I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t get along well with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1. I feel about SCVMM the same way that Hunter Cressall feels about his Mac. It’s less about “working with” SCVMM than it is about fooling it into thinking you’re doing something else and then doing what you need while it’s distracted. If SCVMM catches you trying to do something useful, you have to hope that it’s in a good mood or it will put you in timeout.

I’ve noticed that it really likes to close and reopen the console at the precise moment that I’ve nearly completed an important task (for the full reference, go to YouTube and search for “Crash Different”. I won’t link to it directly because it has a bit of language that makes it not quite safe to play in the workplace).

On one particular day, I really needed SCVMM to cooperate, but it had other plans. Based on some recommendations I found online, I opted to run the “Virtual Machine Manager Configuration Analyzer” to see if it could help determine the cause of the problem. I scoured the system looking for some shortcut to this magical analyzer without success. Then I poked through SCVMM’s interface to see if it would yield clues – also a fruitless endeavor. I mounted the SCVMM SP1 ISO and behold! A link to download this wondrous tool! So, I downloaded it and ran the installer, which notified me that it was already installed. Wonderful . The installer can find it, but I can’t.

Fortunately, if you actually read the installation instructions on the download page (I hate it when they make me do that), they indicate that you must first install Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0. That created a shortcut right on the Start Screen (or at the top of the Start->All Programs menu if you’re using something earlier than Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012). I opened it up and was able to select this near-mythical tool:

Virtual Machine Manager Configuration Analyzer

Virtual Machine Manager Configuration Analyzer

My elation was short-lived, however. It very quickly returned with this error:

Virtual Machine Configuration Analyzer Error

Virtual Machine Configuration Analyzer Error (Get-SCVMMServer is not recognized)

Fantastic. This time, not even the instructions could save me. The Internet wasn’t much help either. After much more searching than should have been necessary, I learned that the VMMCA tool that is referenced by the SP1 installer screen doesn’t actually support SP1. I’m sure that there’s a perfectly good reason that the installer links to the old version. Maybe they were too busy quality-testing KB2855336 to update the ISO.

Luckily, there is an answer. Don’t go searching for VMMCA version 2, though, because that would be too easy. SCVMM saw that trick coming and evaded it skillfully. You need the monolithic System Center SP1 Configuration Analyzer. Run MBCA again and you’ll now have the following:

System Center SP1 Configuration Analyzer

System Center SP1 Configuration Analyzer

This works much better. It didn’t help me fix my problems, but it did find other things it wanted me to address. Hooray!