Windows Server

Configuration Manager Tools: How to install and debug logs with the CMTrace Tool

CMtrace

CMTrace Log Viewer is also refered to as the CMTrace tool (previously called the Trace32). It is a tool from Microsoft to view log files such as Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Microsoft Software Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), DISM, and many others. Though, mostly for SCCM as it is part of “Configuration Manager Tools”. The Configuration Manager tools include client-based and server-based tools, and this will be discussed later on in this guide. Unlike many other log viewers, this tool shows the data as the log file is written or updated. The log file viewer shows the most recent updated lines written to log file and it is considered one of the favourite tool for MDT and SCCM administrators. Kindly refer to the following related guides: How to Add Packages to Windows image the DISM Tool, and how to add languages to Windows image using DISM and PowerShell. For WinPE-related guides, differences between MDT and WDS, and MDT deployment failed and Stuck at Command Prompt, and unable to determine destination disk, partition, and/or drive.

Tired of Notepad and Notepad++ when viewing verbose logs, and often too difficult to read as they contain lots of information. Search no further, CMTrace making viewing logs and highlights the errors as well. 
- Also with Notepad or Notepad++, these logs are extremely difficult to read as they contain lots of metadata. Therefore, I will be showing you how to download and install the CMTrace Tool which is a great debugging tool.

See how to install ADK, MDT, and WDS: How to deploy Windows images via Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Windows Deployment Services

This is a free tool you can download from Microsoft. It’s part of the SCCMTooklit downloads available from the following link.
– Click the Download button, and download ConfigMgrTools.msi

Upon download, double click on the ConfigMgrTools.msi to install the System Center Configuration Manager Toolkit as shown below.

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On the setu screen below, click on Next to continue.

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Accept the lincense agrrrment as shown below and click on Next.

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In the select componnets window, click on next to continue.

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If you have the UAC setup, this will be prompted. Just click on Yes to proceed.
– User Account Control (UAC) can help prevent unauthorized changes to your computer. For more information, see the following link.

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The setup is complet as shown below. Click on finish to close the wizard.

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Click on the Start Menu, the newly (recently) installed application will be displayed as shown below. Shortly, I will be showing you how to use these tool (CMTrace) in particular. But before then, I will be discribing what these tools are,

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The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Toolkit contains fifteen downloadable tools that can help manage and troubleshoot Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. The following list provides specific information about each tool in the toolkit.
Note: Some features require Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager for full functionality.

Server Based ToolsClient Based Tools
DP Job Manager – A tool that helps troubleshoot and manage ongoing content distribution jobs to Configuration Manager distribution points.Client Spy – A tool that helps you troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
Collection Evaluation Viewer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting collection evaluation related issues by viewing collection evaluation details.Configuration Manager Trace Log Viewer – A tool used to view log files created by Configuration Manager components and agents.
Content Library Explorer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting issues with and viewing the contents of the content library.Deployment Monitoring Tool – The Deployment Monitoring Tool is a graphical user interface designed help troubleshoot Applications, Updates, and Baseline deployments on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
Security Configuration Wizard Template for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager – The Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an attack-surface reduction tool for the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Security Configuration Wizard determines the minimum functionality required for a server’s role or roles, and disables functionality that is not required.Policy Spy – A policy viewer that helps you review and troubleshoot the policy system on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients
Content Library Transfer – A tool that transfers content from one disk drive to another.Power Viewer Tool – A tool to view the status of power management feature on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
Content Ownership Tool – A tool that changes ownership of orphaned packages (packages without an owner site server).Send Schedule Tool – A tool used to trigger a schedule on a client or trigger the evaluation of a specified DCM Baseline. You can trigger a schedule either locally or remotely.
Role-based Administration Modeling and Auditing Tool – This tool helps administrators to model and audit RBA configurations.Wakeup Spy – A tool that provides a view of the power state of Configuration Manager client computers and which operate as managers or manages.
Run Metering Summarization Tool – The purpose of this tool is to run the metering summarization task to analyze raw metering data

Now, we will be suing the CMTrace Tool to access any log on my workstation. Click on the Start Menu and select CMTrace as shown below.

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Upon startig the Tool, you will be asked to make the program the default viewer for log files. Why not? Select Yes please 🙂

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In order to demonstrate how you can read logs with CMtrace SCCM Log Viewer, I will be selecting a random log file on my device.
– Right-click on the log file and select open with.

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As you can see below, CMTrace can help viewing the LOGs by nicely outputing the information as shown below. When reading the logs, the application might show you red and yellow lines.
– Note: Most times, this does not represent real issues as shown below. It is worth noting that the “CMTrace” marks lines with words “Error” / “Failed” in it with red color and for yellow color with “Could not”. When something is failing, in most cases the task will execute again and it will succeed. Therefore, read the LOGs carefully and try to understand the meaning of the message.

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By default after installation, the application will be installed in the following path below. If your log that has a line exceeding 8000 characters is truncated in the CMTrace log viewer, kindly refer to this link.

C:\Program Files (x86)\ConfigMgr 2012 Toolkit R2\ClientTools
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Kindly review the Tabs (Menu bar) for more functionalities of this tool. I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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