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configmgr console crashes with “the given key was not present in the dictionary"

Frustration

Image by bdgamer via Flickr

one of our site servers seemed to exhibit this puzzling problem.  i stumbled upon this because the site server’s reporting page would not come up correctly.  i also noticed that when i tried to fire a report from the console, it was trying to go to http://myServer:0/smsreporting_xyz.  i knew that couldn’t be right because the port was usually set to 80 or some other value.

i tried to get into the reporting components and received an error.  i thought it was related to the local console at first.  i tried it under my credentials, other credentials, on the server, on my workstation, from the local site server, and from the central site server – which all failed nicely.

as a last resort, i used what little i learned in school and actually read the failure message.  if you’ve been reading my blog awhile, then you’re probably well aware that i got nothing out of this message. :)

image

you won’t be able to read the stack trace in the screenshot, but I’ve copied the contents and dropped it in below.  the important value to capture is right at the top “The given key was not present in the dictionary”.

Server stack trace: 
at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowKeyNotFoundException()
at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.get_Item(TKey key)
at Microsoft.ConfigurationManagement.AdminConsole.SiteSystems.ReportingPointControl.InitializePageControl()
at Microsoft.ConfigurationManagement.AdminConsole.SmsPropertyPage.OnInitialize()
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.SnapInBase.ProcessNotification(Notification notification)
at System.Runtime.Remoting.Messaging.StackBuilderSink._PrivateProcessMessage(IntPtr md, Object[] args, Object server, Int32 methodPtr, Boolean fExecuteInContext, Object[]& outArgs)
at System.Runtime.Remoting.Messaging.StackBuilderSink.SyncProcessMessage(IMessage msg, Int32 methodPtr, Boolean fExecuteInContext)

Exception rethrown at [0]:
at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.HandleReturnMessage(IMessage reqMsg, IMessage retMsg)
at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.PrivateInvoke(MessageData& msgData, Int32 type)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Internal.IMessageClient.ProcessNotification(Notification notification)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Executive.SnapInNotificationOperation.ProcessNotification()
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Executive.Operation.OnThreadTransfer(SimpleOperationCallback callback)

alright, so i knew the condition that was causing this.  every time i tried to view the reporting component options, the mmc would crash.  i could reproduce this on every machine available for this particular site server.  at this point, you may want to stop reading.  (if you’re my microsoft support rep, you can stop reading, too.)  i had to hack the dreaded site control file (sitectrl.ct0).  it’s pretty cryptic so you’re not exactly supposed to know what you’re doing – hence the statement that you jeopardize support if you do this type of operation.

i’m making it sound more complicated than it was.  i compared the control files from the broken site and a working site.

bad:

BEGIN_SYSTEM_RESOURCE_USE
RESOURCE<Windows NT Server><["Display=\\myServer\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XYZ"]\\myServer\>
ROLE<SMS Reporting Point>
PROPERTY <ReportingPointFolder><><SMSReporting_XYZ><0>
PROPERTY <Server Remote Name><myServer.myDomain.com><><0>
PROPERTY <Server Remote Public Name><><><0>
BEGIN_PROPERTY_LIST
<Objects Polled By Site Status>
<["
Display=\\myServer\x$\SMS\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XYZ"]\\myServer\x$\SMS\>
END_PROPERTY_LIST
END_SYSTEM_RESOURCE_USE

good:

BEGIN_SYSTEM_RESOURCE_USE
RESOURCE<Windows NT Server><["Display=\\myServer\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XYZ"]\\myServer\>
ROLE<SMS Reporting Point>
PROPERTY <ReportingPointFolder><><SMSReporting_XYZ><0>
PROPERTY <Protocol><><><0>
PROPERTY <PortNumber><><><80>
PROPERTY <Server Remote Name><myServer.myDomain.com><><0>
PROPERTY <Server Remote Public Name><><><0>
BEGIN_PROPERTY_LIST
<Objects Polled By Site Status>
<["
Display=\\myServer\x$\SMS\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=XYZ"]\\myServer\x$\SMS\>
END_PROPERTY_LIST
END_SYSTEM_RESOURCE_USE

now that we know what we’re working with, here’s what i did:

  1. copy the sitectrl.ct0 file to sitectrl.mco
  2. edit the contents of sitectrl.mco to match the good site (just the tags marked “PROPERTY” were different)
  3. stopped the sms executive
  4. renamed the sitectrl.ct0 to sitectrl.bak
  5. dropped in sitectrl.mco as sitectrl.ct0
  6. fired up sms executive

after that, i restarted the console and tested the reporting component properties.  worked fine.  i tested the reporting page.  that worked, too!

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