SCOM 2007: Renaming Default Management Pack display name

One of the most common frustration I face (and I’m sure I’m not alone) is the fact that from time to time there are things saved in the default management pack.

imagesCALXWMLCIt’s so easy to forget to change the destination management pack while creating rules / monitors and just click next. We all know once you’ve created the rule it’s not possible to change the management pack anymore…

It’s best practice not to write anything to your default management pack but it’s always selected as default…

Yet you have 2 options:

  • Delete the rule and start all over again
  • live with the rule residing in your default management pack which is not a good idea in case you face issues with dependencies…

To avoid this common mistake / lack of attention I make a habit of renaming my default management pack display name to something eye catching so I see it before clicking next while creating a rule / monitor.

Open the SCOM console and navigate to Administration > Management packs and right click your Default Management Pack


Choose Properties in the menu:


Change the Name of your Default Management Pack. In my case I always put in capital “DO NOT WRITE TO” before the name.


And click apply.

This changes in fact the display name of your management pack but not the management pack ID. It’s not possible to change the ID (it’s greyed out) so your management pack will still hold all the dependencies…

At this point the default management pack is still the default when creating a rule but there’s a nice message in capital just above the next button.

This small modification saved me already a lot of (additional) headache to remind me to change to a different management pack when creating a rule / monitor…

SCOM 2007: Custom Alert Fields

Just recently I needed to connect SCOM to an in-house written Problem Management system. There was not a connector available and it was also not possible to generate tickets directly in the system itself.

The only way the system is receiving input is via mail through specific keywords.

Most of the keywords could be mapped to standard alert fields like severity, time raised, description….

BUT (off course there’s a but) the system also requested other fields to decide proper escalation, severity,…

The previously used system onsite is MOM2005. In MOM2005 there’s an option to define globally these fields so you can use them in whatever alert you want to raise.

This is in MOM2005:

Open Operator Console > Administration > Global Settings > Custom Alert Fields


Up to 5 Custom Fields can be named here:Customalertfields_2

These fields can than be addressed in the Rules you create and can be populated with the text you define:


When you select Custom Fields the labels you specified in the Custom Alert Fields settings are shown here and you can pass info to the fields via the rule into the alert:


question-markWhile setting up the same connection from SCOM to the Problem management system I found out it’s not possible to define the custom fields globally in SCOM like we did before in MOM.

BUT there are 10 (!) Customalertfields available in the SCOM dbase to use as u please.

So How can we use these fields and fill them in with the proper parameters to give the correct data to the Problem Management system to do it’s magic?

Well through an Alert Generating Rule which is event based:

Open Scom Console and navigate to Authoring > rules > right click in the right pane and choose new Rule…


Note: Always change your destination management pack to something OTHER than your Default Management Pack.

In this example I’ll be creating a new rule for event ID 145 in the application log to show where exactly the custom fields are.


Fill in:

  • The rule Name
  • Description (if required)
  • Rule Category: We’ll leave it at Custom for this rule
  • Rule Target: Choose the Target class to where you want to target your rule. In this example we’re targeting towards all Windows Computers


Fill in the Event log name where you want to look for the event. In our case this is the Application log.


We want to look for an event ID which is equal to 145 in this case.


And in this screen there’s the option to add Custom alert field parameters.


Unfortunately it’s not possible to label them as you could in MOM so you need to keep a description at hand what you want to fill in in what number of custom field.

The custom fields are written in the SCOM dbase and can be used in PowerShell or other scripting language.

The parameter in PowerShell is $_.CustomField1 through $.Customfield10.


By passing the info here I was able to deliver the correct data to the Problem Management system to do it’s magic in the background…

SCOM 2007: Dump alerts to text file and mail

Just recently I had an issue at a client where there was a need to rethink the notification possibilities due to various issues. I’ve developed a powershell script to gain more control over the notification process.


My Client is using an in-house developed and maintained problem management system installed on a mainframe platform.

The alerts which need escalation are detected in SCOM and then sent by mail to a Lotus Notes system. The data is then read through a connector between the mainframe system and the Lotus Notes dbase. The mail is scrubbed and through a series of scripts on the mainframe the key fields of the mail are detected and filled in in the ticket….


So far so good… BUT because of the use of different systems there was an issue with encoding. The mails were sent in UTF8 encoding and correctly decoded when viewing in the Lotus Notes Client but stayed encoded in the Lotus Notes Dbase and therefore the scrubbed text was all scrambled and unusable for the problem management system.


After various attempts to mail in different encoding formats I decided to rethink the notification and detach it from the SCOM system to get more freedom in testing.

The following Powershell script together with a custom notification channel did the trick:

It’s constructed in 3 sections: preparation + composing file, mailing and error handling for reporting reasons.

You can Download the script here.



First of all we are preparing everything to execute the script.

The areas in yellow need to be customized for your environment.

Variables which need customization:

$rootMS: Is used to read the RMS name (if the RMS is a single server you can use the first method, mine is on a cluster so I filled in the name to avoid issues with the RPC server when reading the name through WMI.

