Clients Never See the Pop Up Balloon in the Systray

I ran into a really strange issue a while back with a customer and then last month I hit the same issue with a different customer.

Have you run into an issue where you send out a normal software distribution but the clients never see the pop up balloon in the systray informing them that they have a program that will run?  You know that this should work because you have the “Display Notification” checkbox check in the admin console but no matter what you try the client still will not display the notification in the systray. 

The New Program Notification for clients is controlled by two Policy entries and if either entry is set to FALSE then the new program pop up notification will not show in the systray.  These two Policies are found in the following WMI locations and can be viewed with Wbemtest:

1.  Root\CCM\Machine\Policy, once there then look at the CCM_SoftwareDistributionClientConfig item.  Look at the instances and then choose “Show Mof”.  You will see a box similar to this:


2.  Root\CCM\Machine\Policy, once there then look at the CCM_ClientAgentConfig item.  Look at the instances and then choose “Show Mof”.  You will a box similar to this: 


Notice how one box says True and one says False.  This will cause the Notification to fail.  You can manually change this setting in WMI and it will work for a while but policy will change it back to a False setting causing notifications to once again fail.

Once a Client is in this state it is fairly easy to get them out of it.  Follow the steps below to fix this issue:

1.  Verify that the Display Program Notification checkbox is checked in the admin UI.  If it is not checked, check it and wait for the policy to update on the client.

2. Go into the “Computer Client Agent properties” for this clients parent, choose the Customization tab and make a change to the “Organization Name” field.  Click OK to keep the change.

3. Wait a couple of minutes for the policy provider on the server to write the policy into the database

4. Force the client to refresh policy or wait for the normal policy refresh

That should flip the above bits to True and allow Notifications to happen on the client.  This has been filed as a bug.

One additional note is that this is a Per Site setting so you will need to change this at each site where clients are having the issue.  Making the change at the central site will not fix the problem.  You can use the console connected to the central site to make the change at each site but you will need to allow time for the changes to flow from the central site to the child sites.  I would recommend that you make the change at each site and then let the changes flow up to the central site.

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