The torture of installing System Center Essentials 2010
Last week I decided to add System Center Essentials (SCE) to my network, having decided a little while ago that the full System Center Configuration Manager and its associated sister products were slightly overkill for my network. This opinion was not helped by the fact that a 3-day attempt to get System Center Configuration Manager 2007 installed a few years ago resulted in nothing more than a near mental breakdown and 3 days of my life wasted that I will never get back. So, SCE seemed like it might be a less stressful choice.
Like hell it was.
Little did I know that within minutes, trying to install this on my WSUS server (since SCE cannot be on a different server from WSUS) would fail dismally when it tried to move the WSUS database from the Windows Internal Database system to a proper SQL Server instance:
13:10:36:CreateShareForBackup: Failed to create the share for the WSUS backup.: Threw Exception.Type: Microsoft.SystemCenter.Essentials.Configuration.Common.EssentialsShareException, Exception Error Code: 0x80131500, Exception.Message: Failed to create the share.
13:10:37:StackTrace: at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Essentials.Configuration.Common.ReadOnlyTemporaryShare..ctor(String shareName) at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Essentials.SetupFramework.HelperClasses.MoveUpdateServicesDatabase.CreateShareForBackup.Execute(MoveUpdateServicesDatabaseItem item)
13:10:37:SystemCenterEssentialsPreinstallProcessor: SUSDB move failed.
13:10:37:ProcessInstalls: Running the PreprocessDelegate for SCE failed.... This is a fatal item. Setting rollback.
That log snippet very quickly led me to a post titled “Upgrade from WSUS to SCE 2010 fails, Cannot move WSUS DB“. The process by which the author arrived at this error was slightly different, but the resolution was the same. Despite that last line talking about a rollback, the installer doesn’t completely undo all of the actions it’s performed up to this point. If you want to try again, you have to remove the sceWsusBackupShare yourself. In fact, there is so much that doesn’t get rolled back that the developers added a tool to the System Center Essentials 2010 Resource Kit called Essentials Server Cleanup Tool, which apparently does the job that the hopelessly installer always should have.
Of course, doing this is no guarantee the damned thing will then work the second time around. My install failed again almost immediately, again while trying to move the WSUS database onto an SQL Server instance. This time the logs only spoke cryptically of a server timeout.
“Sod this for a game of soldiers,” I thought. I knew how to perform this migration myself, having several times consulted the TechNet documentation on Migrating from Windows Internal Database to SQL Server. I tried the procedure, only to be denied because something was locking the database open. Suspecting that once again the SCE installer had not relinquished its vice-like grip on the system. I rebooted, and was met with success the second time around.
Once done, the SCE installer continued unabated, and everything ran smoothly.
Well, apart from this about 20 minutes later:
- Exchange 2010 MP Reports – fail on not properly designed OpsMgr installation
- Failed to store data in the Data Warehouse. Cannot resolve the collation conflict between “SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS” and “Latin1_General_CI_AS” in the equal to operation
I suppose I should count myself lucky that I spotted this early and was still at a point where a reinstall was even remotely palatable. However, it didn’t help dismiss my consistent opinion that most of System Center is too damned complicated for its own good – especially when all I really wanted from it is the ability to be able to deploy .exe files, since the Microsoft Office team decided they were too good for GPO deployment ever since 2007…