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System Center Configuration Manager Will Require KB3159706 for Windows 10

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) users could face a somewhat bumpy ride with the arrival of Windows 10 version 1607.

It turns out that a Windows Server patch and manual install steps will be required to use SCCM with Windows 10 version 1607, which is also known as the "anniversary update." Microsoft issued a reminder late last week about what SCCM users must do to prepare.

The anniversary update is the next "current branch" release of Windows 10, adding some "major" new features to the operating system. Microsoft generally released Windows 10 version 1607 on Tuesday, but those organizations using SCCM and the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) management solutions will get the operating system update next week.

Specifically, the anniversary update of Windows 10 will arrive on Aug. 16 for SCCM and WSUS users, Microsoft explained last week.

The time lag is perhaps related to the rollout of Update 1606 for SCCM, which is required to manage Windows 10 version 1607. Microsoft started releasing its SCCM Update 1606 last month, but it's a gradual rollout. Update 1606, when available, will appear in SCCM's Updates and Servicing node.

In its reminder late last week, the SCCM team explained that SCCM users also will have to install KB3159706, which is an update for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that allows WSUS to "natively decrypt the encrypted Windows 10 Anniversary Update packages, and any subsequent Windows 10 feature upgrades."

Back in April, some WSUS users got tripped up by a flawed KB3148812 update, which was supposed to have added this native decryption capability in preparation for the Windows 10 anniversary update. Instead, it made WSUS consoles inaccessible or they couldn't connect with clients. Microsoft issued KB3159706 in May as a sort of fixed version of that update, although WSUS users still had to perform some manual configuration changes to make things right.

SCCM users will need Update 1606 and KB3159706 to manage the Windows 10 anniversary update. They'll have to follow the same manual configuration steps as WSUS users. Here's how Bruno Yoshioka, a software engineer with the System Center Configuration Manager engineering team, explained the matter:

Both updates are needed for the ConfigMgr Windows 10 servicing feature to deploy Windows 10 feature upgrades starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We recommend that you install KB3159706 on your Software Update Point (SUP) servers following the required manual installation steps that are outlined in the kb article before starting deployments of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Yoshioka offered a bit of consolation, adding that it's possible to use SCCM's operating system deployment feature "as an alternative to the SUM/Windows 10 servicing feature to deploy the Windows 10 Anniversary Update."

Microsoft is recommending that organizations use this Windows Server forum page if they are having problems after performing the manual installation steps associated with KB3159706. However, based on those pages, some people are stuck, even after performing those steps.

Steve Henry, WSUS program manager at Microsoft, early on acknowledged that KB3159706 "may cause friction for some customers." The team is "prioritizing a smoother experience," Henry had said on May 11.

It's not clear when the improvements will arrive. Microsoft seems to be signaling that they won't be there when the Windows 10 anniversary update shows up next week.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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