ConfigMgr client constantly reinstalling every 5 hours

Posted: January 13, 2015 in Configuration Manager, Solved, System Center
Tags: , , ,

I first had this happen on just one of my servers. It was annoying and was causing massive numbers of WMI entries in the event logs each time it happened. I tried to just stop and disable the ConfigMgr client, but it would be “reactivated” again by something. Recently at a client site I found it happening an a large number… so time to investigate.

I checked there were no push jobs running, but there was *something* causing it to repeat. Some digging later and I finally found the reason.

There is a scheduled task created by CCMSETUP to retry if it isn’t able to install correctly on the first attempt. Under some circumstances, this task isn’t cleaned up and so the reinstall keeps happening

SOLUTION

To find the culprit, open Task Scheduler and look for the “Microsoft\Microsoft\Configuration Manager” folder. I’d say there is a “mistake” somewhere that has caused it to be created in this extra folder, but under normal circumstances it would never be noticed as it would be deleted, or never created in the first place.

get-scheduledtask -taskname "Configuration Manager Client Retry Task"

CCMReinstall-BadTo stop the reinstalls, delete the “Configuration Manager Client Retry Task”. You can then delete the Task folders as well. If you have a lot to do you can also use this PowerShell command

unregister-scheduledtask -taskname "Configuration Manager Client Retry Task" -confirm:$false

On a “good” client, these folders won’t even appear

CCMReinstall-Good

I suspect this happens when CCMSETUP has been run and is unable to install, most likely because it can’t contact the MP or DP. When this happens it creates the scheduled task so that CCMSETUP will still run again if the computer is restarted (I have been reminded that CCMSETUP creates a service to handle the reboot survival, so the scheduled task is something else perhaps). If the client is successfully installed at a later time, I expect this task would be deleted (further testing needed to confirm)

If rather than waiting you then run CCMSETUP again, it “stops” the existing installer attempt but doesn’t seem to cleanup the scheduled task. Once the new setup has finished, the client is working but the scheduled task still keeps triggering it again.

 

Comments
  1. dragonspeed says:

    Bingo… I found this happened on my clients too. Forgot to update the thread that I had started in forums. Glad that you found it and wrote about it… Now it’s out there for others to find and see.

  2. JJ says:

    What causes this to happen every 5 hours? We’ve disabled the startup script and it seems to have stopped but it wasn’t happening on all clients. Seems like this setting would be related.

    Configure Configuration Manager 2012 Site Assignment Enabled
    Assigned Site xxx
    Site Assignment Retry Interval (Mins) 60
    Site Assignment Retry Duration (Hours) 4

    • Scott says:

      I don’t know exactly why, but I suspect it may be when a client install is attempted but is unable to complete, and then another ccmsetup is started. The new CCMSETUP aborts the previous one that was running, but doesn’t seem to cleanup correctly, possibly because the path to that scheduled task seems like it is incorrectly located and not where the “cleanup” expects it to be.
      I didn’t see it happen on that many machines though and it hasn’t happened again since the environment build was completed.

  3. Hmmm when trying to sort broken client installs, I’ve sometimes just used the sc.exe command to blat the ccmsetup service (and then uninstall remotely using psexec). I do wonder if I’ve left things like this behind… I’d have hoped that the clean uninstall would clear up the scheduled task. Something for me to look into!

    • Scott says:

      I don’t think it would clean it up because it’s not supposed to be there. The proper task gets cleaned up, but I don’t know what action is installing it into the wrong path in the first place.

  4. Amy Blumenthal says:

    THANK YOU!!!! When I ran across this problem a while ago I tried all sorts of things to fix it – all unsuccessful since none of those solutions touched Task Scheduler. I’ve just restarted the computer – it seems to have gotten to Ctrl Alt Del a bit faster, and Software Center shows up on it right away (rather than it disappearing/reappearing every time CCM reinstalls itself). Now to go back and fix the other computers I’ve seen this on.

  5. Ryan says:

    great article – I’m running your command line in powershell
    unregister-scheduledtask -taskname “Configuration Manager Client Retry Task” -confirm:$false

    but it fails…something mistyped or space missing?

  6. AddedInfo says:

    should it be -confirm $false (space not colon), or just leave -confirm off altogether since it looks like just a switch.

    • Scott says:

      it should be with a “:”, but you can also leave it out if you want. You may just have to accept a “Are you sure you want to do this” prompt is all.

  7. Hassan says:

    Hi ,

    I have the same issue, client keeps upgrading them selves every day. I found the scheduled task and as a test i deleted the task on my PC. To my surprise it still tried to update config manager even though the client is up to date. I have even unticked automatic client upgarde for the site and it keeps happening.

    • Scott says:

      Is it actually installing the client again, or just running the check for the client version? Does CCMSETUP.LOG show the full download/install process happening?

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