How to Troubleshoot Azure DevTest Lab Artifact Failures


This article offers a look at how to troubleshoot a failed artifact deployment on an Azure VM.


In my Azure DevTest Lab, I’ve been using artifacts a lot recently, but I’ve run into a bit of an issue with one of them on my BadArtifact virtual machine.

We can see on my Lab dashboard that this particular VM has a status of Running.

But if I click into it, and then into Manage Artifacts, I can see that of the four artifacts that have been applied to this virtual machine, one of them has failed (the Add user to Administrators Group artifact).

If I drill into that one, I can see a deployment message there that’s not exactly user-friendly to read — but it ends by telling me to see the artifact results for details.

So, in order to drill in a little bit further and find out exactly why this artifact failed, let’s head back to my virtual machine. I’ll switch back to its overview and connect to it.

This will open up an RDP session, as it’s a Windows VM, and we can connect to it as we normally would.

Once you’re all connected, fire up Windows Explorer and head to your C drive. There you’ll find a Packages directory, and if you start drilling down into that through plugins, there’s a custom script extension directory (whatever the version number is). Then, go into status.

A number of status files are here, one for each artifact installed on the machine. The one we’re interested in was the fourth one on the list, so it will be the last status file.

Let’s go ahead and open it. The formatting isn’t that much more user-friendly. However, it is more complete, so if we scroll along to the right, there’s a message that was returned from the artifact: “Attempting to add FakeUser to the administrators group…”

I have a hunch that FakeUser might not actually exist, and I should probably update the artifact to actually target a real user and attempt to reapply this particular artifact.

Josh King is the Senior Infrastructure & Automation Administrator at a local government body in regional New Zealand, working within a predominantly Windows and VMware environment. Josh has a passion for PowerShell and automation. You can find his blog at or reach out to him on Twitter, @WindosNZ.


Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar