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Inventory Cycle Version Numbers

By Garth Jones

These questions come up from time to time, “Why is my inventory out of date for PC X,” and, “Why am I getting bad Management Information Format (MIF) files for PC X?”

There are many reasons why this can happen, but one of the main reasons that I often see is that the inventory version numbers are out of sync between the PC and Configuration Manager. I see the following error message within the Dataldr.log in our labs and it is caused by out of date inventory. “Send resync command to local site for machine GUID:<Some GUID>”. When you see this error message it means that a bad MIF file was identified. Once the version numbers are out of sync Configuration Manager will tell the client PC to perform a full inventory in order to get both Configuration Manager and the PC back into sync.

Inventory Cycle Version Numbers-Error Message

The reason for this error message in our environment is simple. Most of our labs have PCs that are virtual machines (VMs). As such we use VM snapshot so that we can quickly revert to a known state. However, this introduces a small problem. Each time the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (CM12) or CM07 client performs an inventory such as a hardware inventory it will attempt to perform a delta inventory. The delta inventory cycle includes a version number in the file it sends to the CM12 site server. In my example below you can see within the InventoryAgent.log that the Major Version number is 26 and the Minor Version number is 34. The mere fact that the Minor Version number is not “0” will signal to the site server that this is a delta inventory and the previous delta inventory number was 33.

Inventory Cycle Version Numbers

These version numbers are used by the site server to ensure that it has not missed any delta inventory files. When the site server detects that it is missing a delta inventory file it will set a flag to tell the client to force a full inventory thereby ensuring the inventory is correct and up-to-date. This process can take up to twice as long as a normal hardware inventory cycle’s setting (the default is 7 days, but I recommend it to be set to daily) therefore if you use the default setting, it would take 14 days before everything is corrected or 2 days if you perform a daily hardware inventory.

Over the next few days, I will show you how to perform a full hardware inventory cycle instead of a delta inventory cycle, and I will tell you how we solved the problem with our VMs.