You can configure Configuration Manager to automatically upgrade the client software to the latest System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Client version when Configuration Manager identifies that a client that is assigned to the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager hierarchy is lower than the version used in the hierarchy. This scenario includes upgrading the Configuration Manager 2007 client to the latest System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client when it attempts to assign to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site.
A client can be automatically upgraded in the following scenarios:
- The client version is lower that the version being used in the hierarchy.
- The client on the central administration site has a language pack installed and the existing client does not.
- A client prerequisite in the hierarchy is a different version than the one installed on the client.
- One or more of the client installation files are a different version.
Configuration Manager creates an upgrade package by default that is automatically sent to all distribution points in the hierarchy. If you make changes to the client package on the central administration site, for example, add a client language pack, Configuration Manager automatically updates the package, and distributes it to all distribution points in the hierarchy. If automatic client upgrade is enabled, every client will install the new client language package automatically.
Note: Configuration Manager does not automatically send the client upgrade package to Configuration Manager SP1 cloud-based distribution points.
Automatic client upgrades are useful when you want to upgrade a small number of client computers that might have been missed by your main client installation method. For example, you have completed an initial client upgrade, but some clients were offline during the upgrade deployment. You then use this method to upgrade the client on these computers when they are next active.
Note: For Configuration Manager SP1 only – The performance improvements in Configuration Manager SP1 let you use automatic client upgrades as the main method to upgrade clients. However, the performance of this method might be affected by the infrastructure of your hierarchy, such as the number of clients that you have.
Use the following procedure to configure automatic client upgrade. Automatic client upgrade must be configured at a central administration site and this configuration applies to all clients in your hierarchy.
- In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.
- In the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration, and then click Sites.
On the Home tab, in the Sites group, click Hierarchy Settings.
In the Automatic Client Upgrade tab of the Site Settings Properties dialog box, configure the following options:
Upgrade client automatically when new client updates are available – Enables or disables automatic client upgrades.
Automatically upgrade clients within days – Specify the number of days in which client computers must upgrade the client after they receive client policy. The client will be upgraded at a random interval within this number of days. This prevents scenarios where a large number of client computers are upgraded simultaneously.
- Automatically distribute client installation package to distribution points that are enabled for prestaged content – You must enable this option if you want the client installation package to be copied to distribution points that have been enabled for prestaged content.
- Select Upgrade client when new client updates are available:
- You will be notified that you have selected to enabled the automatic upgrade for all clients in the hierarchy and this will install the latest Configuration Manager client and prerequisites on all clients in the hierarchy that are at or below the specified version. Click OK:
- Click OK to save the settings and close the Site Settings Properties dialog box. Clients receive these settings when they next download policy. (After enabling this option you can configure the time period (in days) in which the clients in the hierarchy needs to be upgraded. In this example we choose 5 days, because is a small infrastructure.)
When triggering the Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle you should see appear a Configuration Manager Client Upgrade Task in the Task Scheduler of the client. This task is scheduled at a random time within your configured timeframe. Also the system is checked if the new Configuration Manager client can be installed on the system. (You can check the log in c:\windows\ccmsetup\logs\ccmsetup-ccmeval.log).
At the configured time and date, the client will be upgraded by the following command line that will be started.
“C:\windows\ccmsetup\ccmsetup.exe /AutoUpgrade /UpgradePackageVersion:3 /UpgradeWinTask“
If you check the Configuration Manager Properties in the Control Panel of the workstation, you will see the version of the client
If I started manually the task Configuration Manager Client Upgrade Task, the task is deleted instantly and the ccmsetup.exe process will start
After a while you can check that the task run successfully and the client is upgrade to new version 5.00.7804.1000
Note: You can run the report Count of Configuration Manager clients by client versions in the report folder Site – Client Information to identify the different versions of the Configuration Manager client in your hierarchy.
What’s New in Configuration Manager SP1: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj591552.aspx#BKMK_WhatsNewSP1_Clients
How to Install Clients on Windows-Based Computers in Configuration Manager: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2ad4b21a-43bd-434e-b3bb-fc8744da7e9c#BKMK_upgrade