Using Reg.exe to Exclude Servers from Remote Installs

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Aug 28, 2001


by Dana Daugherty

Does your organization want to avoid installing the SMS client on its server systems? It is possible to exclude your SMS Login Points (NT Domain Controllers) from having the client forcibly installed. I'll show you the process to make this happen. Does your organization want to avoid installing the SMS client on its server systems? It is possible to exclude your SMS Login Points (NT Domain Controllers) from having the client forcibly installed. Dana Daugherty's latest article details the process for making this happen.

For us, this process is needed because we have a policy of not installing SMS clients on our servers. SMS automatically installs a client on each SMS Site System initiated by SMS Winnt Server Discovery Agent. SMS Login Point, of course, are considered Site Systems. Every NT Domain Controller in our domain serves as an SMS Login Point. This "feature" is not configurable through the admin console. This procedure also works for excluding certain servers from NT Remote Installation.

*One Note: Our enterprise is a Single NT Domain model. You may need to make some adjustments based on your domain model.

The process is a two step approach:

  • Edit the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\components\SMS_Discovery_Data_Manager\ExcludeServers key on each of PRA's SMS servers. This key should list all BDCs where you do not want the SMS client to be automatically installed.
  • Add an empty text file named SMS to the Winnt\MS directory.

The first step works about 80% of the time, thus the need for the second step the remaining 20% of the time. The second method works 100% of the time, but if an engineer waits until a server is online usually the client has already started the installation process. The second method is also necessary in cases where servers are renamed.

The Process Works Like this:

I've exported the registry key listed above from our Central Server. Prior to building a new server, the server support guys edit this exported key. They let me know they've added new servers to the key. I import the updated key back to Central Server. I then edit the same key on the SMS Servers at the other sites.

To automate the process of remotely editing other SMS servers, I wrote a batch file that utilizes reg.exe from the NT Server resource kit. This allows me to remotely copy the value from the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\components\SMS_Discovery_Data_Manager\ExcludeServers key on CHOSMS. I have tested this batch file and have used it to update the registries of each SMS Secondary Site Server. The batch file is located on CHOSMS at c:\utilities\regcopy named copexclud.bat.

Once the new server is online the engineer adds the empty SMS text file to winnt\ms as an additional layer of prevention.

Here is the code for the batch file that I use to automate the editing of remote SMS server registries. Add a line like this for every server you want to remotely edit. Place the batch file in the same directory as reg.exe.

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