$NotifiedResState: Just pick any number which is not already in use. We’ll have to make the resolution state in SCOM afterwards.

$CultureInfo: Make sure you fill in the correct locale info to get the date / time format correct. For a list of all culture info check here: Table

Compose file


In this part of the script we are reading in all the different desired elements of the Alert and write them in a TXT file. You could however leave the txt file option out and just write this to a string but I prefer to keep the txt files for backup to check whether a ticket was raised at any given time.

Variables which need customization:

$strResolutionState: Because the resolution state is a number in the dbase and not the word itself we need to translate the number to the correct word. This way we’ll get the resolution state name in our mail instead of the number. You need to fill in the resolution state number you’ve chosen earlier + the text you’ve associated with it in SCOM. Check below on how to implement this setting in SCOM.

$strobjectname: Because not all the desired info was in the alerting I had to use 3 custom fields to get the mails to contain compliant info for the custom made problem management system. CustomField2 is reading out the NetBIOS name. Because I don’t need the full name (servername.domain.locale) but just the server name I’m splitting the name and using just the first part in the variable $Objectname

$FilePath: The file path is constructed out of 2 parameters from the alert to create a unique name and avoid overwriting an existing txt file. You need to use the time raised of the event because if you use the Get-Date function to get the current date and time it will generate 2 files if the time changes during the process.

Off course you can adapt the different fields + structure at your liking but for our problem management system this format had to be strictly followed to be able to scrub the mail.

Note: CustomField1 and CustomField3 are static text passed by the alert generated rule.

Mailing and error handling


In the last part of the script you need to send out the mail to your destination.

I’m using static parameters here because the destination will not change that often. However If you have multiple destinations it’s best to use a variable and pass it when you are running the notification command from SCOM.

Variable which needs customization:

$Sender: Fill in the From email address

$OKRecipient: This will be the email address where you want to send the mail to when everything went fine

$strOKSubject: Define the subject for the mail when everything was fine.

$ErrRecipient: This will be the email address where you want to send the mail with the error.

$strErrSubject: Define the subject for the error mail

$strErrBody: Small body to notify something went wrong along the way.

Note: due to my issues in my customers environment with encoding I’ve used a command line mail utility which I’ve used quite often and is platform independent: blat. It’s a lightweight mail utility which can be downloaded here: Blat Download

More info on Blat can be found here: Blat Info

The install + config info for blat on the RMS is at the end of the blog post.

Last but not least I’m writing an event in the event log for successful and unsuccessful script runs. This can be used to set up alerting in SCOM to give you a quick warning when the ticketing is not working anymore.

At the end we unload the snap-in to have a clean system and avoid error messages when running the script the next time:


Things which need to be in place to use this script

In order to use this script some things need to be configured in your SCOM environment + on your RMS:

  • The script needs to run on your RMS
  • The powerShell execution policy on your RMS needs to set to RemoteSigned or Unrestricted. More info here Execution policy Powershell
  • Blat needs to be installed on your RMS
  • The Notification state needs to be added to your SCOM environment: Check here to create
  • The command channel notification + subscribers need to be configured: Check here to create 

Install Blat:

  • Download blat here Blat Download
  • Extract the Archive to your %System%\windows\system32 folder to include it in the path
  • open a command prompt (just to be safe open an elevated one on win2k8)
  • Install blat by using the command: blat –install <your smtp server here> <the sender you would like to use> <Number of retries to send the mail out if unsuccessful>

Any tips or hints on improving this script are always welcome…

SCOM 2007: Setup Command Notification Channel + Subscriber

Sometimes it’s necessary to launch a custom script or other action after an alert is detected. This can be all executable scripts or programs.

In my particular case I’m using this to launch scripts when an alert is detected to properly escalate the alert and perform additional tasks on the alert.

So how do you make sure that the script you intend to run will actually run when a predefined alert is raised?

By creating a Command notification channel and subscription…

Let’s start with setting up the command notification channel.

Note: I’m using my script Create_Ticket.Ps1 as documented here. The parameters I’m passing are useful for this script but you can pass many more parameters according to your needs.

First of all open the Notification Channels by opening the SCOM console > administration > Notifications > Channels


Right click in the Right pane > choose New > Command…


In the settings tab you need to fill in what you prefer to run:

  • Full Path of the command file: In my case this is PowerShell as I would like to run a PowerShell script
  • Command Line Parameters: In my case I’m running a PowerShell script and I’m passing the AlertID of the specific alert as an argument which I’m using in my script. Again you can use any arguments here if you like.
  • Startup folder for the command line: This is basically the path of your program you want to run.

Click Finish.


At this point your Command Notification Channel is set up. The next thing you need to configure is the trigger which will run this Command Notification Channel. This is done by creating a Subscriber:

Open the Scom console and navigate to Administration > notifications > Subscribers


Right click in the right pane and choose New…


Fill in a name for the Subscriber


Leave the “always send notifications” or specify a time window (ex. during business hours only) and click next.


