SMS fails to process or update packages

I'm getting the error message "SMS Distribution Manager failed to find or create the defined share or volume on the distribution point ___________ for distribution package ________. "

The solution suggest that I verify at least one NTFS drive with enough free disk space to store the package. Then, verify that the distribution point directory exists, has the proper permissions and is accessible.

I have plenty of space, approximately 84 percent of the drive is free, and that it is accessible. I've used SMS to send out 60 or so windows security patches but these last 8 won't distribute so that they can be installed on the client side.

Where else in SMS should I check for more information on how to remediate this problem? Has anyone encountered this problem before?

Here's an informational message from the advertisement viewer

"The program for advertisement ___ has not yet started because the content for the package ____ has not been acquired. Possible cause: The content for this program must be downloaded into the computer's cache, or the content could not be located.

Solution: If the program is being downloaded, no action is required. The program will start once the download has been successfully completed. If the content can not be located, ensure that a aditribution point with this content is available for this computer. Distribution point availability can be affected by roaming boundary configuration which is used to determine whether distribution points are classified as local or remote, or by enabling distribution points as protected distribution points. "

All of this makes sense since the distribution manager is saying that it can't process the package.

The Message ID from the Distribution Manager is Error 2324
Currently reading through "Troubleshooting Software Distribution" from TechNet (Ctrl+F to "Package Creation and Distribution Processes"

Now reading through "Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deployment"...

...referencing for background information.

I've used the "no_sms_on_drive.sms" file/tactic to force SMS to a new server that I just created. Perhaps this will be a viable work-around, but I'd rather a real solution.

Created new distribution site on another server
Removed all other distribution sites
Re-assigned packages to new distribution site
Re-ran advertisements for packages
rebooting test computers to clear connections to servers or any packages they may already be trying to implement.

problem still exists.

digging through security logs, searching for any audit failures related to objects involved with SMS and remediating upon occurrence

The user/service account has FULL permissions to all the distrobution points.
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ButterwoodConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I found that by adding the "Everyone" builtin group to the package directory's share permissions, in addition to having the SMS service account assigned, the errors ceased and packages processed normally. I recognize that using the "everyone" group is generally a "no-no." I substituted "Authenticated Users" for "Everyone" with read-only permissions and it's still operating without error.
So when you set this package under "Data Access" tab are you specifying a "Share distribution folder" or using Access distribution folder through common SMS package share?

If you select "Share distribution folder" SMS will attempt to place the package on the root of the distribution point i.e. on C:\, D:\ etc.. rather than the default SMSPKGx$ folder where x= the Distribution Point Volume Name.  If SMS doesn't have rights to write to the Root then you would receive this error.  However it also means that there maybe problems with your SMS installation as SMS should have full access to all the distribution point servers, the service account imho should be a member of the Domain Admins.

Anyway hope that made sense and helps with a solution.

ButterwoodAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comment.

I am using "Access distribution through common SMS package share." I have tried the alternate method with no success.

The account is a member of the Domain Admin group. I have manually checked and explicitly granted the account rights to the root of the volumes.
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Try running the SMS 2003 Tookit 2 'Management Point Troubleshooter' just to check the communication between the Primary and Secondary Servers.

ButterwoodAuthor Commented:
I got tired of troubleshooting and decided to reinstall.

Plan B

I performed a full backup of the SMS server and SQL server just in case I need to roll-back.
I uninstalled SMS rebooted and started a reinstall. The installation fails with an error saying that it can't write tables to the database. When you check the database there will be tables populated with no data in them. Perhaps it's failing to write data to the tables rather than not being able to create the tables themselves. An associate informed me that SMS 2003 does install onto  SQL2005. This was confirmed by various other "internet" threads and a couple of pages on Microsoft's website. Lesson learned.

Plan B v1.5

I then installed SQL 2000 on the same box, a side-by-side install. I created an instance name just for me new SMS installation. Windows told me that I needed to patch SQL to SP3, no big deal. I had the SP4 patch ready. I tried to tell the installation wizard to use my new instance of SQL but there was no field that was appropriate in the installation wizard. Me being smarter than the computer...I tried to tell it where it was, but that didn't work. Here's Lesson#2 The SQL instance pm which it is installing MUST be the default instance. The SQL server had other important databases running on it so I couldn't blow it away for the sake of little pissy SMS.

Plan B 2.0

Install SQL 2000 on the same server of SMS.

Patch SQL2K to SP4

Install SMS

Patch SMS to SP2

Install ITMU before making the fatal error of trying to install ITMU after SP3

All components installed configuring system settings.
ButterwoodAuthor Commented:
Problem still exists even after a new install and new installation of SQL.
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