SCOM Management pack fails to import due to nulnulnul entries in xml

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

Had something funny today, with an unsealed management pack failing to import.
It gave an error like so:

The management pack cannot be imported.
Xml failure while validating maangement pack. [Line: 227, Position 18]
hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character. Line 227, postion 18.

As it turns out when opening the xml file in Notepad++ we saw a lot of nulnulnul entries at the end of the file.

Mp nul

This seems to have been caused by copying the file around. Another instance from where it was copied from did not have these entries. It does not always happen, but just occasionally.

Solution is simple of course... delete those nulnulnul entries at the end of the file and try to import again.

A friend of mine, Yvo Quirijnen, already ran into this last week while trying to import other management packs in the same environment and found those nulnulnul entries. As we could not find posts from other people running into this I thought to post it here, just in case you run into this.

Happy importing!
Bob Cornelissen

Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager book available

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

Lately we have gotten many questions about when the book Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager from Sybex would be available. It is great that you all have so much interest in what we are writing about and when you can get your hands on it! B)

Well, a few weeks ago the printing presses started rolling and last week the boxes with books started to be sent out to the big book stores. Depending on where your closest book store is this moves faster or slower. Officially we understood that in the Amazon stores the books would be available around 6 November in the USA and 9 November in Europe.

However.... I got word that the Amazon.com site in the USA already has it in stock! :D

So this is a good time to buy the book and get started with it! Also if you order on one of the european sites you know it will not be long until you receive it so start pre-ordering! And while you are there, also take a look at the Mastering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager book from our ConfigMgr friends.

Again our website is: www.masteringscom.com where you can find some more information about the book and the authors.

Links where you can order the book at a number of Amazon stores in Europe and the US:

Order your copy here from the Amazon COM site
Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager at Amazon UK
Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager at Amazon DE Germany
Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager at Amazon FR France
Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager at Amazon IT Italy
Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager at Amazon ES Spain


Mastering SCOM 2012 Cover

Change product key in windows server 2012 or windows 8

Uncategorized, Windows 2012 15 feedbacks »

While playing around with some freshly installed Windows Server 2012 machines I wanted to Activate Windows, so clicked the appropriate option and it gave me an error. Had not yet entered a key, but saw that the activation wizard seemed to think I had a key (it displays the last few characters of the key). If you wanted to change the product key in previous versions there simply was a button for that with the activation wizard. That is gone now in Windows 2012 and Windows 8.

After a little search I found the first method and after a little more searching I found a KB article talking about this and other methods.

Solutions are all simple (if you know them):

1. Use slmgr

  • Open an elevated command prompt and type the following commands:
  • slmgr -upk
    This will remove the key first
  • slmgr -ipk xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx
    This will add your key. Of course replace the xyzyx-xyzyx with your own real key.
  • Activate Windows (you will probably have popups already during this process)

2. Use slui.exe

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  • In the search box, type Slui.exe 0x3.
  • Tap or click the Slui.exe 0x3 icon.
  • Type your product key in the Windows Activation window, and then click Activate.

3. You can also use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 3.0 to change the product key remotely, or if you want to change the product key on multiple computers.

The last two methods I found referenced in this KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2750773 (and the first one is to be found there as well in a way).

Would still be nice to get that old button back somehow B)

Bob Cornelissen

System Center 2012 UR3 released

SCOM, DPM, Service Manager, System Center, SCOM 2012 2 feedbacks »

Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 has been released today. It contains a number of fixes for SCOM, DPM and SCSM.

KB 2756127 - Description of Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 explains the fixed items and the methods to download the updates and the installation instructions.

If you want to update to this version I suggest you take a close look at the KB article. The installation instructions do not reveal any strange steps. Looks the same as the UR1 and UR2 updates as far as installation order and methods are concerned.

Update 11 October -> This is the first SCOM update which also gets pushed through WSUS! Just saw the UR3 agent rollup appear on a WSUS customer at one of my customers and upon investigation found also the UR3 for the other SCOM components. If you have WSUS check out the products you can manage updates for and see the ever growing list. Always a good thing to check through the list every so many months and see what you dont need anymore and what additional items you might need.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM 2012 - restart all SCOM agents in management group

SCOM, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

By request, hereby a script which restarts all SCOM 2012 agents in the management group. This is run from for instance a management server. It picks up the names of all agents (not the management servers!) and gets the HealthService of those machines and restarts it. The script does not yet have error handling, but it displays its information as to which machine it is handling currently and what the verbose output is of the restart-service command.

SCOM 2012 - restart all SCOM agents in management group

Enjoy!
Bob Cornelissen

SCOM 2012 enable agent proxy for all machines

SCOM, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 8 feedbacks »

I have been seeing a number of questions where people want to know how to set the agent proxy default setting in SCOM 2012 to enabled.
For instance for SCOM 2007 I had a post which contained a command near the bottom of the post with a simple command to change the default setting to enabled, so any newly installed agent would also get proxying enabled.

