Clean-up your inboxes!

One of the things I often get asked to do is to look over ConfigMgr 2007 installs and provide feedback on any issues I see.  One of the things I look at is the folders in \Microsoft Configuration Manager\Inboxes.  These folders contain all the activity of ConfigMgr and typically consist of files which are coming and going.  However, some times things go wrong and a bunch of files can start accumulating in these folders, eventually running you out of disk space.  This is never good and you should look into the root cause to fix it before worrying to much about the files themselves.  However, some things fix themselves, or some files are left behind after fixing the problem, and those problems are a nuisance that needs to be cleaned up and removed.  I will try and provide a list of some of the folders I look at and recommend cleaning up if there are old files in them.

I should make a note here that while you can just delete the files, and will be fine in most cases, it is a good practice to instead move the files to a temp folder long enough (a day or week) to make sure there are no negative repercussions from the file removals.  It is just smart to play it safe.

  • – This is for component summarizer messages.  If you have old stuff, it may not be relevant any more so remove the files.
  • – Configuration items, probably related to patches but perhaps for other things.  If the files are older than a week, they have probably been forgotten and can be removed.
  • Auth\\badmifs – Hardware inventory that was bad for some reason.  Often times the bad file will be a temporary thing and the system will self correct, leaving files behind.  Once you have investigated and solved the reason it is bad, feel free to remove the files.
  • – Don’t touch stuff in the subfolders, but if files in the root are old, site communication probably had a hiccup at some time and the files can be removed.
  •\badsinv – Software inventory gone bad, similar to the\badmifs.  Remove files once any investigation is done.
  • – These are status messages and old files can be removed as they are probably no longer relevant.
  • Auth\\corrupt – Old status messages here should be removed .  They are probably out of date anyway.
  • Auth\\regreq\bad_ddrs - These are discovery records that couldn't process for some reason.
  • - old .CEP files may become orphaned and can be safely deleted if older than a week


There are lots of inboxes, and I’m sure many of them also get file backlogs for various reasons.  these are just the ones I see most often.  As I see and validate them I will update this list as appropriate.

For a good list of all the inboxes and their purpose, see this technet article.

7/29 update - Added CEP files

Comments (8)
  1. Jim – These folders can be found on site servers only, and not on clients.

  2. Jim – I'm not sure what component you are referring to, or what other symptoms you might be having.  It is hard to do troubleshooting via blog comments so I would suggest you open up a phone support case if you need more assistance on that error.

  3. Sandy Wood says:

    Nice, pertinent post. A good reminder to go in and check how things are going in my inboxes. I'm going to add you post to my Outlook calender for a monthly perusal. Thanks.

  4. jim says:

    Hi Mike, is this related to XP? Reason I ask is because I'm not finding these folders on any XP or Windows 7 clients.

  5. jim says:

    Thanks Mike. Do you have any ideas on why I would be getting a -2147217406 error code value in the re-install log? Thanks!

  6. mod says:

    Great Post, tks!!

  7. Felyjos says:

    Excellent post and I found a lot of files older than 1 week 30K + older than 1 month 20K+ … huge…

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