MSDN Library and can be used for advanced troubleshooting, maybe some scripting or even if you just want to take a look around.
So if you want to run them you should fire up a command prompt or even edit your shortcut and run the ConfigMgr console executable follow by the relevant switch. Note if you do want to edit a shortcut you only need the “SMS:Debugview” section without the backslash or equals.
TOP TIP: Why not create several shortcuts with each parameter and store them on your desktop with an appropriate name.
The ConfigMgr console default location is here:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\bin\Microsoft.ConfigurationManagement.exe"
and you should add the relevant parameter below:
So what do they actually do any what will you see? Well the descriptions pretty much give the game away but I’m going to take a look into them here. If you are not familiar with WMI or WBEM then you might want to take a quick visit to this page first so this makes some kind of sense to you.
So the first thing you will notice is that we have a new workspace to play with “Tools”.
In here you can select a class you want to investigate, type a Rel Path or Query if you want, hit the “Show Details” button and hey presto you can view the associated Properties, Methods and Instances.
From the Instances you can drill down further if required by selecting your instance and clicking “Open Instance”.
“That’s pretty cool” I hear you say, but that’s not all. As you browse your way around the console in the normal way you will notice as you right click objects you are given an extra item “Show Object Details”.
If you select that option you are brought back into the Tools workspace straight into to the item you selected where you can look at the properties of that also
Good? Well that’s still not all!
Whilst you’re in the console you can switch to debug view for that view – be warned though this doesn’t apply to everything.
So here’s your normal view:
If you hit the drop down at the top left you will see you have the option to “Switch to Debug View”
and look what happens to your view now
if you keep scrolling you will see the numerous columns that are added which you are sure to find useful when trying to get to the bottom of your problem.
Now despite the description, I’m struggling to see the difference here between this and the Debug view. It seems to give the same workspace options and console extensions. So, I’m more than happy to be corrected but I’m going to class this as the same. Please comment or email me (peter at wmug.co.uk) if you have more info.
This view will essentially reset any customisations you may have made to your view such as extra columns. In my example below you will see I have added some extra columns into view:
Normally these customisations to the view would remain if I restart the same console as the same user. After running the console with the resetsettings parameter you will see any customisations are gone:
It’s as simple as that really. You may find this useful in a lab, demo or training environment.
This does exactly what it says, it strips out any console extensions you may have installed on your machine. The easiest examples are MDT and right click tools.
So for example if you have MDT integration with your console you would normally see the option to create an MDT task sequence like so:
Run the console with the ignoreextensions parameter and you’ll get the ‘out of the box’ view.
As with the Namespace view, I struggle to see what this gives us in ConfigMgr 2012 R2. In my testing it simply fires up a fresh console the same as you would see normally. After some searching, the only use I could see for this was if you experience a failed connection from your console then it should fire up a ‘clean’ console. Again, very happy to be corrected but I don’t see much for this when armed with the other console parameters above.
So that’s it. Hopefully I’ll get more info about the namespace and norestore options and update this post further, but for now enjoy!