SCCM SMSTS Log Location File | Reading Tips

In this post, you will learn about SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips with the built-in log reader tool CMTrace. The SMSTS.log is one of the important SCCM log files which will help you to troubleshoot installation issues related to Operating System Deployment (OSD).

SMSTS.log contains a lot of redundant information, learning to read SMSTS.log effectively is very important. CMTrace is one of the Configuration Manager tools. It allows you to view and monitor log files. The tool helps to analyze log files by highlighting, filtering, and error lookup.

You can monitor SCCM Task Sequence using status messages as explained in the post. List Of 43 SCCM Status Message Queries | Custom Query For SCCM Task Sequence Engine Status Messages.

Patch My PC

More details of Configuration Manager OSD troubleshooting with SMSTS.log. SCCM OSD Task Sequence Ultimate Guide 5 Understand Process.

What is the SCCM PXE Task Sequence Deployment Workflow

Let’s understand the What is the SCCM PXE Task Sequence Deployment Workflow. Pre-installation Tasks are completed & the operating system is deployed. How to understand the troubleshooting flow for SCCM Task Sequence Deployment and PXE?

SCCM Task Sequence Troubleshooting using SMSTS.log flowchart gives you a great idea of how all these work together. The location details of SMSTS.log is explained in the below table.

Learn SCCM Troubleshooting Steps for Newbies with Flowcharts 3
Learn SCCM Troubleshooting Steps for Newbies with Flowcharts 3

The above SCCM SuperFlow provides more details about the background processes of Task Sequence and PXE deployment. This will be very helpful to troubleshoot SCCM PXE and TS issues. 

For example:- PXE is boot is not happening, Task Sequence is not getting deployed to a machine, etc. How to start troubleshooting these issues.

SCCM SMSTS Log File Location Details

The SCCM SMSTS log file is one of the special SCCM log files that will be available in a different location on Windows 11 or Windows 10 devices. 

SCCM goes through different phases in the OS deployment scenario and SMSTS.log location also changes according to phases.

updates the location depending on the phases of the deployment process. SCCM SMSTS.log file will be located in different places. The following table gives you the details for Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems.

PhaseLog Location [Client Side]
WinPE
(Before HDD are formatted and partitioned)
x:\windows\temp\smstslog\smsts.log
WinPE
(After HDD are formatted)
x:\smstslog\smsts.log copied to c:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\smsts.log
Installed Operating System
(Before the SCCM client is installed)
c:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\smsts.log
Installed Operating System
(After the SCCM client is installed)
c:\windows\ccm\logs\Smstslog\smsts.log
Installed Operating System
(When the Task Sequence is completed)
c:\windows\ccm\logs\smsts.log
SCCM SMSTS Log File Location Details

Video Recording SCCM SMSTS.log OSD Troubleshooting

Let’s check the video recording of the SCCM SMSTS.log walkthrough by Vishal Goyel. He explained the different locations of SMSTS.log and how you can start troubleshooting OSD issues with SMSTS.log.

WinPE & PXE Boot Stage – SCCM OSD Task Sequence

A quick example of SCCM SMSTS.log and troubleshooting process that uses the log file. In this example, the SMSTS log is located in the RAM drive.

X:\Windows\Temp\SMSTSLOG\SMSTS.log

If you check the logs, at the very beginning, it will show the Boot Image files that it downloaded.

RAM Disk Boot Path: NET(0)\SMSIMAGES\LAB00005\BOOT.LAB00005.WIM TSBootShell
Booted from network (PXE) TSBootShell

SMSTS.log How to Create SCCM Task Sequence Step by Step Guide
SMSTS.log How to Create SCCM Task Sequence Step by Step Guide

You can confirm from the logs if machine PXE booted or it booted using any media.

CMTrace.EXE

Starting in version 1806, the CMTrace log viewing tool is automatically installed along with the Configuration Manager client. It’s added to the client installation directory, which by default is %WinDir%\CCM\CMTrace.exe.

Run CMTrace.exe. The first time you run the tool, you see a prompt for the file association. Navigate to the location of the smsts.log file and open using CMTrace.

SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 1
SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 1 SCCM SMSTS Log File Location Details 1

CMTrace Tools menu

The following actions are available in the Tools menu, click on Filter from appear menu.

SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 2
SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 2

Under Filter settings, Select “Filter when the Entry Text” and on entry, text select contains from Drop-down list.

SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 3
SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 3

If you want to review when specific or all steps added in Task Sequence has executed successfully. You can filter smsts.log on the entry text containing “the action” or “the group” and click OK.

SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 4
SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 4

Filter using entry text “the action” or “the group” – SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM.

Once we filtered action, it displays all steps of deployed Task Sequences on the machine as shown below. By reviewing this you can easily validate whether all steps have been executed successfully.

SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 5
SCCM OSD SMSTS Log File Reading Tips | ConfigMgr | MEMCM 5

Use the HTMD Forum the one-stop shop for all your device management queries related to ConfigMgr (a.k.a SCCM), Intune, and more!

Resources

Author

About Author – Jitesh, Microsoft MVP, has over five years of working experience in the IT Industry. He writes and shares his experiences related to Microsoft device management technologies and IT Infrastructure management. His primary focus area is Windows 10 Deployment solution with Configuration Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), and Microsoft Intune.

1 thought on “SCCM SMSTS Log Location File | Reading Tips”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.