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I have a legacy software package listed in SMS Management Server which is missing the package installation files. It was apparently deleted a long time ago but no one deleted the package definition from SMS. Because of this the server is logging thousands of error messages since it cannot locate the files.

If I remove the package from SMS, does it do anything to the clients? I'm concerned that a few older systems that still have the package might try to uninstall it or something and I'm having trouble locating documentation on SMS.

This is SMS 2.50 SP3 on Windows 2003 Server and clients are mostly XP.

Edit: Okay, I found the Microsoft documentation. Here is what it says regarding deleting a package:

Delete a Package

When packages are no longer needed, delete the package to leave space for new packages. When you delete a package:

All the programs within the package and all the advertisements for the package are also deleted.

The package source files are deleted from the distribution points.

Any compressed versions of the package source are deleted.

Any package access accounts you have created specifically for the package are deleted.

SMS security rights to the package are deleted.

After a package is deleted, new users or client computers joining the site will no longer receive notification or be able to run advertisements that reference programs in the package. If there is a chance that new users or client computers can use the advertisement and install the software, it makes sense to keep a package's programs advertised and on the distribution points until the programs are retired or replaced.

To delete a package

From the SMS Administrator console, navigate to Packages.


Systems Management Server > Site Database > Packages

Right-click the package you want to delete, and then click Delete.

Complete the Delete Package Wizard.


To delete a package, you must have Delete or Administer permissions for packages.

When you remove a distribution point from the list, the distribution point's copy of the package source files is automatically deleted.

I'm still not clear, however, if this deletes or uninstalls the package from clients. Thanks in advance.

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1 Answer 1

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I'm a little rusty on my SMS 2003 knowledge but from what I remember deleting packages worked the same way as it does in SMS 2007.

Deleting a Package (and also any of its associated Adverts) has no effect on clients that already have the software installed. Just as removing a client from a Collection doesn't automatically uninstall the software advertised to that collection (unless you're doing anything funky with query memberships linked to uninstall jobs, and if you've done that you should know that you've specifically done that) so deleting and advert and package doesn't remove the software.

One problem removing a package can cause is that if repairs on the software are ever run on the client, then they have no source install to go back to on the distribution point and the repair will fail, but it sounds like that's already the case for you as you're saying that you're missing the package installation files.

All of the official SMS 2003 documentation should be available both from the console's context sensitive help, and under this hierarchy on TechNet unfortunately for such an old version, you're unlikely to still be able to find much in the way of official books, course materials or third party books available any more.

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