Enable SCCM Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point

A step-by-step guide to enable maintenance mode for distribution points in Configuration Manager

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point in SCCM

Starting in SCCM version 1902 and later, you can set maintenance mode for distribution point. Enabling SCCM maintenance mode prevents the site from distributing any content to the DP, and management points do not return the location of this distribution point to clients.

A distribution point basically serves the content to the SCCM clients. But sometimes a remote distribution point server may experience hardware issues or power failure. In these situations, the Configuration Manager administrator can turn on the maintenance mode for the DP and prevent content download failures.

At my job, I have managed over 60+ distribution points across the globe. The maintenance mode has been extremely useful in situations such as distribution point migration, weekend DP servicing, and remote DP failures.

In this guide, I will first explain what SCCM maintenance mode does and in what situations the administrators should enable it, followed by the procedure to activate the feature. This should give you a better idea of when to put a DP in maintenance mode.

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Considerations

Please take into consideration the following factors before putting a distribution point in maintenance mode:

  1. You must be running Configuration Manager version 1902 or later in your setup to enable the DP maintenance mode. It is recommended that you upgrade your SCCM site to the latest version.
  2. Maintenance mode has to be manually enabled on an individual distribution point, and you cannot enable it on distribution point groups.
  3. Be careful about enabling maintenance mode on more than one distribution point. This action may affect the performance of your other distribution points.
  4. When a DP is in maintenance mode, depending upon your boundary group configurations, clients may have increased download times or be unable to download content.
  5. Maintenance mode shouldn’t be a long-term state for any distribution point. For any actions with a long duration, consider first removing the distribution point role.

What happens when a DP goes into maintenance mode?

When you enable maintenance mode for DP in SCCM console, the following behaviors are observed:

  • The site doesn’t distribute any content to the DP.
  • The Management point(s) will return the location of this distribution point to clients.
  • When you update the site, a distribution point in maintenance mode still updates.
  • The distribution point properties are read-only. For example, you can’t change the certificate or add boundary groups.
  • Any scheduled task, like content validation, still runs on the same schedule.

When should you set a distribution point in maintenance mode?

Using a few real-world examples, I will explain in this section when to enable SCCM distribution point maintenance mode.

Scenario 1: Server Transit

If your company has offices all over the world, there is a good chance that some of them will close down permanently or be relocated to a more convenient location. It might be necessary for you to relocate the server hardware to the new location in these circumstances.

When a DP server is being moved from one site to another, its communication with the management point server is lost as it is offline. During this server transit, you can enable maintenance mode on a distribution point to signal the clients that DP won’t be available. The management point makes a note of this change and does not refer the offline DP to clients for content download.

Scenario 2: Distribution Point Migration

Typically, in large organizations, the distribution point role is installed on a virtual machine running a supported version of Windows Server for SCCM. Installing ConfigMgr on a virtual machine (VM) is always preferable to installing it on a physical server.

During the SCCM DP VM migration, if you decide to shut down the VM, you can first enable SCCM distribution point maintenance mode and then begin the migration. Once you do that, the site doesn’t distribute the content to that distribution point anymore.

Once the VM is migrated to a new host, you can power on the virtual machine running the DP role and disable maintenance mode for DP. Any content that is missing on the DP can be redistributed.

Scenario 3: Distribution Point Server is offline

When you have several distribution point servers running in your organization, monitoring the distribution point servers is a big task. To assist the clients, the DPs should always be available online.

So, what happens if the distribution point server goes down and content is being distributed from the primary distribution point? You will see repeated errors about DP being offline or not reachable in distmgr.log and PkgXferMgr.log files.

For instance, you may encounter errors like content distribution error 0x8007ffff or IDispatch error 3603 during SCCM content distribution.

There is no way to stop those error messages unless you uninstall distribution point role. When the distribution point server is offline, you can enable maintenance mode on it. The maintenance mode can be disabled once the distribution point server issues are resolved.

Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point

To enable maintenance mode for an SCCM distribution point (DP), you can do the following:

  1. In the SCCM console, go to Administration > Overview > Distribution Points.
  2. Right-click on the DP you want to put in maintenance mode.
  3. Select the option “Enable Maintenance Mode“.
Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point in SCCM
Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point in SCCM

A message box appears with the following information:

You are about to enable maintenance mode on 1 distribution point(s). New content will not be delivered, and distribution point will not be offered as content location as to clients. Click OK to continue, otherwise click Cancel.

To proceed with enabling the maintenance mode on the current distribution point server, click OK.

Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point in SCCM
Enable Maintenance Mode for Distribution Point in SCCM

Notice the distribution point icon changes when you enable maintenance mode. The icon with maintenance symbol on it represents that the distribution point is currently in maintenance mode.

Enable Maintenance Mode on SCCM Distribution Point
Enable Maintenance Mode on SCCM Distribution Point

Distribution Point in maintenance mode

Wondering what changes occur when a DP goes into maintenance mode? Well, when the SCCM distribution point goes into maintenance mode, you’ll notice that under the DP server properties, all the options are greyed out.

