Interesting issue with thumbs.db

I’m surprised I just ran into this today – seems easy enough to run into a long time ago.  I was working in ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2, and was receiving failures when sending content to a distribution point. Looking at distmgr.log, I saw the following errors:

CreateFileW failed for \\servername\sharename\thumbs.db

Failed to add the file. Please check if this file exists. Error 0x80070020


Thumbs.db is a hidden file that contains a thumbnail cache for the current directory. I tried to delete the file, and received an error that the file was in use by Windows Explorer. I decided to test this same process in ConfigMgr 2007, and encountered the same issue (which is why I’m surprised I haven’t experienced this issue before). Finally, I terminated and restarted my Windows Explorer process (explorer.exe), and then could successfully delete the evil thumbs.db, and could then update my distribution points successfully.

To prevent this in the future, you need to disable the creation of the thumbnail cache. You can read more for how to disable this using either folder options or group policy. Both links refer to Windows 7, but the same applies to Server 2008R2. You would need to disable this feature on any system you use to browse to the package source. This issue obviously doesn’t occur all the time, but is something to be aware of moving forward.

*Note: this can also affect you if a user who has admin rights browses to a ConfigMgr DP share and thumbs.db is created. Now the hash of this folder if different than ConfigMgr expects, causing a hash mismatch error when running the program.



About Greg Ramsey
Greg Ramsey is a Distinguished Engineer for Dell Digital - Services. He has a B.S. in Computer Sciences and Engineering from The Ohio State University and has co-authored many books over the years. Greg is also a board member of the Northwest System Center User Group and the Midwest Management Summit. ​Greg has been a Microsoft Endpoint Manager (ConfigMgr, Intune) MVP for over 14 years.

One Response to Interesting issue with thumbs.db

  1. ralph Shaw says:

    Thanks for the skinny on this thumbs.db thing, Greg. I was cleaning up my pc with Revo installer and it wants to erase all these files (many)! So I’m gonna let that happen AND run the policy editor to prevent creation of more of the pesky thumbs!

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