Understanding Intune GRS: A Comprehensive Guide

One of the critical components of Intune’s device management is the Global Reevaluation Schedule (GRS). This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Intune GRS, detailing its functionality, usage, troubleshooting, and key registry settings that IT administrators need to know.

Intune GRS

What is Intune GRS?

The Global Reevaluation Schedule is a mechanism within Microsoft Intune designed to handle retry logic for Win32 applications. When such a deployment fails, GRS determines how and when the system should attempt to reinstall the application. This ensures that transient issues do not permanently prevent app deployment.

Understanding the Intune Management Extension (IME)

The Intune Management Extension (IME) is critical for deploying Win32 apps and running PowerShell scripts on Windows devices. It bridges the gap between the Intune service and the managed devices, ensuring that policies and applications are effectively deployed.

The IME acts as the conduit through which Intune communicates and enforces policies on endpoint devices. When a Win32 application is deployed via Intune, the IME is responsible for the actual installation process on the target device. This extension runs as a service on the endpoint, continuously listening for instructions from the Intune service and executing them accordingly. The logs generated by IME, such as the IntuneManagementExtension.log, are invaluable for diagnosing issues, providing a detailed account of the actions taken and any errors encountered.

How GRS Works in Intune

Global Reevaluation Schedule operates by checking the status of Win32 app installations and determining if a retry is necessary. It schedules retries at predefined intervals, considering factors like network availability and device status.

It uses a structured approach to manage retries for failed Win32 app deployments. When an initial deployment attempt fails, GRS calculates the next retry interval based on predefined policies. These intervals can be adjusted based on organizational needs and the frequency of deployment issues encountered. GRS takes into account various parameters, such as network availability and device readiness, before initiating a retry. This ensures that retries are attempted under optimal conditions, increasing the likelihood of successful deployments without overwhelming the network or the device.

Overriding GRS to Retry Failed Win32 Applications

In some scenarios, IT admins may need to manually override GRS to immediately retry a failed application installation. This can be done by modifying specific registry keys or using PowerShell scripts to trigger the retry process.

While GRS is designed to handle retries automatically, there are situations where manual intervention is necessary. For example, if a critical application fails to install and immediate action is required, IT admins can override GRS to force a retry. This can be achieved by modifying specific registry keys that control the retry logic or by executing PowerShell scripts designed to trigger the retry process. Understanding these registry settings and how to manipulate them is crucial for administrators needing to address urgent deployment issues promptly.

Steps to Override GRS:

  1. Identify the Failed Application: Determine which application failed to install and gather relevant logs.
  2. Modify Registry Keys (Check this post also): Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IntuneManagementExtension\Policies and adjust the relevant keys to trigger a retry
  3. Use PowerShell Scripts: Execute scripts that force the IME to restart and re-evaluate the application status and attempt a reinstallation.

Monitoring and Logging GRS Activities

Effective monitoring of GRS activities involves checking logs generated by the IME. These logs provide insights into the retry attempts, errors encountered, and the overall status of Win32 app deployments.

Monitoring the activities of GRS is essential for maintaining the health of application deployments. The primary log file used for this purpose is the IntuneManagementExtension.log, which records detailed information about the actions taken by the IME, including retry attempts and encountered errors. By regularly reviewing these logs, IT admins can identify patterns of failure, diagnose root causes, and take corrective actions to prevent future issues. Additionally, understanding common error codes and their implications helps in faster resolution of problems.

Key Log Locations:

  • IntuneManagementExtension.log: Located in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\IntuneManagementExtension\Logs.

Common Error Codes:

  • 0x80070643: Installation failed due to a general error.
  • 0x87D1041C: App not applicable to the device.

Forcing Application Reinstallation in Intune

Sometimes, a forceful reinstallation of an application might be necessary. This can be achieved by using the Intune console or PowerShell scripts to clear the app’s existing state and trigger a fresh installation.

There are situations where an application needs to be reinstalled forcefully, such as when an app is corrupted or when updates fail repeatedly. Intune provides mechanisms to force the reinstallation of applications, ensuring that the latest version is deployed and operational on the endpoint devices. This can be done through the Intune console by clearing the application’s state and re-assigning it to the devices. Alternatively, PowerShell scripts can automate this process, offering a faster and more scalable solution.

Several registry keys and files are involved in managing and troubleshooting GRS. Understanding these can help IT admins effectively control and diagnose issues related to app deployment retries.

The management and troubleshooting of GRS involve interacting with specific registry keys and configuration files that control the retry logic and application states. These registry keys are typically found under the IntuneManagementExtension node and contain settings that dictate how and when retries should be performed. Configuration files, on the other hand, store details about the applications and their deployment statuses. IT admins need to be familiar with these elements to effectively manage GRS and resolve any issues that arise.

Key Registry Keys:

  • Retry Settings: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IntuneManagementExtension\Policies\Retries
  • App Status: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IntuneManagementExtension\Policies\Applications

Configuration Files:

  • PolicyManagerStore.json: Contains policy details and application states.

References and documentation:

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