SCCM Distribution Point Installation

Benoit LecoursSCCM41 Comments

SCCM 2012 Distribution point Installation
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This blog post has been updated. Please refer to the new SCCM Current Branch Installation Guide.

In the first part of this SCCM 2012 and SCCM 1511 blog series, we planned our hierarchy, prepared our SCCM Server and Active Directory.

In part 2, we installed and configured SQL in order to install SCCM.

In part 3, we installed a stand-alone SCCM Primary site.

In the next 16 parts, we will describe how to install the numerous site systems roles available in SCCM 2012 R2 and SCCM 1511. Role installation order is not important, you can install roles independently of others.

In this part, we will describe how to perform an SCCM distribution point installation.

I saw a lot of posts recently on the Technet forum which leads me to think that there’s a lack of documentation explaining this.

SCCM Distribution Point Installation

Several distribution points can provide better access to available software, updates, and operation systems. A local Distribution Point also prevents the installation through the WAN.


  • Functional SCCM 2012 hierarchy
  • SCCM 2012 Admin console access
  • RDP access on the Distribution Point server
  • The required level of security in the SCCM console

Distribution point server configuration

Prevent package from replication on the wrong drive

  • Logon locally on the target machine with remote desktop
  • Create an empty file called NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS on the root of each drive where SCCM should NOT write. (If any)

Local Administrator group

On the DP, add a group that contains your site system computer account in the Administrators group.

I like to create an SCCM system groups that contain all my distribution points.

  • Open Server Manager
  • Expand Local Users and Groups
  • Click on Groups
  • Double-click on “Administrators”
  • Add the security groups that contain the SCCM computer account

Windows Server configuration – Roles and Features

Configuration Manager requires some roles and features to be installed on the server prior to the DP installation

Remote Differential Compression

  • Open Server Manager, on the Features node, starts the Add Features Wizard.
  • On the Select Features page, select Remote Differential Compression
SCCM Distribution point Installation


IIS needs to be installed on the server but it will automatically be installed using the site installation wizard.

For Windows Server 2003, you must install and configure IIS manually.

Make sure that these roles are installed on your server prior to the installation :

  • IIS WMI Compatibility tool
  • IIS Scripting Tool

Windows Deployment Service

For Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012R2, WDS is installed and configured automatically when you configure a distribution point to support PXE or Multicast.

For Windows Server 2003, you must install and configure WDS manually.


With System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, the distribution point site system role does not require Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). When BITS is configured on the distribution point computer, BITS on the distribution point computer is not used to facilitate the download of content by clients that use BITS

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable

You can run the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Setup from the Configuration Manager installation at: <ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>\Client\x64\vcredist_x64.exe

For Configuration Manager SP1, vcredist_x64.exe is installed automatically when you configure a distribution point to support PXE.

Powershell 3.0

For Windows 2012 only, you need to enable Powershell 3.0 (or further) before installing the distribution point.


Ensure that your firewall is set correctly. 2 ports needs to be opened.

SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

Distribution Point site server installation

Reboot your server to avoid case where your server is in “Reboot pending State” which will result in unexpected reboot during distribution point installation.

Now that the Distribution point server is ready to receive a new role, we need to add the server to the site server list

Add new distribution point server to the SCCM console – Site System

  • In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration
  • In the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration, and then right click Servers and Site System Roles.
  • Select Create Site System Server. The Create Site System Server Wizard opens.
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • On the General page, specify the Name for the site system server
  • Select the Site Code and Click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Do not specify a proxy server, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Select Distribution point in the role selection screen, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Check Install and configure IIS if required by CM
  • Add a description if needed
  • Select HTTP
  • Select Create self-signed certificate, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Set drive configuration to your needs. This is where the SCCMContentLib will be created so select a drive with enough storage space, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Do not configure a pull distribution point, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Do not configure PXE for now, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Do not enable multicast for now, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Enable content validation to occur where it fits your environment, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Add the boundary group that needs to be associated with this DP and Uncheck the Allow fallback source location for content, click Next
SCCM Distribution point Installation
  • Review the summary page and complete the installation, click Next
SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

WARNING Your remote server may reboot if there’s a missing requirement

At this point, the major part of installing a distribution point server is completed.

