The CMTrace Overview

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The purpose of this lecture is not to fix problems. This is an overview of CMTrace.  

In this lecture, we will check out the capabilities of CMTrace and hopefully learn some of the tricks that every SCCM administrator should know. 

  • What is CMTrace?  

CMTrace is a real-time Log viewing tool for configuration manager 

  • Configuring logging options in Configuration ManagerFrom the ITSCCM01 server, open Configuration Manager

From the Workspace, click Monitoring, from the Navigation Pane double click System Status or Component Status, in this case click Component Status 

From the Ribbon, click start, then click Configuration Manager Service Manager. Click the site you want to manage, in this case ITF is already selected

  • Here we will merge three log files into one log file – In this example we will merge the three discovery logs into one log file, and increase the size of the log to 10 MB. This can be useful if you are having problems with some users or computers not getting discovered from Active Directory.

Click the + next to ITF, then click components. From component name (on the right) click Security Group discover agent, hold down the shift key, and select User Discovery Agent. With all three selected right click and select logging. Type a file name, in this case, Discovery.log, and type 10 in the log size box, then click ok. Now all three files can be accessed as one file, with a file size of 10MB, before that file will be overwritten. The location of the discovery.log file is C:\program files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs 

  • Now let’s open the CMTrace log file viewer. This program can be located in our SCCM installation folder as indicated.

Right-click on CMTrace.exe and choose pin to taskbar. Click the CMTrace icon. The first time CMTrace opens click yes to make this program the default viewer.

Now click the folder, there are two options.  

  • Ignore existing lines – This selection is great for troubleshooting, it opens the log file with an empty screen. All lines that are added to the file after opening it, will be shown in CMTrace.   

I can demonstrate this by clicking Ignore existing lines. Then clicking discovery.log, then click open.

From Configuration Manager, from the workspace click Administration, from the Navigation Pane double click Hierarchy configuration, then click Discovery Methods, right-click on Active Directory Group Discover and select Run Full Discovery Now.  

Now go back to CMTrace and notice that the merged discovery log file now reports the results of a full group discovery. 

  • Merge selected files – This will allow you to select more than one log file and merge the contents, just as we did using Service Manager. But here you can’t change the file size. 
  • Filtering Menu/Tools/Filter

How can we use filtering? For example, let’s say we have a computer named Minint, that is not receiving the SCCM client. We could open the CCM.log.

This log file records client push installation activities. Notice that when we open this file there is a lot of data.

From menu/tools/filter

Check Filter when the Entry Text, select contains, Type Minint, the computer account is displayed.

There are some errors displayed here. Unable to access target machine, failed to connect.

  • Highlight lines with certain keywords 

From Tools/highlight – Type the 67 - CMTrace will search and highlight the lines with that number.

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