Tip: Task sequences in SCCM 1810 with error handling

Windows Update[German]There is a new variable _SMSTSLastActionName in SCCM 1810, which can be used to query the name of the last action in SCCM task sequences. This can be very helpful when checking for errors.


Maybe this information is helpful for Administrators in enterprise environments using System Center Configuration Manager 1810. I don’t use System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

The SCCM at a glance

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a tool that can handle software distribution, patch management, license monitoring, and more. Microsoft has set up a page on SCCM here.

Version 1810 of the System Center Configuration Manager has been available since the end of November 2018 (see Configuration Manager Version 1810 (CB), what’s new). Microsoft has published the document What’s new in version 1810 of Configuration Manager current branch. A brief overview of functions (based on a Preview) may be read here.

Tip for Error Handling in SCCM 1810

Adam Gross gives some hints about SCCM tricks on his Twitter channel. The following tweet by Adam Gross has drawn my attention to his article in which he gives a tip on error handling in the System Center Configuration Manager 1810. 


He wrote: No matter how well you build your ConfigMgr Task Sequences, you will encounter failures. When you are testing in your lab, no big deal, but what about failures at a user’s desk during an In-Place Upgrade? Adding structure to your Task Sequences that can properly handle the failures will add an extra layer of protection against incomplete deployments going unnoticed.

One of the best new features in the System Center Configuration Manager 1810 in his opinion is the new variable _SMSTSLastActionName. This variable can be used to enter the name of the last action. So if something goes wrong with a task sequence, the variable can be used to determine where the sequence aborts.

Fehler in SCCM 1810 behandeln
(Source: Adam Gross)

Within his blog post Building a Better Task Sequence Adam addresses the question of how this variable can be used for error diagnosis in the SCCM 1810 Task Sequence configuration. Details can be found in the blog post by Adam Gross. Maybe the article is helpful for one or the other administrator. 


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