Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SCCM: Machines that have failed an advertisement

I get tired of sifting through the standard reports that restrict you to a particular deployment, a particular advertisement, a particular collection, a particular state, etc. I often like to see details at a more global level, even if those details run to hundreds or thousands of lines, so I often write my own reports in WQL.

I decided it would be a good idea today if I could see all machines that have failed an advertisement... or more particularly, failed any advertisement. As usual, the standard report requires you to specify an advertisement and a state.

So I spent a half hour or so working out how I could get a report of any machines that had failed any advertisement. I decided it would be a good idea to optionally filter the results using an Advertisement ID in case I wanted to narrow it down. Here's the result:

The Prompt Query for the Variable @AdvertID (defaults to %) is:

if (@__filterwildcard = '')
select AdvertisementID, AdvertisementName, Comment from v_Advertisement order by AdvertisementName
select AdvertisementID, AdvertisementName, Comment from v_Advertisement
WHERE AdvertisementID like @__filterwildcard
order by AdvertisementName

The main SQL Statement for the report is:

select sys.Netbios_Name0, sys.User_Domain0, sys.User_Name0,site.SMS_Installed_Sites0, Client_Type0, ainfo.AdvertisementName, LastStatusMessageID, LastStatusMessageIDName, DATEADD(ss,@__timezoneoffset,LastStatusTime) as LastStatusTime, stat.AdvertisementID, LastExecutionResult, LastExecutionContext
from v_ClientAdvertisementStatus stat
join v_AdvertisementInfo ainfo on stat.AdvertisementID=ainfo.AdvertisementID
join v_R_System sys on stat.ResourceID=sys.ResourceID
left join v_RA_System_SMSInstalledSites site on stat.ResourceID=site.ResourceID
where stat.LastState='11' /* 11 = failed */
and stat.AdvertisementID LIKE @AdvertID

I hope someone else finds this useful.


PS: I've extended this concept into a collection, The WQL Query for the collection is:

select sys.ResourceID, sys.ResourceType, sys.Name,
sys.SMSUniqueIdentifier, sys.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup, sys.Client
from SMS_R_System as sys
join SMS_ClientAdvertisementStatus as adstat
on adstat.ResourceID=sys.ResourceID
where adstat.LastState='11'

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Excel: Listing Distinct Elements in a List

I found this info over at which is an absolutely awesome Excel reference. I wanted to copy these bits here so that I wouldn't lose them.

You can use a simple formula to extract the distinct elements in a list. Suppose your list begins in cell C11. In some cell, enter


Eliminating Blank Cells from a list

You can use a formula to return only the non-blank cells from a range. The following function will return all the cell values in a range named BlanksRange that are not empty.

Create a range name, with the same number of rows as BlanksRange called NoBlanksRange. The range NoBlanksRange must have the same number of rows as BlanksRange but it need not be in the same row numbers. Enter the following Array Formula in the first cell of NoBlanksRange, and then use Fill Down to fill out the range:


The first N rows of NoBlanksRange will contain the N non-blank cells of BlanksRange. Note that this is an array formula, so you must press Ctrl+Shift+Enter rather than just Enter when you first enter the formula and whenever you edit it later. If you do this properly, Excel will display the formula enclosed in curly braces { }.

Note that if you do not use named ranges and enter the actual cell references, you must use absolute cell references (e.g., $B$1) rather than relative cell references (e.g., B1).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

File Recovery

I had to attempt to recover a PST file from a hard disk that had massive numbers of bad blocks. How to copy the file off though? A straight file copy wouldn't work... it just kept giving me CRC errors because the 2.84GB email archive file sat across some of the bad blocks.

I knew if I could get most of the file, I'd probably be able to use the repair tool to recover most of what was in the archive.

JFileRecovery came to the rescue, recovering all but 19MB of the email archive. One of the best parts was that I didn't even need to install anything! It runs as a Java applet straight off the web page.

This one's definitely going in my bookmarks.