Fixing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager when it saves a bad server name

I’m a big scary IT contractor now, working for a relatively small Texas-based company on a contract for the USDA. It’s pretty awesome, and I’ve learned all kinds of things since I started here. One of the cooler tools made available to us is Microsoft System Center, which allows for a single application to manage a huge variety of tasks, including pushing updates to users, working with virtual servers, and installing software remotely. It also has an awesome remote control feature that allows working on a customer’s machine without having to log them out and use regular RDP (remote desktop).

I had the client console installed, but it never worked, mostly because my user account wasn’t in the right domain group, so I didn’t have access rights to connect to the MSC server. Then it turned out that I had a typo in my server hostname, which was causing the SCCM application to crash every single time I loaded it.

Since I couldn’t get the application to stay open long enough to rename the server it was connecting to by default, I figured I’d just uninstall it, which would (theoretically) wipe out any settings that had been created for the application.

Not so.

I mean, really, Microsoft, really? It’s just good manners to take any registry edits and config files with you when your application’s uninstaller is used.

It turns out that I had to search through the registry for the bad server name, rename it, and presto! My client console works perfectly. If you’re having a similar issue, the server string is located in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\ConfigMgr\Admin UIMRU\DefaultSite. Change ServerName to whatever the correct name is, and you should be back in business.

Maybe the System Center 2012 client uninstaller will actually, you know, uninstall everything.

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