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Understanding logging in ConfigMgr OS Deployment

Jun 15 2016

Anyone using ConfigMgr for OS Deployment for more than four seconds knows that it’s the log files you turn to when things go wrong. However even in ConfigMgr Current Branch (currently v1511 as base version, with v1602 as most recent upgrade), since debug logging is enabled by default, a log file can easily grow to 5 – 6 MB with just the default task sequence. That wouldn’t be much problem if the log file didn’t truncate a 2 MB, and then created an archive (one archive only). 2 + 2 MB is still less than 5 – 6 MB.

So you still need to do the trick of placing an SMSTS.INI file in the Windows folder of your boot image, as well as configure the Setup Windows and ConfigMgr action with the same info.

The SMSTS.INI file

Here is an SMSTS.INI configured to set the log file size to 16 MB and don’t use an extra archive copy.


Note: The LOGLEVEL setting per the documentation can be from 0 – 3, with 0 being the most verbose logging (default value is 0), but it really does not matter what you set it to, it will log the same info, at least in OSD, and I have tried all combinations :)

Disable Debugging

I’m pretty sure there is a good reason why debug logging is enabled by default, I just don’t know why :)

Anyway, if you want to reduce the size of the log, you can disable debugging by setting DEBUGLOGGING=0. That will generate a log file that is only 1 –2 MB in size for a complete deployment instead of the 5 – 6 MB one. Here is a sample of the difference from two deployments with logging enabled vs. disabled.

First log is the default settings, e.g. debug logging enabled. The second log is with debug logging disabled.

Task Sequence configuration

Here is a task sequence configured to the same for the ConfigMgr client once that is installed by the task sequence.

The log info configured for the ConfigMgr client.

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Happy deployment, and thanks for reading!

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