In this post I will show you how to fix ConfigMgr Technical Preview expired issue and will share more insights about this issue. I have tried multiple ways to fix this and ended up rebuilding my SCCM Tech Preview lab.
It is very rare that your hear from someone that a technical preview version expired. At least not when you are regularly updating the technical preview builds.
In my case, I was on a vacation and copied over my entire technical preview lab VM’s from my PC on to my external SSD. I ran these VM’s on my laptop and updated them regularly.
However when I was back from vacation, I powered on the VM’s on my PC and noticed my ConfigMgr Technical Preview expired. This was expected as I hadn’t updated these VM’s.
I didn’t think of restoring these VM’s back from laptop to PC because that would have fixed the issue very easily. I wanted to fix this issue with by another method and that’s how I decided to publish this post.
Before we go further, lets look at some of the technical preview build limitations and properties including the validity of these builds.
ConfigMgr Technical Preview Build Validity
Unlike Current Branch builds, the ConfigMgr Technical Preview builds are active for 90 days before it becomes inactive. This is by design and Microsoft releases the next update within your technical preview build expires.
If you don’t install the new update within 90 days, the technical preview build expires. Once expired, you cannot install any new TP releases.
How do I know if my SCCM Technical Preview Build has Expired
You can find out if your technical preview build has expired by launching the Configuration Manager console. When you launch the console, a yellow notification bar is displayed with a message “This evaluation version is expired”. Now that confirms your ConfigMgr version is expired.
Next to that message, you see an upgrade option. Clicking the upgrade option takes your to an article that explains how to upgrade an evaluation version of Configuration Manager to a licensed version.
But that article doesn’t help us because we still can’t download the latest TP updates.
Check for Updates Disabled
If you notice your ConfigMgr Technical Preview expired, the Check for updates option is also disabled. That’s because the SMS Executive service is no more running. If you start the SMS EXEC service, the check for updates options becomes active.
Even after you activate this option, check for updates will still not download the latest technical preview update.
Does Changing Date on SCCM Server Help ?
If you think you can set an old date on your SCCM server and download the updates, it simply doesn’t work. That’s because the Windows automatically resets the date change that you did.
Moreover if you launch Date and Time settings, notice that Set time automatically is greyed out. I was not curious to enable this option as I thought it wouldn’t help much.
Rebuild SCCM Technical Preview Lab
After all the attempts, I could see reinstalling the SCCM technical preview was the only option remaining. This wasn’t easy because you had to uninstall the ConfigMgr first and install it from scratch.
But since I had no option left, I decided to rebuild my technical preview lab. I would like share the steps here so that it helps anyone who is experiencing this issue.
Download the latest ConfigMgr Technical Preview Baseline Build
When you install technical preview in your lab, always download the latest baseline build. This will save your time and avoid multiple upgrades.
You can always download the latest technical preview baseline version from Microsoft Evaluation center.
At the time of writing this post, I see Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (technical preview branch – version 2007) as the latest available version. Download it and save it on to the SCCM server.
Uninstall Configuration Manager Primary Setup
To uninstall the Configuration Manager, go to control panel and click Programs and Features. Right click Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager Primary site setup and click Uninstall/Change.
Under Setup options, select Uninstall this Configuration Manager site. Click Next.
You don’t want to check those options since we want remove the primary site database and console. Click Next.
Finally the ConfigMgr uninstall has completed. Click Close.
Delete the SUSDB from Databases
Launch the SQL server management studio and connect to database engine. Expand Databases, right click SUSDB and click Delete. Click OK to delete the SUSDB.
After uninstalling the Configuration Manager, I noticed all the entries within system management container got deleted. Restart your server once before we install the new instance of Configuration Manager technical preview.
Install Configuration Manager Technical Preview
When you’re reinstalling the Configuration Manager, you don’t need to worry about installing SCCM prerequisites as they are already installed.
Extract the technical preview setup content to a folder and run the splash.hta. On the Welcome page, click Install.
Select Install a Configuration Manager primary site and choose the typical options for stand-alone primary site. Click Next.
I prefer not to use the old site code, so I am using a new site code this time. Specify ConfigMgr site name and click Next.
Complete the remaining steps. The wizard next checks for any prerequisite warnings. You shouldn’t see any if all prerequisites are in place. Click Begin Install.
The Configuration Manager Technical Preview installation is complete. You can now perform post installation tasks such running discovery methods, boundary and boundary group creation etc.
You can push the agents on to your client machines by selecting an option that uninstalls the old agent first.
Go to Updates and Servicing node and install new TP updates.