SCCM Distribution point Verification


You can track the installation progress in 2 logs:

  • Distmgr.log on the site server
  • Smsdpprov.log on the distribution point. (InstallationDrive\SMS_DP$\SMS\Logs)

Windows Explorer

At this point, you will the SCCM file structure created on the site server.

SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation


You can also track the installation progress in the SCCM console under Monitoring / Distribution Status / Distribution Point Configuration Status

  • Click on your DP
  • Click the detail tab on the bottom
  • Check for green check mark on all components
SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

Note: Error on the IIS Virtual directory is normal at the start of the process. SCCM is making a check as if IIS is installed at the start of the process even if you tell SCCM to enable you IIS for you. That results in errors but be patient and the installation should succeed anyway

  • Verify the status of your new DP in Administration / System Status / Site Status
SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

Replicate content on the Distribution Point

You can now replicate your content to your newly created DP. Replicate manually all your content or add your DP in an existing DP group.

Replicate a package or Application to your newly created site system

SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

Verify that the content is well replicated in the SCCM Console. (or check distmgr.log)

SCCM 2012 Distribution Point Installation

That’s it ! You’re done creating your DP.


If you have multiple Distribution Point, I suggest you to read our post on 8 ways to monitor your distribution points. This post explains in detail the various options to make sure that your DP are healthy.

You can also check our custom report about Distribution Point Monitoring to display all your DP status using a single click.

41 Comments on “SCCM Distribution Point Installation”

  1. I’ve just installed a SCCM 1902 Stand-Alone system for my Training Project and wanted to add the distribution point role, only to see it has been pre-installed already. How can I set the drive settings if the DP Role is installed already?

    Also, have I missed it or have you not lead through Boundary Group creation before this point?

  2. My company and I have purchased the entire suite of SCD content. I was hoping to use the guides to replace my aging internal documents. Then I notice this hasn’t been updated since Current Branch and Server 2012 R2, let alone Server 2016 that I’m using. Do you have any plans to update the content and then I assume I’ll have to repurchase it?

  3. I followed these instructions setting up all my new DPs. Well I rebuilt the entire environ and reused the DP’s. Everything was working great for a few weeks. I have one DP that all of the sudden I could not distribute content too. Had a series of WMI errors. Troubleshooting led me to look for the .MOF files. Then to realize that SMS_DP$ is missing entirely.

    What steps do you recommend to fix?

  4. I followed these instructions on a 2012 R2 OS and it seems that everything worked except clients received HTTP 500 when attempting to download the package contents. I needed to install the ISAPI Extensions feature on IIS to resolve.

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  11. Hi,
    I have a DP(DP1) that I will delete because the server will be shut down soon (I’m changing my infra). And I have an another DP(DP2) which is almost the same as the DP1 I want to delete.
    Is it possible to replicate DP1 to DP2 in SCCM 2012 R2 ?

      1. I create a new DP I did everything group boundary etc. but I am not sure the client are connecting to it. there were connecting to a other one (other site) but now I want them to connect to this new one.


  12. Hello,
    I installed a stand-alone site rolling MP and DP on the same server.
    I have a branch that have slow connection with site server. I configured one of its machines as DP. The rest of the machine are still pulling the client installation from the site server.
    Note that i created a boundary group for this branch and chose the DP as a fast connection.

  13. Pingback: How To Add A Distribution Point In Sccm 2012 | Gohowto

  14. Hello, we have 32 DPs deployed to our remote offices. Today I noticed that 13 if them have only 2 roles installed. “Site System” and “Distribution point”. The “Component server” role is missing.

