Configuration Manager 2012 Prestage content on Distribution Points

Highly inspired by this blog post I started to do me own prestage content testing. Prestaging has long been one of the main reasons (along with bandwidth control) for implementing a secondary site in Configuration Manager 2007. In configuration Manager 2012 both features has now been added to the distribution point. This more or less eliminates the need for a secondary site.

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Prestaging is a process that involves the distribution point, the package and a Commandline tool.

  1. Open the Distribution Point properties and select Enable this distribution point for prestaged content on the General tab.


  2. Now, navigate to the Software Library workspace, select the package you want to prestage and click Create Prestage Content File on the Ribbon. In this example I’m prestaging the boot image.
  3. Save the .pkgx file to a media and copy it to the remote distribution point. In my example I have copied the package to C:\Tools on the remote DP.
  4. On the remote DP open a command prompt
  5. To validate the content of the compressed type (where SCCM4 the server where I have the CM2012 binaries):
    \\sccm4\e$\Labfiles\Install\CM2012Beta2\TOOLS\ExtractContent.exe /P:C:\Tools\x86boot.pkgx /C
  6. To validate the content and show some application metadata type:
    \\sccm4\e$\Labfiles\Install\CM2012Beta2\TOOLS\ExtractContent.exe /P:C:\Tools\x86boot.pkgx /C /I

    notice the information about the logfile C:\SMS_DP$\sms\logs\PrestageContent.log. It contains detailed information about the process.

  7. Finally to Extract the file type:
    \\sccm4\e$\Labfiles\Install\CM2012Beta2\TOOLS\ExtractContent.exe /P:C:\Tools\x86boot.pkgx
  8. If you monitor the C:\SMS_DP$\sms\logs\PrestageContent.log you’ll see that file is being extracted and placed in the new content library.
  9. Status information will be send back to the site server thus updating the information in the database.
  10. Back in the configuration Manager console, navigate to the Software Library and deploy the package content to the remote distribution point.
  11. You can monitor the distribution process by reading the pkgXferMgr.log on the site server.


  12. Finally you should be able to monitor the status in the Monitoring workspace, select Distribution Status, Content status.


By | 2011-05-26T15:09:33+00:00 May 26th, 2011|Configuration Manager (SCCM), General info|11 Comments

About the Author:

Kent Agerlund
Microsoft Regional Director, Enterprise Mobility MVP. Microsoft Certified Trainer and Principal consultant. I have been working with Enterprise client management since 1992. Co-founder of System Center User Group Denmark in 2009. Certified MCITP: Enterprise Administrator, MCSA+Messaing, and much more. Member of: Microsoft Denmark System Center Partner Expert Team The Danish Technet Influencers program System Center Influencers Program.


  1. Per Weimann August 15, 2012 at 13:28 - Reply

    Hi Kent,

    Nice little guide for prestating DP’s in CM2012.

    The parameters for ExtractContent.exe schould be P: not C: – Maybe a typo 😉

    Thanks for a great blog!


    • Cade December 23, 2016 at 10:36 - Reply

      Ernesto disse:Ed, gosto desse jeito ficÃtófico-poo©silo na sua abordagem em assuntotécnico tão árido que é o mercado financeiro.Há muito vinha tentando entender o fascinante Ishimoku Cloud; tudose fez mais claro com seus “posts”. Grato por isto!Parabéns ao lúcido mestre!Ernesto (O discípulo).

  2. abhinav February 5, 2013 at 12:44 - Reply

    Thanks for the info. 🙂

  3. Tom Wahab February 11, 2013 at 18:22 - Reply

    Great article. Thanks was able to Prestage successfully thanks to you!

  4. Chris Montgomery January 21, 2014 at 16:12 - Reply

    Very helpful, Thanks!

  5. […] To know more about how to export content,Import Content using ExtractContent.exe refer TechNet  and Kent’s blog. […]

  6. Raghu January 14, 2016 at 14:36 - Reply


    Doubt at the stage:
    “Back in the configuration Manager console, navigate to the Software Library and deploy the package content to the remote distribution point.”

    Deployment will be to the appropriate device collection to where the DP is present, correct?

  7. Chuck March 30, 2016 at 19:00 - Reply

    Hi Kent

    Thanks for all of you posts. They’ve been very helpful. I’m stuck on step 3, however. When I’m supposed to select the DP the content file will be saved on I can’t find any of my DPs. We have 4 and they DO have prestaged content enabled. Very confused. Please assist.

    Thank you

  8. AISHWARYA November 28, 2016 at 10:08 - Reply

    Hi All,

    May I have explanation about the pre-stage..

    What is mean by pre-stage.What is the use of it??

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