ConfigMgr 101: Control your Distribution Points

On almost every consultation visit to healthcheck a ConfigMgr impementation it seems some solution providers are forgetting about the basics, such as when provisioning a new Distribution Point there thought should be given to controlling exactly which drives ConfigMgr content can occupy.

Firstly, we need to consider compressed package content (.PCK files) that arrive at the site, which by default get stored in an “SMSPKG” folder on the root of the same drive as the site installation files.  To control the drive used for compressed content, simply set your desired drive letter in the “Software Distribution” component within the “Component Configuration” node of your site.  Give that time to apply and then when you send content to that site it will be stored where you want it to be.

Secondly, we need to control where compressed content can be decompressed to. If you have ever taken the time to watch the distmgr.log on a site you will see entries which show ConfigMgr figuring out which drive is best to decompress to, mainly based on available freespace.  Freespace changes, thus content may sprawl across any and all drives it sees.  Decompressed content resides in “SMSPKGX$” folders (where X represents the host drive letter) on the root of utilised drives.  We need to reign in this behaviour, and this is accomplished by creating a small file called “no_sms_on_drive.sms” on the root of whichever drives you DO NOT want ConfigMgr to consider as a possible destination for decompressed content.

Get this set right from the outset and you will save a lot of trouble later on trying to relocate and re-pushing content to DP’s to fix everything to where it needs to be.



About madluka

2 Responses to ConfigMgr 101: Control your Distribution Points

  1. Jan Schoone says:

    In stead of using your server as a distributionpoint you can use a dedicated server share! No more problems with SMSPKGx$ at all.


  2. madluka says:

    Yes, absolutely you can also this this as a way of controlling where content is stored. For anyone wanting to go this route, just remove the DP role from the server and add a server share for the site and add the DP role to it.

    Server Shares cannot be configured with the Branch Distribution Point role.


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