How to debug why my preferred server config isn’t being used (Preferred server doesn't work)

Version 11

    Verified Product Versions

    Endpoint Manager 9.6Endpoint Manager 2016.xEndpoint Manager 2017.x


    Sometimes you may wish to know if your preferred servers are being used during software deployment actions.



    In some cases evidence shows that the preferred server isn’t being used. In others it is necessary to check the functionality of the preferred server configuration.



    We will collect some additional logs and see how they can be filtered for the most common problems.To do so we will perform the following steps (this will be explained a bit later in detail).


    1. Check proxyhost.log if the agent downloads the preferred server list
    2. Check the PreferredServers.dat for the preferred server the Agent will use
    3. Activate XTrace log for the LD-Downloader to see if the agent really downloads via preferred server


    Check the PreferredServers.dat

    To check which preferred server(s) a client can use, open the PreferredServers.dat (C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDesk\LDClient\sdmcache) on your client machine with a text editor (e.g. notepad). The file should contain an entry such as:




    The first number before the ‘?’-mark represents a time stamp in UNIX format. To decrypt such a time stamp use any UNIX time converter.

    Note* If there is no PreferredServers.dat file see the next item on how to check the proxyhost.log.


    Check ProxyHost.log

    The proxyhost.log (C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDesk\Shared Files) records all Ivanti EPM initiated network activity started from the client itself. Examples of this is the sending of an inventory scan, but also requests to the core server to get the preferred server list.


    If there is no PreferredServers.dat file the client will contact the core server for a list of the preferred servers when it first needs to download something such as a software distribution package. In the proxyhost.log there should be an entry reflecting the following:

    "POST http://[NameOfCore]/LANDESK/ManagementSuite/Core/PreferredServer/preferredserver.asmx HTTP/1.1" 200 530 862



    The first number (here 200) represents the HTTP return code. A value in the 200 range is associated to a  “Success”. A list of other possible error codes can be found in document IIS Status Codes. I f this entry doesn't exist in your proxyhost.log file attempt to manually browse to the website using the following syntax:




    This will force the route through proxyhost (9592) and should write an entry in the proxyhost.log file. If this is not occurring Wireshark the activity to review what's potentially blocking the traffic.

    Note* The  preferredservers.dat file gets created not downloaded.


    Common issues

    1. The PreferredServers.dat doesn’t exist
      1. Check proxyhost.log if preferred server list got requested by the client
      2. Check directory permissions of “C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDESK\LDClient\sdmcache” to allow SYSTEM full control
      3. Push a software package to the client with a delivery method that uses download from source to cause a download, this will force the client to check for preferred servers.
    2. PreferredServers.dat doesn’t get updated
      1. Check proxyhost.log if preferred server list got requested by the client
      2. Check if the “Date modified” attribute of the file is current
      3. Check if the Unix timestamp inside of the dat-file is current
      4. Delete the preferred server dat file and initiate an action that will download files like deploying software.
    3. PreferredServers.dat doesn’t contain my configured preferred server(s)
      1. Check if your client can ping the name/ip of your configured preferred server. The Client will only insert a preferred server if the server can be pinged.
      2. Check the IP address of client and compare to list configured on the core server in the preferred server setup.


    Enable Additional Logging

    Enabling additional logging  (xTrace,Verbose) allows for more actions to be recorded in the corresponding log file. In this case, the additional logging will be contained in the  sdclient_taskXXX.log (XXX = TaskID) file.This file gets written to “C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDESK\LDClient\Data". The client-side file responsible for downloading files from a source to a client is lddwnld.dll. Please review the following document on how to enable additional logging: How To: Enable XTrace Diagnostic Logging for the Ivanti EPM Core and Clients.


    Common issues

    1. LDRedirectFilePathEx: serverList is empty
      1. The PreferredServers.dat is empty. Check explanations above
    2. Hash error(s)
      1. Try resetting the hash of the package. See document Error: "Failed to download and hash all additional files" when running task.
      2. Try copying the files by hand with “xcopy /E /V /H / Z” to make sure that the files are the same as on the main download site.
    3. Error code 5 while creating the file
      1. Error code 5 is the standard Microsoft Error code for “Access is denied”. Check that the configured credentials in the preferred server config are still valid.