Link to set global build retention policy for TFS Build and Release

by XDK 23. July 2017 00:06


Team Services: https://<account>

TFS 2017: http://<TFS Server>/tfs/<Collection Name>/_admin/_buildQueue

TFS 2015 Update 3: http://<TFS Server>:8080/tfs/<Collection Name>/_admin/_buildQueue

TFS 2015 RTM: http://<TFS Server>:8080/tfs/<Collection Name>/_admin/_buildQueue#_a=settings


Team Foundation Server | TFS 2015 | TFS 2017 | VNext Builds | VNext Release

“Powershell to rollback” task in Release Management Utility tasks from Visual Studio Marketplace

by XDK 2. July 2017 02:37


The “Powershell to rollback” task in Release Management Utility tasks from Visual Studio Marketplace was working fine in TFS 2015 instance but stopped working after upgrading TFS 2017 instance.


2017-06-27T11:57:58.0160646Z ##[debug]inlineScripe = Write-Host 'Rollback logic goes here as a powershell script'
2017-06-27T11:58:58.0327321Z ##[debug]Getting Personal Access Token for the Run
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2046532Z ##[debug]Calling http://TFSServer:8080/tfs/Collection/Team project/_apis/release/releases/213/environments/641/tasks?api-version=2.1-preview.1 using obtained PAT token
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z ##[debug]Could not obtain release tasks status
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z ##[debug]Error
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z The page you are looking for is currently unavailable.
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Page not found.
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z More information about this error
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Page not found.
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Things you can try:
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Refresh the current page
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Go back to the previous page
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Sign in as a different user
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Submit feedback to Microsoft about this error
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
2017-06-27T11:58:58.2983878Z © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


The API version in the script Runpowershellwithtaskcontext.ps1 located at “<Agent Directory>\tasks\Rollback\1.1.2\” related to “Powershell to rollback” task, must be updated with the corresponding TFS 2017 API version after the upgrade.

Change the api-version from api-version=2.1-preview.1 to api-version=3.0-preview.2 in the script Runpowershellwithtaskcontext.ps1 located at “<Agent Directory>\tasks\Rollback\1.1.2\”


TFS 2017 | VNext Release

Unable to access team projects across collections

by XDK 1. June 2017 23:23


Access to the registry key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0\TeamFoundation\Instances\<TFS Server Name>\Collections\<Team Project>" is denied.


Clear the Visual Studio cache at "%LocalAppData%/Microsoft/VisualStudio/15.0" to resolve the error


TFS 2017 | Visual Studio 2017

TFS cannot find the restored project collection database from other TFS instance

by XDK 27. May 2017 00:13


TF254078: No attachable databases were found on the following instance of SQL Server: <Server Name>. Verify that both the name of the server and the name of the instance are correct and that the database was properly detached using the detach command in the Team Foundation Administration Console.


You may need to check whether the project collection is detached from the other TFS instance properly.

Execute the following query on the problematic project collection database where it is restored

USE <project collection database name>
SELECT name, value FROM   sys.extended_properties 

Check whether the TFS_SNAPSHOT_STATE property with the Complete value is available in the query output.

If you don’t see the TFS_SNAPSHOT_STATE property then the project collection is not detached completely from the other TFS instance properly



Team Foundation Server

How to create personal access token (PAT) in TFS?

by XDK 15. March 2017 22:00


  • Login to your Team Foundation Server web portal (https://<server Name>:8080/tfs/).
  • Navigate to home page -> profile -> security menu
  • Click on personal access token menu
  • Click on Add button
  • Enter the Description, Expires In (lifespan) and Accounts details for your token
  • Click on Create button

Tags: ,

TFS 2015 | TFS 2017

Unable to find the specified file during Vnext release management download artifacts task

by XDK 6. February 2017 00:49


An error occurred during download: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Unable to find the specified file


This exception may occur while the release trying to download the build artifacts which has long path.


