Chef on Windows – detecting and fixing WMI problems which prevent chef-client runs

This post covers some issues we had recently with chef-client on Windows due to missing WMI classes, and how we diagnosed, fixed, and mitigated the problem.

At thetrainline.com we use Opscode Chef for managing our build infrastructure. Like many other tools running on Windows, the chef-clientohai framework relies on WMI for extracting information about the server machine on which scripts are being run. We found that Windows WMI repository corruption can cause chef-client runs to fail due to missing WMI classes, which causes the node to remain out of policy. The WMI repo can be repaired using winmgmt /salvagerepository, and the WMI errors can be monitored using the WMIDiag script to alert on WMI repository corruption before future chef-client runs. This post details how we detected and fixed the problem, and how to monitor for WMI repository corruption.

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