SCOM 2007 RMS promotion seems stuck

Here is another thing I saw happening in a test environment, which does not happen if you follow the guide 🙂 But always good to know what it looks like. Thought it is informative for somebody who might run into that and search for it.
This is situation. Test environment for SCOM 2007 R2 CU4. wanted to do a migration and wanted to swing the RMS role to another management server in order to break down the old RMS and re-install. Simple procedure. Take encryption key to the other management server, import it and use the managementserverconfigtool.exe to PromoteRMS and swing the RMS role to that management server. That worked out and after some cleaning and so on a new machine could be installed and installed SCOM on that machine. So now the machine needed to be promoted again.
AT some point in the procedure the guy who did this procedure ran the managementserverconfigtool.exe PromoteRMS command. This wizard asks you twice to confirm with an Y. Next it will continue and do the promotion for you. The first step is to enable the scomsdk service on the management server and start it in order to get the management group information to continue the promotion. However this machine was stuck at this step. They could see the scomsdk service was started and running, so good. Nothing on processor. It was just sitting there waiting for the next step it seemed. After killing this process and reverting the service to disabled state and rebooting both the MS and RMS they tried again. Same result. It was stuck at the first step of starting the SCOMSDK service (which it did do). As it was the end of the day they just left it there and the next day the command had stopped working with the message that “Unable to retrieve management group information on (local machine name here)”. Aha! now we have information!
So what happened here…
The management group information gets retrieved through the sdk service and needs to have the encryption key for that!
Guess what.. the step to import the RMS encryption key was not done on that management server before trying to promote it.
So now you know what happens when you try to promote a management server without the RMS encryption key.
Good luck if you run into this.
Bob Cornelissen