5 min read

ConfigMgr - Support Center - Client Data Collector

First off, sorry for the Win UI in swedish, hopefully you will understand anyway. Here's some short translations (you can use them to shine for your friends!) :D

  • Öppna = Open
  • Avbryt = Cancel
  • Spara = Save
  • Ordna = Order
  • Ny Mapp = New Folder

Use Support Center for client troubleshooting, real-time log viewing, or capturing the state of a Configuration Manager client computer for later analysis. Support Center is a single tool to combine many administrator troubleshooting tools.
Support Center - Configuration Manager
Troubleshoot Configuration Manager clients with the Support Center.

Have you used this amazing tool? Remote or as locally installed?
I think its a quite overseen asset, most people i talk to have heard about it but never used it, or they have seen the install file in "Tools".
To be honest, it took some time before i gave it a try, and even longer before i gave it an honest try, but now that i have, i find it quite amazing and a priceless tool in my troubleshooting toolbox!

This will be a series of posts, where we will take a look at each of the components and what they are used for.

Support Center consists of a few components when installed. The support center MSI can be installed on a server from where you manage clients, the site server, or you can deploy the MSI locally to all your clients which will give you an additional advantage which can only be used if Support Center Client Tools is run locally on the device.

I find it very useful to deploy to the clients, as there is nothing really "bad" about it, you cant change anything with it that cant be done with ConfigMgr Client from the control panel. The MSI is 5mb so its really nothing to deploy either, just quick create a new application using the MSI, or use PSADT if you might want to remove the shortcuts which is created.

has an excellent post about how to deploy it

How To Deploy Support Center Using SCCM | Troubleshooting Tool | ConfigMgr HTMD Blog
Let’s check how to deploy Support Center Using SCCM (a.k.a Configuration Manager). Support Center aims to reduce the SCCMIT Admin challenges for
Tools that are installed

Support Center Client Data Collector

As the title suggests, its a tool for data collection (duh!) and our first component to cover.

From Data Collector you can also start the "Client Tools" "Log Viewer" and "Support Center Viewer".

You can either collect all of the topics, or choose which ones you want/need. What it will do is what it says, collect the selected information and generate a .zip -file

This .zip file can then be used with Support Center Viewer.
You can start it directly from Data Collector, or from the start menu if you have the shortcuts. We will start it from Data Collector.

In support center viewer, click "open bundle", and if you didnt choose some other place than default when collecting the data and saving the .zip bundle, it should already be at the right place, otherwise browse to where you saved it.
Then you just select it and "open"

What you will get now is like what you get when you use the "Client Diagnostics" in ConfigMgr and opening a Client Logs file from Resource Explorer.
A view of the client data, configuration, and the collected logfiles will now be available for you, based on what data you selected for collection earlier.

ConfigMgr Client Configuration. Show information about the devices CM Client.
Operating System Information
Computer Information. Here you can find hardware info like model, manufacturer, etc
Services and how they are configured and current state, filepath etc
Network Adapters and their current configuration. Find IP, Mac, DNSServer etc

The more you select in the Data Collector, the more information you will be able to review. At a glance it might seem as a lot of information (and it is) and hard to take in, but, as you might want to do this for a specific reason during troubleshooting, you will probably have an area of focus and specific data you will look at.

One of the biggest advantages i can think of with this is that you can educate eg. your service desk in using the tool, help them to better understand what information is relevant in what case, and what they need to know in order to determine if it's an healthy client, their boundaries, how they work, etc etc.
And with this comes a greater understanding about different components for the service desk personnel, and they will be able to solve more problems, or just have them create a routine where they always collect a data file and attach to the ticket.

Going to the "Logs" tab, here you can see all the collected logs, and what is collected is all relevant ConfigMgr Client logs, including the "C:\Windows\CCMSetup" logs.

Selecting a log, or ctrl-click to select multiple and have them opened in the same window, traced, then click open to have the logs opened in One Trace

The One Trace LogViewer

Opening logs in One Trace is quite a treat, as great CMTrace is, i think One Trace is a bit better.
It makes going through logs a easy as pie, you can choose to hide or show logs you've opened by checking them down at the right, and you can easily find warnings and/or errors (or messages containing those words) by looking at the scrollbar for the yellow/red markings, these are clickable to quickly to jump to that part of the log.

I will do bigger cover of the different logviewers at a later post.

And, that's about it, A LOT of data to go through and the more you work with it, the more you gain an understanding of how and what you can use. Just start using it and after a while you will get more comfortable with it and its capabilities.