If you have distribution points at the other end of a slow link, you’ll probably want to turn on prestaging.

It’s first when you install the DP role on another server than the site server you will be able to see the tabs.

If you do not have remote DP – add a new server and install the DP role.

Right click the new DP and select properties.

Look at the two new tabs on the far right side of the window.

01 new tabs

Check the ‘Enable this distribution point for prestaged content’ checkbox to enable this function on this specific DP (on the ‘General’ tab).

Go to the ‘Schedule’ tab to set which priority distribution type to allow at which times during the week.

02 Schedule


Select the time-frame you want to change the availability. Select one of the four possibilities(4); allow all (1), only high priority(2), medium and high priority(3) or closed.

Closed meaning denying any transfer of content (all white time slot).

On the next tab ‘Rate Limits’ you can choose between three different options.

Unlimited – will allow you to use as much bandwidth as possible all the time.

Pulse – will allow you to choose the package size to send and how long the pause should be until sending the next.

Limit – Set a limit of how many % of available bandwidth to use at specific times throughout the day.

03 Rate Limits


Now that you have configured the distribution point to support prestaging you need to set the prestaging policy on each and every application.

Right click an application and choose properties. Go to the ‘distribution’ tab. You will now have three different ways to transfer the content to the prestaged enabled DP’s.

The top one will transfer it as a usual transfer only with the limitations set on the DP properties page. You will usually use this choice for small packages.

The second one is to transfer only changes. This will be a good choice for large packages that will have small delta updates (eg.Office)

The bottom one will require you to always create a prestage file and copy it over to the destination DP. We will go through that in a second. A good candidate for this choice would be your OS images.

04 application settings


Next step is to create a prestage file. Right click an application and choose ‘create prestage content file’

05 Create prestage file


Run through the wizard…

Create a path and a filename… I created a new folder labeled ‘PrestageFiles’

Check/uncheck the checkbox to also export any dependencies.

06 Create prestage file

07 Create prestage file

Choose a location to copy the content from…

08 Create prestage file



To be able to extract the file on the destination DP and have ConfigMgr save it to its default folders you will need the file extractcontent.exe

Browse to the location where you installed ConfigMgr and .bin<x64|i386> folder (or just search for).

Copy that on the the same disk|usb drive|cd|dvd or what ever media you are using to transfer the content to the remote DP.

09 extractcontent.exe



While the media with the prestage content files are being transferred you can prepare the DP.

Do this as if you would distribute any other content to a DP.

You will now see that the content status will report one in progress.

It will be like this until the prestage file is being extracted onto the remote DP.

12 in progress


Extract the content onto the remote DP by typing in the command;

<folder location of prestage files and the extractcontent.exe file>extractcontent.exe /P:<path to file><filename.pkgx> /S

/S means it will import the content if it’s newer than the existing content (if any).

13 extract to destination DP



Back home on your site server you will now see that on the content status of the application change from ‘In Progress’ to ‘Success’ ?

14 Success


Voila, you’re done! ?


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