Note to Readers

My name is Steve Buchanan and i've been in Information Technology for 13 years. I have been attending the Minnesota System Center User Group for a couple of years. I have been working with System Center products for the past several years starting out with Microsoft DPM and System Center Essentials. Today I am a System Center MVP, author and consultant focused on System Center and Private Cloud. I run a blog about Microsoft and Open Source technology at I plan to share posts from my blog here that discuss System Center topics.

Stay Tuned.....

Custom Service Request Area

There is an issue that has been around for some time were you cannot delete items from the Service Request Area list in Service Manager 2012. You can do this to the Incident Classification and Change Area but not the Service Request Area.


See references to this issue here:

Incident Management, Change Management, and Service Requests were developed at different times by different groups. The Service Requests were built with the Area list in a sealed management pack making it so that the items in this list cannot be removed only renamed. Renaming these items does not work for every Service Manager deployment. The Service Requests was built that way and this won’t be changing. There are ways around this issues through customizations.

The typical IT professional does not want to learn the authoring tool, or how to edit SQL directly or pick up Visual Studio for a simple task such as clearing out a list. The typical IT professional just wants an easy way to make the modifications they need to the list and continue on with their Service Manager project.

I had to jump in an customize this list. What I wanted to do was make this portable so that other IT Pros in the community do not have to learn how to customize Service Manager for a simple task like this. I have packaged my customization. I called it Custom Service Request Area (CSRA) and made it available for download on TechNet gallery here:

I packaged this in a way that allows you to back up your custom list in the event something happens to Service Manager and you need to re-deploy you can just import back in and not lose anything. I also tried to package this in a way that it future proof on newer versions as they come out.

It comes with a setup guide that consists of 5 steps on how to drop this customization into your Service Manager. After dropping this in you will have a list  that you can control that will look like this:


Special thanks to some of my System Center friends for letting me bounce ideas off you around this.

  • Sam Erskine Author of System Center Service Manager 2012 Cookbook
  • Andreas Baumgarten System Center MVP and Author of System Center Service Manager 2012
  • Rob Ford System Center MVP and Developer at Cireson

Please keep in mind this is a FREE un-supported community effort and should be tested in a lab environment before using in any production environment. Use at your own risk.

If you have any feedback please leave a comment.

Service Manager Exchange Connector 3.0 Re-released

The Exchange Connector 3.0 for Service Manager has been re-released today. It includes the Bug Fix for the issue related to extending the work item classes data model with custom properties. A link about that issue is here:

This is great as you no longer have to open a support case with Microsoft to get the fix. The new Exchange Connector 3.0 can be downloaded here:

MNSCUG: System Center Topic Survey

Hi Minnesota System Center User Group members. On this page you will find the System Center topic survey. The purpose of this survey is to find out what topics all of you are interested in. Taking this survey will help us align meeting topics and speakers to what you want to hear. Please take a few minutes and vote below on the topics that are of interest to you.


NOTE: You can vote on multiple topics.


  free polls 

SCOM SMS Notifications not working


We had a physical Multi-Tech Systems MTCMR-H5 modem connected to the SCOM server via USB to send out SMS messages. After initial configuration SMS notifications were not being sent. SCOM was generating multiple alerts about this. The alerts:

Alert: Failed to send notification using server/device

Source: Alert Notification Subscription Server

Path: Not Present

Last modified by: System

Last modified time: X/XX/2013 1:43:11 PM Alert description: Notification subsystem failed to send notification using device/server ‘Multi-Tech Systems MTCMR-H5′ over ‘SMS’ protocol to ‘+1XXXXXXXXXX’. Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.HealthService.Modules.Notification.SmsNotificationException: Sms error ‘Send message failed’ (16012). Rule id: Subscription


Notification subsystem failed to send notification using device/server ” over ‘SMS’ protocol to ”. Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.HealthService.Modules.Notification.SmsNotificationException: Sms error ‘DTR call failed’ (16009). Rule id:


Notification subsystem failed to send notification using device/server ‘Multi-Tech Systems MTCMR-H5′ over ‘SMS’ protocol to ‘+XXXXXXXXXX’. Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.HealthService.Modules.Notification.SmsNotificationException: Sms error ‘Connection failed’ (16008). Rule id: Subscription



Double/triple checked the setup and configurations such as:

  • Checked the modem again to ensure the driver was working.


  • SMS Channel
  • Format of the subscriber numbers made sure +1 was in front then area code then number.
  • That the subscription was enabled, had subscribers in it for SMS, and it was set to notify on all alerts (for testing only).
  • I checked the Notifications Resource Pool to ensure the SCOM management server that had the modem connected to it was listed.


I then went and downloaded “Microsoft SMS” Sender from this link:


I was able to send and SMS to my cell with no problems using this tool. Even though this tool worked SCOM was still not sending out SMS messages. I referenced the many blogs out there on setting up SCOM with SMS and tried the fixes to no avail.

I was able to finally get this working. Here are the troubleshooting steps/changes I made that made a difference.

I changed the baud rate of the modem to 9600.


I used Putty to connect directly to the modem.

This can be downloaded here:

I issued AT commands to check out things directly on the modem. Here is what I did via AT commands:

Checked the overall modem configuration and the network status.

To check the active configuration:


To check the network status:


Checked the modem speed to ensure it was running at 9600. This is the command to check the baud rate:


Checked the message format the modem was using by running this command:


O = PDU mode
1 = Text mode

You want the modem to be in PDU mode. More information on SCOM and PDU mode here: On my modem it was set to text mode.

I had to change this to PDU mode. I used the following command:


After setting or ensuring the proper mode is set I sent out a text via command. I used the following to send out the text:

> test text<Ctrl>+<Z>
+CMGS: 44

I used this command to save the current configuration to the modem:


After that I physically rebooted the modem. After a while the SMS notifications started coming through from SCOM.

MVP for another year!

Today I received an email from Microsoft that I was awarded System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP for another year.

Here is the email I received:


Again a big thanks to everyone in the community and Microsoft. It is an honor to continue to be a part of this team! I have made some great friends over the past year. Congrats to all the other new and renewed MVP’s! I hope to keep adding value to the System Center community over the next year!