Click Add to ad a subscriber address to the list. The following window appears:


Fill in the address name and click next


  • Channel Type: Select Command in the drop down list
  • Command Channel: Select the previously created Channel in this case it’s “Ticket” from the drop down list.
  • Click Next


Leave the always send notifications setting or change according to your needs.


Click Finish and you have configured your Command to run whenever you subscribe to an alert with this channel.

SCOM 2007: Create custom Alert Resolution States

Sometimes it’s useful to make your own Custom Alert Resolution States to further classify your alerts in the console and use these states to trigger different actions using various scripts.

I’ll be posting some scripts which are going to use this custom alert resolution state so therefore I’m documenting here how to configure them.

Open your SCOM console, select the administration tab, settings and alerts.


Click new…


Type in the Resolution State display name and choose a uniqueID. Click OK.


And we are done.

Not much to it but it makes live a little easier when you want to classify different alerts.

In the next series of blogs I’ll be frequently using this Custom Alert Resolution States to classify and report on different types of alerts.

SCOM 2007: installation bypassing the prerequisite checker

Most of the time the prerequisite checker when installing SCOM 2007 is right that there’s a prerequisite not met to install the specific role or specific item of SCOM 2007.

However If you are 100% sure everything is there you can bypass the prerequisite checker by running the install with the following command:

MSIEXEC /i <path>\MOM.msi /qn /l*v D:\logs\MOMUpgrade.log PREREQ_COMPLETED=1

This is however NOT supported by Microsoft.

Note: in Windows Server 2008 always run commands in an elevated prompt.

This should be your last resort to get things going. Most of the time there’s indeed a prerequisite not met and therefore the checker is right.

If you want to double check your prerequisites you can find them here:

A known issue with the prerequisites is that ASP.Net is not correctly detected. More info here:

SCOM: Moving the Opsdb Datawarehouse to another drive

Recently I got a question of a customer to move the Opsdb Datawarehouse (DW) to another drive because the disk on which it was originally installed was not big enough. In fact they wanted to move the DW to an iscsi disk to boost performance.

To verify whether there would be an issue or it would be a straight forward move I did some browsing on the biggest manual out there… The internet!

However all that came up were actually moves from one server to another but not from one drive to another on the same server…

I did some testing in my lab and thought I ‘d share the outcome with you.

First of all this is your DW you are tempering about. Make sure you have proper backups of your db and read the entire blog before proceeding. Just to be on the safe side. It would be a shame that you lost all your data older than 8 days (if this is your grooming setting) because of a bad manipulation.

Ok enough said. Let’s get things started.

These are the steps I followed and in my case everything went smoothly without any problems.

First of all (again) take backups of your dbase and secondly plan a SCOM down time. To be absolutely sure that there’s no interference or blocking of the DW dbase you need to shutdown your RMS, any MS and GW servers in your environment (or at least in the management group of which the DW is part of). Some sources just drop the connections to the dbase which is an option as well but I prefer the first option. In my opinion it’s safer to do it like this.

Connect to the SQL server where your DW and open up the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio:


Open up the connection to your DW. In my case it is residing on my VSERVER05.

Again better safe than sorry. Backing up!


The DW can be very big so it could be that it needs some time to perform the backup. When it’s finished.

At this point shutdown your environment. This means RMS, MS and GW’s. This sounds like a draconic measure but it ensures that your environment is completely shutdown and no queries are made to the dbase.

When this is done we can proceed to move the dbase

Take the DW offline by right clicking it and choosing “Take Offline”


A small dialog will popup and eventually of all goes well it will tell you the dbase is offline successfully. Notice the red arrow on the DW dbase.

Now take the ReportServer$OpSDBDW and ReportServer$OPSDBDWTempDB offline as well. Note that these dbases can have a different name in your environment or could not be present.

Note: My OpsdbDW is installed in a separate SQL instance. Be cautious with restarting your SQL service as this impacts all dbases under this instance.

When all the dbases are down they can be detached. This is done by right clicking the dbase > tasks > “detach”.


Choose the option to drop the connections to the dbase and hit OK.

Now we can copy (yes copy) the data. Again better safe than sorry and make a copy of the data rather than moving it.

After the copy has been done we are going to attach the copied DW to the SQL

Right click Databases and click Attach:


Select your dbase and attach:


In this case I’m moving my DW from E: to F: drive.


NOTE: It’s not automatically selecting the correct log file. Make sure you select it manually by clicking on the icon behind the path in the lower section.

When the attach is completed successfully you will dbases are moved to your new drive.

Start your SCOM environment again by starting your RMS first and then your MS and or GW servers you might have.

Just to be on the safe side verify whether you’re able to generate a report in the reporting view of your console with data older than 7 days (when your grooming settings are different you need to modify this to make sure you have a report with data older than your grooming setting.

If all goes well you now have successfully moved your dbase to another drive and you are free to delete the initial copy on your old location.

Enough talk, let’s build
Something together.