In SCCM, Watch Out for the Apostrophe!

Author by Matt Herman

I was recently working on a SCCM issue with a client that came down to an apostrophe. 

The fist thing we noticed were some warning in the SMS_HIERAECHY_MANAGER component. 


There were two different descriptions of the warning, which are below.

  • Microsoft SQL Server reported SQL message 102, severity 15: [42000][102][Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0][SQL Server]Incorrect syntax near 's'.
  • Microsoft SQL Server reported SQL message 105, severity 15: [42000][105][Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0][SQL Server]Unclosed quotation mark after the character string ' '.


At first, we didn’t pay much attention to these warning because everything appeared to be functioning normally and a quick web search didn’t indicate a larger problem.  We noted the issue and put it on the back burner while working on other priorities. 

One of those priorities was to setup a new Distribution Point, which is where we ran into more problems.  The wizard for the new DP completed without any errors and the DP appeared in the Distribution Points node of the Administration Tab in the console.  However, the new DP was not available in the Distribute Content Wizard.  When we looked at the new DP server itself, we found that the Primary Site Server had not written any files to actually install the role.  We removed the DP from the console and tried to install it again with the same results.

After troubleshooting for a while, we eventually determined that the warning above was the cause of the issue and the cause of the warning was an apostrophe in the description field of another DP.  It turned out that a few weeks earlier another admin when through all of the DPs to update the descriptions.  One of them was set similar to: Milwaukee’s DP

The problem is that when SCCM ran some of it SQL statements, it could not handle the apostrophe in the description field and the statements could not execute properly.  This did not cause issues for normal operations, but it did prevent the commands needed for a new DP from completing successfully.  When the apostrophe was removed from the description field, we were able to setup the new DP and distribute content to it. 

The moral of the story is that even if using an apostrophe gives the best description of the purpose of the DP, leave it out of the description.


Matt Herman

Technical Architect