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.PCK Files on reassigned distribution points - can I delete them?

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Ok, no one, not even Microsoft engineers can seem to provide a clear and definitive answer on this topic, everyone's understanding of the .PCK file with relation to SCCM 2012 is clear as mud.

I understand what .PCK files are...in the SCCM 2007 world, and how they work, all that jazz, what I don't understand is how/when/why they would be used by SCCM 2012...it seems that sccm 2012 would only need these .pck files during a reassignment of a shared DP in a migration scenario...even that surmise is sketchy since I've watched very closely the DP content conversion process and at no time did the server access the .PCK files to populate the single instance store.

I am going to do some more testing on my own, my ultimate goal is to permanent delete the contents (not the folder itself) of the SMSPKG folder, essentially all the .PCK and .DL$ files to save space on my server.

If any soul out there knows..not guesses...the purpose of the .PCK file in 2012, let me know please, don't just copy/paste other people's posts as an answer, explain in clear terms each step of the process that 2012 would utilize a .PCK, or if the answer really is that 2012 does not use .PCK files at all, let me know.

I have a single primary site with 16 secondary sites in my SCCM 2007 environment, I'm migrating to a single primary with 16 distribution points...so even if .PCK's are used to populate secondary sites, I should not need them since I won't have any secondary sites once all of my DP's are migrated...yeah?


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packges and applications are different things, if you create a package in Configuration Manager 2012 what do you notice happening ?


and I quote - source - http://blogs.technet.com/b/arnyg/archive/2012/11/16/system-center-2012-configuration-manager-understanding-content-management-storage-options.aspx


The package share is a legacy storage location from CM2007, but still supported in 2012. It keeps the same name (SMSPKGx$), but sits empty on site servers and distribution points until the deploy option to run programs from the DP is specified (instead of download and run locally) or you select the Package share settings to copy the content as shown below.

In the package properties, under the Data Access tab, there is an option to Copy the content in this package to a package share on distribution points.


This option is automatically selected if the Deploy option to Run program from the Distribution Point is selected.


It's also on OSD objects, such as OS Images & Boot Images:


So if you check the box to copy content to the package share (or run from DP), then storage could potentially increase because you will have both the package share files and the content library files! Note that this only applies to Application Packages & OSD items and not to new Applications or Software Updates.



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when I create a package and then distribute it to a DP it first copies a temp file to the root of D:\SMS_DP$, Then it transfers those files to D:\SCCMContentLib, and creates the necessary files within the 3 subfolders, finally, and this only happens if the box is checked to copy to the package to a share, a folder with the extracted files is copied to D:\SMSPKGD$\(PACKAGE_ID). It also creates a .tar file in smssig.


When I distribute an application pretty much the same thing happens minus the extracted file in SMSPKGD since applications cannot be run from the DP, which I find annoying and odd in itself, but that is another matter.

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