SCCM Tip: Force SCCM clients to check for new advertisements quickly and how to monitor results

The question came up today about forcing a test SCCM client to update it’s policy right now. Is there a way to do this rather than waiting another 60 minutes?


Forcing Policy Retrieval

Yes, using the ‘Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle’.

This is a pretty common activity when testing software deployment, etc. You can kick this off in the Configuration Manager applet in the Control Panel.  Highlight the action and click the Initiate Action button.


Figure 1. Machine Policy Retrieval action in Configuration Manager Control Panel Applet

Monitoring Results

One easy way to monitor results is to watch the execmgr.log file using SMS Trace from the SCCM 2007 Toolkit. This log (and other client logs) are located in the %windows%\system32\ccm\logs directory by default. Shortly after you click the button, you’ll see policy updates roll through, such as the Adobe software advertisement this user was looking for.


Figure 1. SMS Trace view of execution manager log (execmgr.log) on ConfigMgr Client


Couldn’t I just lower the threshold

You could, but there are there are some limits. A Microsoft expert says “Anything less than 15 minutes is a really bad thing. Most people don’t go below 30 in production. You can always force with the Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle task if needed”.

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