New Task Sequence Variables in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

With Configuration Manager 2012 R2 new task sequence variables are introduced. Some of them are very very useful.

The following variables are added:

Built-in Variable Name Description
SMSTSMPListRequestTimeout Use this variable to specify how much time a task sequence waits before it retries to install an application after it fails to retrieve the management point list from location services. By default, the task sequence waits one minute before it retries the step. This variable is applicable only to the Install Application task sequence step.
TSErrorOnWarning Use this variable to specify whether the task sequence engine considers a detected warning as an error during the Application Installation task sequence step. The task sequence sets the _TSAppInstallStatus variable to Warning when one or more applications, or a required dependency, did not install because a requirement was not met. When you set the TSErrorOnWarning variable to True and the _TSAppInstallStatus variable is set to Warning, it is treated as an error. A value of False is the default behavior.
SMSTSDownloadRetryDelay Use this variable to specify the number of seconds that Configuration Manager waits before it retries to download content from a distribution point.
SMSTSDownloadRetryCount Use this variable to specify the number of times that Configuration Manager attempts to download content from a distribution point.
_TSAppInstallStatus

For System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

The task sequence sets the _TSAppInstallStatus variable with the installation status for the application during the Install Application task sequence step. The task sequence sets the variable with one of the following values:

  1. Undefined: Set when the Install Application task sequence step has not been run.
  2. Error: Set when at least one application failed because of an error during the Install Application task sequence step.
  3. Warning: Set when no errors occur during the Install Application task sequence step, but one or more applications, or a required dependency, did not install because a requirement was not met.
  4. Success: Set when there are no errors or warning detected during the Install Application task sequence step.

SMSTSMPListRequestTimeout

Since the use of SSD’s and other fast hard disks the task sequence could be started before all services and dependencies are fully initialized. The root cause is, that the install application step does not receive a management point.

Error: 0x87d00269 = Required management point not found

Other steps which also communicate with the site server like the run command step are working as expected. The only step with the problem is the install application step. So if you have a install application step directly after a reboot and this step randomly fails, try to set this variable to a higher value. I set this variable normally to more than 120.

TSErrorOnWarning / _TSAppInstallStatus

I had sometimes applications with specific requirements for example to restrict the installation on operating system basis. If a new operating system is released we have to change this requirement on all application. Often I forget this and the application doesn’t install. In the status messages the install applications step is listed as successfully. For me, this solution is not very good. With the help of this two variables I can change this behavior to threat a “requirements not met” state as failed.

 

A full list of all available built-in task sequence variables could be found here.

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