Because maintenance mode is active, you are unable to change any of the features on the distribution point server. It must be understood that the DP is in maintenance mode, even though it is not explicitly stated as being in an active state.

Distribution Point in maintenance mode
Distribution Point in maintenance mode

Next, on the DP properties window, switch to the PXE tab. You’ll notice that all options are grayed out. During the DP maintenance mode, the PXE and the multicast options cannot be configured.

Distribution Point in maintenance mode
PXE Options – Distribution Point in maintenance mode

Let’s look at the Content tab and see how it looks. When you set maintenance mode for a distribution point, SCCM doesn’t allow you to perform actions such as validate, redistribute, or remove any content. This is a good feature because when the DP is in maintenance mode, it is offline, and it doesn’t make sense to modify or update the content.

Distribution Point in maintenance mode
Content – Distribution Point in maintenance mode

The boundary group options are also greyed out once DP maintenance mode is activated.

Distribution Point in maintenance mode
Boudnary Groups – Distribution Point in maintenance mode

Verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM

I am going to list out some methods that can be used to find out if the DP maintenance mode is enabled in SCCM:

SCCM Logs

The distmgr.log file located on the distribution point server records the activity whenever the maintenance mode is enabled or disabled on the DP. If you encounter any issues with maintenance mode, the SCCM logs can be useful for troubleshooting the issue further.

    Skipping configuration change for the distribution point role "DP Server" since it's in maintenance mode.
    Deleting maintenance mode trigger file 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\inboxes\distmgr.box\2.MNT' SMS_DISTRIBUTION_MANAGER
    Adding package 'P0100002' to package processing queue. SMS_DISTRIBUTION_MANAGER
    Adding package 'P0100003' to package processing queue. SMS_DISTRIBUTION_MANAGER

    Status Messages

    From the admin console, you may view the SCCM audit messages that pertain to the SCCM DP maintenance mode. Administrators can quickly identify the SCCM maintenance mode for DP by using this feature.

    The status message with following details will help you find who enabled/disabled maintenance mode.

    • Type: Audit
    • Severity: Information
    • Message ID :40411
    • Source :SMS Provider
    • Component :Microsoft.ConfigurationManagement.exe
    • Description – User “prajwaldesai” enabled maintenance mode for distribution point.
    Verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM
    Verify DP maintenance mode using Status Messages

    Configuration Manager Console

    You can also verify that the DP is in Maintenance Mode by looking for the following changes in the console: First, the icon will change for the DP that is put in maintenance mode. Additionally, the Maintenance Mode column in the SCCM console will show “Enabled” for the distribution point.

    Verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM
    Verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM Console

    PowerShell

    You can use the PowerShell cmdlet Get-CMDistributionPointInfo to find out if the maintenance mode is enabled for a specific distribution point in ConfigMgr. Launch the Configuration Manager console. In the upper-left corner, there’s a blue rectangle. Select the white arrow in the blue rectangle, and choose Connect via Windows PowerShell.

    Run the below PS command to find out if the SCCM maintenance mode is turned on or off for a DP.

    Get-CMDistributionPointInfo | Select-Object -Property MaintenanceMode
    • 0 = Maintenane mode is disabled on DP
    • 1 = Maintenane mode is enabled on the DP
    Use PowerShell to verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM
    Use PowerShell to verify DP maintenance mode in SCCM

    Find who enabled or disabled DP Maintenance mode

    The SCCM audit messages can reveal who enabled or disabled the maintenance mode for a specific DP.

    • Message ID 40411: Shows who enabled DP maintenance mode
    • Message ID 40412: Shows who disabled the maintenance mode on DP
    Find who enabled SCCM DP maintenance mode
    Message ID 40411: Shows who enabled DP maintenance mode
    Message ID 40412: Shows who disabled DP maintenance mode
    Message ID 40412: Shows who disabled DP maintenance mode

    Disable Maintenance Mode on SCCM Distribution Point

    If you have completed the maintenance activities for the distribution point, you can disable maintenance mode using these steps:

    • Launch the Configuration Manager console.
    • Navigate to Administration > Overview > Distribution Points.
    • Right-click the distribution point server on which you want to disable the maintenance mode and select Disable Maintenance Mode.

    After performing these steps, the DP icon changes back to what it was earlier. The maintenance mode column for the DP shows the status as Disabled.

    Disable Maintenance Mode on SCCM Distribution Point
    Disable Maintenance Mode on SCCM Distribution Point

    Find Distribution Points in maintenance mode for more than 30 days

    You can use management insights rules in SCCM to determine all the distribution points that are in matinenance mode for more than 30 days. In the SCCM console, navigate to Administration\Management Insights\All Insights\Proactive Maintenance. Right-click the rule “Distribution points in maintenance mode for more than 30 days” and select Evaluate. This rule will run and display all the DP’s that are in maintenance mode for more than 30 days.

    Find Distribution Points in maintenance mode for more than 30 days
    Find Distribution Points in maintenance mode for more than 30 days
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    Prajwal Desai
    Posted by Prajwal Desai
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    Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.
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