How to Change Parent SCCM Site of a SCCM Primary Server and Simplify Hierarchy

SCCM 2007 End of Support 9th July 2019 Get Ready for Upgrade

Through this post, I’m trying to perform impact analysis of changing parent site of a primary site (Move a primary site in SCCM hierarchy). This process involves two phases first one is to detach the Primary server from the Hierarchy and wait until all the objects are unlocked. The next phase is to attach the primary server back to hierarchy but to a different parent site (central site).

SCCM 2007 End of Support 9th July 2019 Get Ready for Upgrade

How to Change Parent SCCM Site of a SCCM Primary Server and Simplify Hierarchy 1


In this post (Part 1), I’ll cover “how to detach primary server from it’s parent site”. Part 2 is available now.

I’ve 3 tier hierarchy which consist of 3 primary servers. I want to detach “PR3 Tier 3” server from “PR2 Tier 2” and attach “PR3 Tier 3” server to Central Tier 1 sever.

In real word scenario this would help to simplify your hierarchy, if you’re not utilizing Tier 2 server much.

  • 1. Central Site (CEN – ACNSCCM07PRI) – Tier 1
  • 2. Child Primary Site (PR2 – ACNSCCM07PRI2) – Tier 2
  • 3. Child Primary Site (PR3 – ACNSCCM07PRI3) – Tier 3


Note : During this analysis (in each phase), I’ve tested the client (which is assigned to affected site PR3) functionality. Everything was working fine and even advertisement created at PR2 – Tier2 site was also working fine.

 Detach Primary server from it’s parent site

As you can see in the below picture, the collections, packages, Advertisements, Software Update objects and Operating System Objects (which are replicated down from “Tier1” and “Tier 2”) have been locked at “PR3 Tier 3” console.


For testing purpose, I’ve created separate collections, packages, advertisements etc.. at each level Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. So that it would be easy to understand after breaking parent child relation. Have a look at above picture for more details.

1. To detach the Tier 3 Primary server from the hierarchy, open up the “PR3 – Tier3 site” properties –> Click on “Set Parent Site” –> Select “Central Site” –> Click “OK”.


Detachment is completed. Very easy right? Yes !

2. Check “Hman.log” at “PR2 – Tier2” and “PR3 – Tier3” servers for verification.

Detaching site PR3 from site PR2
Sent the actual site control image to site PR2
Processing site control file: Site PR3 File E:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\inboxes\\WMNUDEUJ.CT2
Update the Sites table: Site=PR3 Parent=
There is no parent site, no need to forward any site control images.


Hman.log at “CEN – Tier 1” server

Site PR3 is detaching from site PR2
Deleting site PR3 from the site control and sites table as a result of site PR3 detaching from site PR2.

Also, you can notice that Sitectrl file has been modified as you can in the following picture.


3. Now, you need to delete the “Standard Sender Addresses” for PR2 and PR3 from “PR3 – Tier3” and “PR2 – Tier2” sites respectively.

  • Connect to PR2 site and delete the PR3 site Standard Sender Address
  • Connect to PR3 site and delete the PR2 site Standard Sender Address

4. Remove the system accounts from respective local groups (“Administrators” and “SMS_SiteToSiteConnection_PR2”) of both “PR3 – Tier3” and “PR2 – Tier2” servers.

5. Wait until all the “.SHA” file/s processing to finish. There could be separate “.SHA” files for each components however, I’ve noticed it for the components like Collection Evaluator and SMS Object replication manager. You can verify the respective log files to review status.

Resetting update flags for collection SMSDM005
**********~Processing file PR3.SHA

This process would take time depending up on the objects (collection, packages, Adverts, Software Update and Operating system Objects etc..) in your environment. As this process will change the settings of all these objects and REMOVE the lock symbol on those objects.


6. Once detachment process is finished, you’ll see all the objects at “PR3” site server are un-locked. Have a look at following picture for more details.

image image

7. Verify the central server (CEN – Tier 1 Site). You would be able to see only PR2 site, that means the PR3 site has been removed successfully from hierarchy.


To be Continued….. Part 2

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3 thoughts on “How to Change Parent SCCM Site of a SCCM Primary Server and Simplify Hierarchy”

  1. Although your steps were documented well things don’t seem to be so easy as mentioned.
    As detaching a grandchild primary [PR3] is a one-click process the replication was not.
    Within our environment [SCCM 2007 hierarchy with tier 4 with 100,000 clients] this took more than 3 hours and had quickly raising of 100,000 replication files.
    Making the site [PR3] a stand-alone one by detaching is primary target, but will impact more necessary steps within your ‘To be Continued…..Part 2’.
    In addition central site [CEN] database will lose the reference to the elevated primary [PR3] and even worse site system roles, e.g. Distribution Points, will be deleted out of any software package and Distribution Point Groups.
    Attaching back the site [PR3] as tier 2 did last another 12 hours [Backlog of 2 GByte of replication files].
    Next we had to adjust the child primary sites [PR3] database with:
    update pkgservers set sourcesite = ” where sitecode in (”, ”, ”,…)
    and copied the content from pkgservers and pkgstatus back to the central site [CEN] database through a export|import functionality with a temp database in order to avoid duplicate keys.
    Supported way would probably be to add all missing Distribution Points back to every package, in our case n > 6000, and start an update.


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