    One of these sites have reported OSD problems. Can this be related to the missing role?

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  17. What happens if you drop an NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file on the root of every drive, except for the one where you want to install your Distribution Point? I’d really rather not have SCCM adding content to a second drive on my file servers if space becomes an issue. Would much rather just expand the existing drive if needed. Will the installation of the Distribution Points barf if I try this?

    1. You can place the file on every drives except the one you want content on. During the DP installation wizard you can also choose where to put your content.

      1. Understood, but when going through the DP wizard there is no option to not configuration a Secondary Content/Package library. It can be left as “Automatic”. My question is if I place the file on all drives except G, then select G as my primary content library location and leave the secondary options as Automatic…. is that a supported configuration for not having a secondary storage location? I’m just a little worried about doing this live on our production servers when the GUI doesn’t seem to support NOT having a secondary drive.

        1. Yes it’s supported. As long as there’s 1 drive without the file, the installation will succeed. If your G drive runs out of space, you’ll get an error and you won’t be able to distribute anything on this DP.

          I’ve setup hundred of DP this way, no need to be worried 🙂

  18. Are there any logs that show client connections to the DP? I am suspecting that my clients are still coming back to the site server for packages instead of the DP. I have boundaries and boundary groups configured, but I see no traffic when I do a netstat from the DP after doing a package push to the clients.

    1. I suggest that you check the LocationServices.log on your clients for this or you can check the MP_Location.log on the server to see clients incoming requests.

  19. Hi,
    I have a single site with SQL installed on the same machine and after CM2012R2 installation I’ve received an error on the DP:

    “Distribution Manager failed to process package “Configuration Manager Client Package” (package ID = PS100003).

    Possible cause: Distribution manager does not have access to either the package source directory or the distribution point.
    Solution: Verify that distribution manager can access the package source directory/distribution point.

    Possible cause: The package source directory contains files with long file names and the total length of the path exceeds the maximum length supported by the operating system.
    Solution: Reduce the number of folders defined for the package, shorten the filename, or consider bundling the files using a compression utility.

    Possible cause: There is not enough disk space available on the site server computer or the distribution point.
    Solution: Verify that there is enough free disk space available on the site server computer and on the distribution point.

    Possible cause: The package source directory contains files that might be in use by an active process.
    Solution: Close any processes that maybe using files in the source directory. If this failure persists, create an alternate copy of the source directory and update the package source to point to it.”

    I solved the problem by adding my CM server to the local administrators group, like in your guide. But is it the best practice even in the production? I can also add that my CM installation was clean without any error messages or warnings.

  20. Thanks for this valuable information.
    Is there a way to automate this in a TS?
    I would like to deploy/configure DPs via TS when a server is built. The Server OS will be Server 2012.

    1. Hi Simon,

      I’ve done it for a client a while ago. You’ll have to use PowerShell for that. Unfortunately, I can’t share the script as I’m not the owner.

      I can give you some hints :
      Use Import-Module for the prerequisites
      Use New-CMSiteSystemServer to add the site system
      Use Add-CMDistributionPoint to add the Distribution Point role
      Use Add-CMDistributionPointToGroup to add your DP to a group

      Hope it helps.


  21. We have used SCCM 2007 and are currently using SCCM 2012 RTM. I just built a SCCM 2012 R2 environment. I thought I had read somewhere in this version Microsoft was finally going to allow multicast directly by access content directly from the distribution point? If I force the WIM into multicast only and set the task advertisement to access content directly it starts a unicast. If I set the task to “download content locally” it does the usual multicast. Are we still not able to multicast directly off the distribution point? I may have read it in a forum a while back so it may never have been added in. We have 57 gig wim files we deploy which takes a while to expand and unwim once the transfer is complete (usually sent to 1200 machines in groups of 40 at a time). I am driving myself nuts trying to get this working but it could just be they haven’t actually built it into the product as of yet. If you are able to confirm either way it would be appreciated.


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