Inventory Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How can I avoid the full software inventory initiated by the Daylight Saving time change? (Added October 6, 2004)

A. This problem occurs because in SMS 2003 (no service pack), the software inventory component sees the files that it has previously inventoried as new files on the system. A hotfix is available to address the issue and is available on the Microsoft Download site. The hotfix is included in SMS 2003 SP1.

This hotfix updates both the SMS 2003 Legacy Client and Advanced Client computers. The Legacy Client computers will automatically be updated after the hotfix is applied to the site serve to which the client is assigned. The Advanced Client computers also must be updated with this hotfix. Because of new architecture in SMS 2003, you must create a new package and a new program to advertise this hotfix to the Advanced Client computers. For more information about installing the hotfix, see article 841381 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Q. Can SMS inventory and collect encrypted files?

A. Because software inventory is not running in the user’s context, files that can be decrypted only by the user cannot be inventoried or collected by SMS. Encrypted files can only have product details inventoried and are collected by SMS when the LocalSystem Account (or a group that contains the LocalSystem Account) is given administrative rights to the files. You can set the software inventory agent properties to exclude encrypted files, which makes inventory more efficient.

When SMS 2.0 sites are being upgraded, the existing software inventory rules are migrated to SMS 2003 and to maintain parity with SMS 2.0 software inventory data, Exclude Encrypted/Compressed is set to FALSE for each rule. After the site is upgraded from SMS 2.0 to SMS 2003, you can manually set the Exclude Encrypted/Compressed option to TRUE for each software inventory rule/query.

For more information about configuring software inventory rules and file collection, see Chapter 2, "Collecting Hardware and Software Inventory," in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide. You can also search on "Exclude Encrypted or Compressed Option Is Set to False When Upgrading to SMS 2003" in the SMS 2003 Operations Release Notes.



Q. How can I avoid running software inventory on a particular drive?

A. To avoid the overhead of running software inventory on large disks, you can create a hidden file named Skpswi.dat and place it in the root folder of each disk drive that you want excluded from software inventory. Software inventory does not scan these drives unless the Skpswi.dat file is removed. You can also place a Skpswi.dat file in the folder that is at the top of the path of a software inventory collection rule. For example, if you have a rule to inventory "\Program Files," that entire folder tree is skipped on any SMS client that has a Skpswi.dat file in the \Program Files folder. Disks with a Skpswi.dat file are not scanned to find files that are to be collected. SMS automatically excludes the Recycle Bin from inventory on all SMS clients.

For more information about controlling software inventory on servers, see Chapter 2, "Collecting Hardware and Software Inventory," in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Q. Can the SMS 2.0 SMS_def.mof file be used in 2003?

A. SMS 2003 uses a different SMS_def.mof, which is larger. You should document any customizations you have made to the SMS 2.0 SMS_def.mof file, and then make those same customizations to the SMS 2003 version.

For more information about upgrading SMS and SMS_def.mof, see Chapter 2, "Collecting Hardware and Software Inventory," in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Q. If I modify the SMS_def.mof file, does SMS 2003 still cause a hardware inventory resynchronization? (Updated May 31, 2005)

A. Only the SMS 2003 Legacy Clients will perform the resynchronization if the SMS_def.mof file is modified. The SMS 2003 Advanced Client will not trigger a hardware inventory resynchronization when the SMS_def.mof file is modified.

For more information about resynchronization for hardware inventory, see Chapter 3, "Understanding SMS Features," in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide.

Q. What else causes inventory resynchronization? (Added May 31, 2006)

A.

The following list describes other specific events that will cause a hardware inventory resynchronization:

  • The inventory delta contains updates for a database record that doesn't exist.
  • The inventory delta itself contains bad or corrupted data.
  • The client has attached to a new SMS site.
  • The client has upgraded from SMS 2.0 to SMS 2003.
  • Disabling hardware or software inventory and then re-enabling it.
  • When you attach a child site to a parent site, software inventory is resynchronized from the child site.

The resynchronization doesn't change the hardware inventory schedule. The next inventory cycle will start at the scheduled time.

For more information about resynchronization for hardware inventory, see Chapter 3, "Understanding SMS Features," in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide.

Q. I modified the SMS_def.mof file, but my clients aren’t reporting the new inventory information. Why not? (Updated April 30, 2004)

A.

When you modify the SMS_def.mof file, additional action might be necessary, depending on the type of modification and whether you are running the Legacy or the Advanced Client. When the SMS_def.mof is updated, it is one of these types of modifications:

  • An extension to an existing class in WMI
  • An additional class supported by an existing WMI provider
  • An additional class not supported by an existing WMI provider

Legacy Clients automatically recognize changes to the SMS_def.mof and compile a new version locally on the client, but if you need a new WMI provider, you must install it and register it. If you configure the MOF file to automatically register the new provider, it will be re-registered every time the MOF file is compiled.

For security and performance reasons, Advanced Clients do not download and compile their own SMS_def.mof files. Instead, they receive policies that contain the inventory configuration from their authenticated management points. You must force the Advanced Clients to download and recompile the MOF file.


For both Legacy and Advanced Clients, you can send an SMS package to install the new provider on each client. You can also use package distribution to register the new provider, or you can configure the MOF file to automatically register it.

The following table summarizes what actions are required for each type of modification on each client.

Type of Modification Legacy Client Advanced Client

Extension to an existing class

No action required

No action required

Additional class supported by an existing WMI provider

No action required

Distribute MOF changes and recompile on the Advanced Client

Additional class not supported by an existing WMI provider

Install and register the new provider on the Legacy Client

Install and register the new provider, distribute MOF changes and recompile on the Advanced Client

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  <p>Run the Mofcomp.exe command on the client computer to recompile the MOF file. For more information about running Mofcomp.exe, see Chapter 3, "Advanced Inventory Collection," in the <a runat="server" href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=19628"><i><u>Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide</u></i></a>. For more information about registering a provider, see the <a runat="server" href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=27905"><u>Platform SDK: Windows Management Instrumentation</u></a>.<br /><br /></p>
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