Content Location shows the package as distributed but it’s not

I had this issues for a while and I ended up creating a ticket with Microsoft as I couldn’t get any answer to my issue. I’ve also posted this on technet, but nobody dared to answer :)
The reason why I wanted to open a ticket with Microsoft is that I have had a few issues since the migration to 2012 R2 and to be honest this kind of error it’s ok once, but what if it happens again? I could have just removed the package and started from scratch, that would have fixed it but this time I’ve been stubborn and I’ve learnt something new. Also, the package was 4GB, multiply that for all the Distribution Points. I don’t like to waste time if I don’t have to.
Here’s the post: SCCM Console is lying to me! Content shows as distributed but it isn’t.

The issue

In my case, this happened with one of the Microsoft Office Deployment Packages I created.
When I clicked on the Deployment Package, the Status at the bottom of the console would tell me that the content was distributed (correctly) to 6 Distribution Points but when I actually went in the Deployment Package’s properties I could see like 10 Distribution Points in there. So basically Content Location shows the package as distributed but it’s not.

SCCM DP targeted
If I tried to Remove/Validate/Redistribute the content, nothing would happen. I couldn’t even treat this as a new distribution as the phantom Distribution Points would not appear as it happens when the content is already distributed.
I was able to distribute this content to other DPs. Updating the content did not help either.
I’ve also tried to either distribute (Start-CMContentDistribution) and remove (Remove-CMContentDistribution) the package from these DPs via PowerShell but also here no luck. When I tried to distribute it, it told me that the package was already distributed, when I removed it, nothing happened as when I did it through the console.
I then checked one of the Distribution Points through Content Library Explorer and I could see that the content was grayed out and the package ID had a * right after the ID. Also here I could not validate nor re-distribute the content.

SCCM Content Library Explorer broken package

The cause

No idea! Microsoft went through the logs and found nothing. The engineer told me that he’s never seen such an issue before.

The solution

Well, as there was no root cause, the only solution that Microsoft suggested was to manually delete the entries of these Distribution Points, associated to the Package ID, from the SQL server. (more…)

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Task sequence has failed with the error code 0x800700A1

I see lots of administrators struggling with this error especially when they replace an HDD on a machine and then try to re-image it. Task sequence has failed with the error code 0x800700A1 is an error that also come up when you’re imagining a brand new Virtual Machine.

What does the error mean? 0x800700A1 means BAD_PATHNAME. The reason why you get this error, most of the times, is due the fact that the task sequence isn’t able to find the path because the drive is RAW.

sccm_error_0x800700a1

In order to fix this you will have to initialize and format that Hard Drive. If you are in the SCCM’s WinPE environment, simply press F8 to get to the command prompt and type the following:

(more…)

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