Is the Documentation for Migrating a Site to Native Mode Missing a Step to Uninstall/Reinstall the Management Point?

This is a question I was asked recently on our TechNet forums, from a customer who had successfully migrated 8 sites to native mode.  He found that if he uninstalled the management point, migrated the site, then reinstalled the management point – the migration went much smoother and asked if this step was missing from the documentation.


What I think he stumbled upon, was a quirky, intermittent problem we’ve seen a few times but can’t yet pin down – and we suspect it’s an odd timing issue. Configuration Manager thinks that the site migration is successful (see How to Verify Native Mode Migration Is Complete), and clients pick up the native mode client communication (see How to Determine the Site Mode for a Configuration Manager Client), but clients don’t successfully communicate with the management. They might fail to download policy, or download policy but then reject it. A good symptom to watch out for is that although they say that they are assigned with the correct site code, the Client column in the Configuration Manager console displays No.


What seems to be happening is that some registry key values aren’t being populated as expected. Uninstalling and reinstalling the management point triggers a repopulation, although sometimes the uninstall/reinstall needs to be done more than once.  The registry key to check is HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\MP. When you look at this registry key with Regedit, you’ll see a list of values. The ones at the bottom of the list (shown below) are related to the native mode certificate settings and each one should have data associated with it.


Registry values for native mode management point 


If you see values here that are missing data (blank) after migrating a site to native mode, try uninstalling and reinstalling the management point, refreshing the Regedit display, and checking again.  When these values are correctly populated with data, clients will automatically recover by themselves in time, or to expedite the process you can reinstall them. If the native mode management point is being used for Internet-based clients, make sure that the PublicDNSName value is also populated (blank in the picture example).


We’ve flagged this up to CSS because we’ve seen it often enough to be concerned that there is something odd going on here, but there’s no KB published or planned at this point because we haven’t yet identified the exact cause.  Identifying the problem is tricky, because migrating the site shouldn’t need to uninstall/reinstall the management point (which is why it isn’t in the documentation) but seems to resolve the issue. The exact symptoms you see can vary, depending on which data values are missing – so some of the error messages in the logs can be misleading.


You can find more information about this from the SMS&MOM blog (see ConfigMgr 2007: Clients fail to connect to a Management Point after moving from Mixed to Native mode), where J.C. Hornbeck has included examples of typical log file entries that we’ve found related to this issue.  And when we know more, we will let you know.


- Carol


This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights.

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