How to use SCCM Task Sequence Debugger

Benoit LecoursSCCM6 Comments

Since SCCM 1906, SCCM Administrator has a new tool to debug a task sequence deployed to a computer. This feature is kind of special for me since I was part of the team that worked on an Hackaton project at the 2017 MVP Summit with Kerwin Medina. We won the first prize with this project, it was a bit different but it’s a huge step to see as a pre-release feature in SCCM 1906.

This blog post will describe how to use SCCM Task Sequence Debugger.

Prerequisite

Before you can use the feature, you need to enable the optional feature in the Administration pane.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Administration / Updates and Servicing / Features
  • Right-click and select Turn-on on the Task Sequence Debugger feature
  • Once done, close the Console and re-open it
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger

Use the SCCM Task Sequence Debugger

First, let’s explain how it works. The Task Sequence debugger is a standalone tool that runs remotely on the target client where you deploy the task sequence. You first need to initiate the Debug action which will launch the deploy task sequence wizard as if you regularly do. Once deployed on the client, the Task Sequence is initiated from Software Center and the tool will launch. Let’s see that in action :

  • In the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library / Operating Systems / Task Sequences
  • Right-Click the Task Sequence you want to debug
  • Select Debug in the menu. If it’s not an option, make sure that you’ve enabled the feature. See the previous section.
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • The Deploy Software Wizard appears
  • Select your collection which contains your target client to debug
  • When selecting the collection, only collection with less than 10 members will be displayed
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • In Deployment Settings, leave it as is. The debug task sequence feature is only possible as Available deployment and ran into Windows.
Important Info
Edit 09/06 – Windows PE can also run the debugger.
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • In the Scheduling tab, click Next
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • In User Experience, click Next
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • Review other tab and complete the wizard
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger

Test the Task Sequence Debugger

It’s now time to try the tool. On a Windows machine where you’ve updated your client to SCCM 1906 :

  • Open Software Center
  • Select your Task Sequence and click Install
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • Accept the warning, click Install
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • A UAC prompt will show, this comes from the TSD.exe executable which is the Task Sequence Debugger, click Yes
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • The SCCM Task Sequence debugger now starts and you have multiple options at the top of the screen.
SCCM Task Sequence Debugger
  • The options are well described in the Technet article
  • The only warning we would add is to make sure to understand the Cancel and Quit button. In our first test, we closed the wizard using the Quit button and end up reimaging our machine.
  • Cancel: Close the debugger, and fail the task sequence.
  • Quit: Detach and close the debugger, but the task sequence continues to run normally.

This tool is great to debug your task sequence. The Variable section at the end can show you the value of those variables on a specific machine.

We see lots of potential new features in the upcoming SCCM releases.

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6 Comments on “How to use SCCM Task Sequence Debugger”

  1. On the ConfigManager UserVoice site, the feature was requested to introduce a feature like LTISuspend into SCCM so that a task sequence could be paused to allow customization of the image before capture like in MDT. Microsoft listed that request as complete and indicated that this debugger offers that same functionality. Is that true? Does it offer the same opportunity to log into the machine locally and install software, etc and then resume the task sequence?
    https://configurationmanager.uservoice.com/forums/300492-ideas/suggestions/35708074-implement-a-suspend-task-sequence-step-in-osd-li

  2. Thanks for the informative walk-through. You mentioned that the debugger cannot be started from WinPE. What happens if you start the Task Sequence from full Windows, then it proceeds to WinPE, then later the computer is again running the Task Sequence from full Windows? Will the debugger launch again when the computer returns to full Windows but is still running the Task Sequence?
    Thanks again, Gary

    1. In this instance, the Debugger will launch in Full OS, then launch again in WinPE, then again in Full OS. After each restart the task sequence will be halted at the next step meaning you’ll need to Step/Run again

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