Reduce the length of the path and try again


VNext Release

How to perform a rollback on the deployment\target server(s) using TFS Vnext release management?

by XDK 5. February 2017 21:51


  • Install Release Management Utility tasks extension
  • Write a PS script to capture the tasks execution result in a XML file

Note: Sample script to get the tasks execution result is available at Release Management Utility tasks extension site.

  • Add “Deploy: PowerShell for rollback” task and configure the task to execute the above mentioned PS script.
    Add "Deploy: Windows Machine File Copy" task and configure the task to copy the generated XML file to deployment\target server(s)
  • Write a PowerShell script to parse the generated XML file and perform the rollback activates based on the tasks execution result.
  • Add "Deploy: PowerShell on Target Machines" task and configure the task to execute the above mentioned PS script on deployment\target server(s)

Note: Make sure you enable “Run Always” control option for the mentioned tasks.


VNext Release

Start-ScheduledTask : The system cannot find the file specified

by XDK 5. February 2017 21:42


PS D:\> Start-ScheduledTask -TaskName SynchronizeTime

Start-ScheduledTask : The system cannot find the file specified.
At line:1 char:1
+ Start-ScheduledTask Update-MyHelp -Starttings $s
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (PS_ScheduledTask:Root/Microsoft/…S_ScheduledTask) [Start-ScheduledTask]
   , CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : HRESULT 0x80070002,Start-ScheduledTask


I got the above exception while working with Scheduled Task Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell.


Adding TaskPath parameter resolved the issue.

PS D:\> $path = (Get-ScheduledTask SynchronizeTime).TaskPath
PS D:\> Start-ScheduledTask -TaskName SynchronizeTime -TaskPath $path 


VNext Builds | PowerShell

How to test whether a computer is setup to receive remote commands via the WinRM service

by XDK 5. January 2017 22:52


1. Open PowerShell console window

2. Execute test-wsman -ComputerName <Remote Computer Name>



How to clear NuGet cache on the build agent?

by XDK 1. December 2016 02:39


For the agents configured with build account

http-cache: C:\Users\<BUILD ACCOUNT>\AppData\Local\NuGet\v3-cache
packages-cache: C:\Users\<BUILD ACCOUNT>\AppData\Local\NuGet\Cache
global-packages: C:\Users\<BUILD ACCOUNT>\.nuget\packages\
temp: C:\Users\xavier.j\AppData\<BUILD ACCOUNT>\Temp\NuGetScratch

For the agents configured with Network Services account

http-cache: %windir%\ServiceProfiles\AppData\Local\NuGet\v3-cache
packages-cache: %windir%\ServiceProfiles\AppData\Local\NuGet\Cache
global-packages: %windir%\ServiceProfiles\.nuget\packages\
temp: %windir%\ServiceProfiles\AppData\<BUILD ACCOUNT>\Temp\NuGetScratch


Team Build | VNext Builds


The information provided here is based on my expreriences, troubleshooting and online/offline findings. It can be used as is on your own risk without any warranties and I impose no rights.

About the author

My name is Xavier Dilip Kumar Jayaraj and I am a Software Configuration Management Engineer with a background in application development, Build & packaging using Install Shield.

Profile in LinkedIn , PCEP-Certified , Azure-DevOps-C1

DevOps Tools

ALM tools:
Azure DevOps
IBM Rational
CA Agile Central-Rally
CollabNet VersionOne

Configuration tools:
• Puppet
• AWS OpsWorks
• Ansible

Build automation tools:
Apache Ant 
Apache Maven

Continuous Integration tools:

Testing tools:

Version control system tools:
Team Foundation Server

Code review tools:
Bitbucket Server

Continuous Delivery/release management tools:
XL Release
Serena Release
Octopus Deploy

Quotes I Like

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."  - Dr. APJ. Abdul Kalam

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." - Bruce Lee

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important." - Bill Gates

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs

Knowledge Base Articles