There’s a new ConfigMgr tool just released from Microsoft called Support Center, in it’s beta stage, and open to the public. It’s primary purpose is for passing on Client diagnostic information to Microsoft Support Services, but it goes beyond that and, as you will see, has a selection of features for regular day-to-day activities that’ll make using this tool common-place for many.
First let’s go through the features that are going to be useful for day to day activities, noting that the tool can be run both remotely and locally.
Loading the tool we see we’ve got a Logs tab which brings up a CMTrace equivalent. It seems to be missing a highlight feature though which I used regularly, the searching has been pared down to Find (invoked using CTRL-F) and wild-carded filtering located just under the ribbon:
The filtering is performed as you type out the search string, it’s quite fast and useful for on the fly querying:
You can open logs directly from the Clients log folder, or choose a selection of logs that are merged together.
Here’s the option to open an individual log file, or to open a bunch of merged log files:
And here’s the option to open a bunch of logs quickly based on category, Application, Client Registration and Policy:
Those log groups can open quite a few files, if you have large log files I can imagine it’ll get a bit choppy here now and then, especially if it is remote, locally it works a treat.
In the logging tab you can also set the Client Logging verbosity as well as control the amount of archive files (*.lo_) as well as the maximum log file size:
The Troubleshoot tab let’s you know if the Client has any problems with AD lookup of the ConfigMgr published site objects, communication with the Management Point, general Networking tests, Policy assignments checks and finally Registration verification, below, a good healthy Client:
The Content tab shows entries for a Task Sequence (S0100037) and a Package that it deploys (S0100036) on my test Client:
The Client Policy tab is handy for looking quickly through the Policy settings being applied on a Client. Actual, Requested and Default Policy are there in their respective tabs:
You can also perform live monitoring of Policy events:
The Client Details tab lists basic client information, MP, Site code, and Client version amongst others:
And now, collecting Data from the Client from the Data Collection tab!
There’s several groups that data is collected for, Log files, Policy, Certificates, Client Configuration Collect, Client Registry, Client WMI, Troubleshoot, Debug dumps and Operating System. That’s a lot of data to cast over to find problems on a Client
I let it gather everything, it took a couple of minutes to complete:
When it’s done it’ll prompt you to save the resulting ZIP file, save that off somewhere we can return to later.
Now open the ConfigMgr Support Center Viewer, load in a bundle which is the ZIP you just saved from the Support Center tool, and, based on what you selected to collection, you’ll now be looking at a pretty cool viewer showing everything collected:
Here’s the data collected by that default Operating System step, there’s several tabs showing OS, Computer, Services and Network Adapter information:
Logs are there, with the option to open one, the debugs are not that helpful aside from showing their presence and who produced it, WMI is fully searchable, very handy, the Registry and Policy tabs are laid out the same:
On the Certificates tab there’s a handy list of Certificates and a Certificate viewer:
That covers most of it, download the tool and check it out in your environment, see how useful it is to you, looks like you’ll be asked by Microsoft Support services to run this in the future. It is an open beta keep that in mind, you can read up and download the tool here
If you get no page found it’s because you need to sign into Connect and then go find the Configuration Manager Open Beta Program:
You’re looking for this:
You should be able to sign up to it and the tool should be listed under Downloads.
Once you’ve had a play with the tool, if you have feedback submit it on Connect here
It got an update on February 12, 2014: connect.microsoft.com/.../DownloadDetails.aspx
Look like a pretty useful tool this, one to have in the kit bag so to speak.