I encountered an issue with using the Data Protection Manager (DPM) console on a system that had the DPM Protection Agent also installed.
Here is the synopsis.
Data Protection Manager (DPM) Configuration
In my lab environment, I have deployed the entire System Center suite of products using the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).
Note: The current version of the PDT (version 188.8.131.52-2620) does not include DPM in the list of components to install. However, a previous version did. Therefore, to include DPM in the rebuild/deployment of my lab environment, I copied the <component> code from a previous version and included it in the latest Variable.xml file.
This additional code looks like the following:
After the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) deploys the VMs, installs the software, and performs some (but not all) of the integration; you will need to deploy the various agents (i.e. SCOM, SCCM, DPM, VMM, etc.) to the Virtual Machines themselves.
With the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) Virtual Machines, it includes a VM labelled as “RD01”. This is the remote desktop system, where all of the System Center consoles are installed (including DPM).
So this is the initial setup.
Installing the DPM Protection Agent
After everything is up and running from the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT), I proceeded to install the DPM Protection Agent on the remote desktop server (RD01).
Note: For a step-by-step guide on how to install the DPM Protection Agent, please see the following article: http://adinermie.com/scdpm-2012-sp1-in-a-lab-configuration-guide-install-protection-agent/.
DPM Console Connection Error ID 948
The installation of the DPM Protection Agent was successful, but afterwards when attempting to use the DPM console, the following error was thrown.
Of course, taking to the search engines for a solution to this error gave some results, but not specific to this scenario. For example, this TechNet article mentions this error, but with one key difference: it mentions the DPM services running on the DPM server. In my scenario, I am not opening the console on the DPM server, but rather, from another system.
Also note in the error screenshot that it is failing to connect to RD01.SC.LAB. This is the localhost system that the DPM console is installed on, NOT the DPM server itself (which is named DPM01).
What is interesting, is the fact that the original time the DPM console was launched on the remote desktop server, a prompt was given to connect to the DPM server, which connected without issue.
But now, after the DPM Protection Agent was installed (and the system restarted), the console will not only fail to connect, it’s trying to connect to the localhost instead of the DPM server!
So the first thing I thought of is some config file or registry entry that is pointing to the wrong server for the connection.
Looking through the various folders found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\, I couldn’t find any .CONFIG files that seemed applicable to console connections. So I moved onto the registry.
For comparison, I first checked the DPM server’s registry for any key that could be associated to the console connection. I found a registry key at: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DB\ called ConnectionString. But that’s under the “DB” key.
Look at the same hive/directory on the remote desktop server, and I noticed a “UI” hive/directory. In that registry key, there is a Value labelled as “Connect”, and it’s pointing to “localhost”.
Could this registry key/value be the source of the problem? Unfortunately not. I changed this entry from “localhost” to the DPM server “DPM01.SC.LAB”, and restarted the remote desktop server. Re-launching the DPM console still produced the same error.
So, now what?
The “Real” Solution
After hours of searching the Registry for any possible entry that might be pointing to the remote desktop server for the DPM connection, I could not find anything further.
Therefore, the next option I chose to try was a repair of the DPM console on the remote desktop server.
In Programs and Features, you need to locate the entry labelled as “Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Remote Administration“, right-click and choose Repair.
When you do this however, you will encounter a prompt looking for the “DPMUI.MSI” file. In my case, it was looking for it under:
C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp\2\DPMF6FD.tmp\DPM2012\dpmcli\ but could not find it there.
There is only 1 options at this point. This file does not exist on the remote desktop server anywhere, nor does it exist on the DPM server itself! Therefore, you need to obtain the file from the DPM installation media. It is located at <DVD Drive>:\SCDPM\DPM2012\dpmcli\
However, when I pointed the Windows Installer to the source on the DVD, I encountered the following error.
Now that doesn’t make any sense. The console is installed, and we’re using the direct source media.
Question: How do you know that this is the right DPMUI.msi file, since there are multiple contained within the DPM source media? If you search for “Data Protection Manager Console” in the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) Workflow.xml file, you will find an entry that shows the source path for installation.
Back to the MSI error, I copied the DPMUI.msi file to the local remote desktop server, and pointed the repair prompt to this location. This allowed the “repair” action to complete successfully.
However, even after restarting the remote desktop system after completing the repair action, the console still tried to connect to the localhost and not the DPM server. This should work, but I have no further information as to why it does not.
The Only Solution
After all of these attempts to correct what should be a simple re-configuration, the only solution I could come to was un-installing the Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Remote Administration console, and re-installing it.
It is unfortunate that this is not simpler, or there is a continual prompt option (like in SCVMM), or even a registry key that could be changed.
But for now, this is the only solution I was able to determine that fixed this issue. If you are aware of an alternative solution (i.e. the actual Registry key entry, config file, command line for repair option, etc.), please contact me and I will update this article.
So the moral of the story is: IF you want to be able to utilize Data Protection Manager on a server/system that will also be running the Remote Administration console; install the Data Protection Agent FIRST!