Support Tip: SMSExec crashes after modifying the Maximum Number of Retries setting in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

~ Clint Koenig

ToolsHi everyone, Clint Koenig here with a quick support tip for you. We’ve seen this issue a few times now and it can be easy to hit so if any of you happen to run across it then this will hopefully show you how to get things working again.


SMSExec crashes and prevents deployments from successfully being sent out. If you look in crash.log you’ll see entries similar to the following:

Time =
Service name = SMS_EXECUTIVE
Executable = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\smsexec.exe
Process ID = 2636 (0xa4c)
Thread ID = 5052 (0x13bc)
Instruction address = 00007FFA2157AB78
Exception = eeeeffff (EXCEPTION_SMS_FATAL_ERROR)
Description = "Invalid params exception was raised. Expression is: []. function [], File [] Line [0]."
Raised inside CService mutex = No

Typically, you’ll see some failure in the distmgr.log, indicating why a package may be in a retry condition:

Distmgr thread 5052
Attempting to add or update a package on a distribution point.
<Date/Time> ISTR0="<Description>" ISTR1="["Display=\\<DPServerName>\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=<Sitecode>"]\\<DPServerName>\" ISTR2="" ISTR3="" ISTR4="" ISTR5="" ISTR6="" ISTR7="" ISTR8="" ISTR9="" NUMATTRS=2 AID0=400 AVAL0="<PackageID>" AID1=404 AVAL1="["Display=\\<DPServerName>\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=<Sitecode>"]\\<DPServerName>\"
The current user context will be used for connecting to ["Display=\\<DPServerName>\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=<Sitecode>"]\\<DPServerName>\.~
Failed to make a network connection to \\<DPServerName>\ADMIN$ (0x35).~
~Cannot establish connection to ["Display=\\<DPServerName>\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=<Sitecode>"]\\<DPServerName>\. Error = 53


This is a known issue that can occur if a sites Maximum Number of Retries (under Administration -> Site Configuration -> Sites -> Right Click Site -> Configure Site Components -> Software Distribution -> Maximum Number of Retries) setting is modified to a value lower than the current retry count for a failing package.

NOTE The default value is 100

When this happens, SMS Executive may crash in the Distribution Manager thread. The crash occurs because ConfigMgr doesn’t correctly handle the case where the current package retry count is more than the max retry count and a package distribution error is encountered.

The current retry count for an individual package is stored in the Number of Retries value in the following Registry key:


For example:

Forced Disconnect =
Last Retry = 1391793343
Number of Retries = 45
Package Priority = 2


This is a known issue in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and an update is being investigated. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

As a workaround, return the Maximum Number of Retries value to the previous setting (100 by default). To ensure that you do not encounter this issue, if the Maximum Number of Retries value must be lowered then make sure that there are no packages in a retry condition before doing so.

Clint Koenig | Senior Support Escalation Engineer | Microsoft GBS Management and Security Division

Get the latest System Center news on Facebook and Twitter:

clip_image001 clip_image002

System Center All Up:
System Center – Configuration Manager Support Team blog:
System Center – Data Protection Manager Team blog:
System Center – Orchestrator Support Team blog:
System Center – Operations Manager Team blog:
System Center – Service Manager Team blog:
System Center – Virtual Machine Manager Team blog:

Windows Intune:
WSUS Support Team blog:
The AD RMS blog:

App-V Team blog:
MED-V Team blog:
Server App-V Team blog:

The Forefront Endpoint Protection blog :
The Forefront Identity Manager blog :
The Forefront TMG blog:
The Forefront UAG blog:

Comments (1)
  1. Anonymous says:

    227 Microsoft Team blogs searched, 60 blogs have new articles. 150 new articles found searching from

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content