Well, I have not been able to find this default setting or the command on how to get there in 2012.

One thing you could do is run a command which takes the currently installed agents and checks if any of them do not have proxying enabled and if so, change that setting for those agents. If you run it regularly you should be OK. The following command will do that.

Get-SCOMAgent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled.Value -eq $False} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

Note 1: My friend Kevin Greene does a trick when installing a new environment as shown in this blog post. Whenever he starts clean, he first installs agents to any machines where he knows agent proxying is needed, and then runs a script which enables agent proxying for all those current agents. Afterwards he installs the rest of the agents which do not need agent proxying. This makes for a good start in new deployments.

Note 2: Remember that enabling of agent proxy contains an inherent risk in it, as somebody could try to insert false data into those machines and it could forward that data to the SCOM database, thus causing denial of service and false data in reports and such. I have never heard of any occurance of this situation though.
Another reason why I am not very afraid of this is because there are a lot of roles which require this agent proxy setting, and those are generally the most important machines (AD, DNS, SQL, Exchange, ISA, TMG, SCCM, and so on and so on). So if anybody tries to hack machines in order to exploit whatever they would probably go for those important servers anyway. Next to having proxying enabled on those which contains that risk mentioned before, those boxes contain much more interesting data than a SCOM agent I am sure :)

Enjoy your proxying agents!
Bob Cornelissen

Operations Manager Error: The All Management Servers Pool has not reported availability

SCOM, Active Directory, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 7 feedbacks »

IMPORTANT: Do NOT use this fix anymore for any SCOM 2012 or SCOM 2012 SP1 or SCOM 2012 R2 instances. In these cases internal processes take care of this. Do NOT create these registry keys unless you really have to. They were used for pre-rtm versions, but not any more for currently used versions.

Microsoft released a KB article for cases where you get this error while running SCOM 2012 on a single management server:

Operations Manager Error: The All Management Servers Pool has not reported availability

You may also see the following events related to the Pool Manager:

Description:

The pool member cannot send a lease request to acquire ownership of managed objects assigned to the pool because half or fewer members of the pool acknowledged the most recent initialization check request. The pool member will continue to send an initialization check request.

Description:

The pool member no longer owns any managed objects assigned to the pool because half or fewer members of the pool have acknowledged the most recent lease request The pool member has unloaded the workflows for managed objects it previously owned.

The related Microsoft KB Article is 2714482 and can be found here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2714482

To resolve this issue, add the following two Registry keys on the Management Server, under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\HealthService\Parameters\PoolManager

Key Type Value

PoolLeaseRequestPeriodSeconds DWORD 600

PoolNetworkLatencySeconds DWORD 120

After doing this, restart the System Center Management Service and the errors should no longer appear.

Very nice B) as in a few smaller environments we have seen these messages before.

Update 22-7-2013: A good addition to this story has been made by Michael in the comments. If you are running multipe management servers in the resource pool and you change the mentioned settings in the registry, make sure you do the same change on all those management servers, so they use the same values. Otherwise other errors will appear.

Update April 2014: Do NOT apply this reg key stuff for SCOM 2012 SP1 or SCOM 2012 R2 anymore. It can cause the oposite effect and make resource pools become more unstable.

Good luck!

SCOM 2012 IPD guide is in beta

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

The Infrastructure Planning and Design guides (IPD) are always a great resource when working through designs for implementations of all kinds of products and solutions. CUrrently the team is working on the IPD guide for SCOM 2012.

They have released it as a beta version on Connect, giving you the opportunity to read it and react to it.

You can find this beta on the Solution Accelerators connect site over here.

Update 13 November 2012: the IPD has been released.

Enjoy!
Bob Cornelissen

Vacation is over for me

Uncategorized Send feedback »

It has been quiet for a while on my blog due to several reasons. Some work related things, authoring of the Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager, and of course also going to my second home in Thailand.

But I will be picking it up again from now. There is always a lot of good stuff going on and things to write about.

Checking if CU6 for SCOM 2007 R2 has been applied successfully

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks Send feedback »

As I explained in the previous post on how to check for CU5 installation on SCOM 2007 R2, the way to check for successfull implementation of Cumulative updates has come up as questions in the community a number of times and I found a need as well to have this scripted. So I created a number of scripts for SCOM 2007 R2 CU5 which I discuss in the other blog post here. The method for CU6 is exactly the same as mentioned in that article with two differences.

  • The names of the scripts are with a 6 in it :idea:
  • The scripts are located on another TechNet Gallery page (see below for the link)

Refer to the post on CU5 check scripts for SCOM 2007 R2 on the procedure and screenshot.

This is the link to the TechNet Gallery page where the CU6 check for SCOM 2007 R2 is located.

Good luck and enjoy!
Bob Cornelissen

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