Dell Client Manager 2.1 Release Notes

Article:DOC1332  |  Created: 2006-12-19  |  Updated: 2007-09-27  |  Article URL
Article Type


What do I need to know about the 2.1 release of Dell Client Manager?


Dell Client Manager 2.1

Release Notes


Installation and Upgrade

New Features in this Release

Fixes in this Release

Known Issues in this Release

Additional Documentation

Document History


Dell Client Manager is the most powerful Dell hardware management solution available for Dell Precision* workstations, OptiPlex* desktops, and Latitude* notebooks. The unprecedented integration of Dell OpenManage Client Instrumentation with the Altiris management platform has resulted in a single, remote console. Using Dell Client Manager, you can do the following:

  • Identify every Dell client computer in your environment.
  • Automatically deploy the Dell OpenManage Client Instrumentation (OMCI agent) to client computers.
  • Obtain detailed inventory client computer data, including hardware information and BIOS settings.
  • Update the BIOS on client computers to the latest version.
  • Configure BIOS settings on client computers.
  • Employ hardware monitoring on client computers that can trigger alerts.
  • Generate a wide range of reports that help you manage client computers.

Supported Systems

Dell Computer Models that are supported:

Precision OptiPlex Latitude
360 160L X1
370 170L 110L
380 210L 120L
390 GX270 130L
450 GX280 131L
470 GX520 D400
490 GX620 D410
650 320 D420
670 740 D500
690 745 D505
M20 745C D510
M50 SX270 D520
M60 SX280 D531
M65   D600
M70   D610
M90   D620
Dell Computer Models that Support Alert Standard Format (ASF)

To use ASF 2.0, client computers must be ASF 2.0 capable. To be ASF 2.0 capable, a computer must have a network adapter and computer BIOS that supports ASF 2.0. Some Dell computers may have Broadcom network adapters that support ASF 2.0 while the computer BIOS does not.

The following models fully support ASF 2.0:

  • Dell Precision 390
  • Dell Precision 490 (with updated BIOS)
  • Dell Precision 690 (with updated BIOS)
  • OptiPlex 745
  • OptiPlex 740
  • Latitude D531
  • Latitude D630
  • Latitude D631
  • Latitude D830

Supported computers can be identified through the "All supported ASF 2.0 capable Dell client computers" collection.

Dell Client Manager may recognize other models that have ASF-capable network adapters but do not have ASF 2.0 support in the computer BIOS. In these cases, these computers will be listed as capable in the “All Broadcom ASF capable computers” collection. They may also have the Out of Band Task Agent installed on them along with fully supported models. ASF 2.0 functionality will not be available on these computers, and it will not cause any problems to have the agent installed on computers that are not fully supported.

Dell Computer Models that Support Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT)

The following models fully support Intel AMT 2.0 and later:

  • Dell OptiPlex 745c

For details on discovering and managing Intel AMT capable computers, see the Out of Band Management Solution Help (see Additional Documentation).

Installation and Upgrade


Server Requirements

Dell Client Manager requires Altiris® Notification Server™ 6.0 SP3 or later. Notification Server requires the following:

  • Processor: Pentium lll 800 MHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 20 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 2003 Server SP1 or Windows 2000 Server SP4
  • Database: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 SP3 or 2005
  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later

Dell Client Manager installs Altiris® Out of Band Management Solution™ software on the Notification Server. Out of Band Management Solution requires the following:

  • .NET Framework Version 2.0 installed on the Notification Server computer.
    Important: The Internet Information Service (IIS) must be configured to use .NET Framework Version 1.0, or the Notification Server will not work.
  • (Optional) If you want to use the Transport Layer Security (TLS) feature for secure communication between the Notification Server and the client Intel AMT capable computer, the following requirements must be met:
    • The Notification Server computer must be running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP1. TLS does not work with Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.
    • A certification authority (CA) must be installed and configured on the Notification Server computer.
      Important: If you are installing on a clean computer, make sure the IIS is installed before CA.

    For instructions on installing and configuring the CA, see the Out of Band Management Solution Reference Guide (see Additional Documentation) and Intel Active Management Technology Setup and Configuration Service Installation and User Manual

Client Computer Requirements

Full feature support is available for most Dell OptiPlex, Latitude, and Dell Precision client computers. See the list of supported computers.

The Dell Client Manager Agent requires the following:

  • Operating system: Windows 2000 SP3 or later
  • Memory: 64 MB RAM
  • Available disk space: 5 MB disk space for the Altiris Agent, plus space to install the required software

Supported operating system languages are English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Note: For Windows Vista support, you must install the following solution manually (from the Solution Center on an existing Notification Server) prior to installing Dell Client Manager:

  • Altiris Notification Server 6.0 SP3 Update KB27859

To install the update

  1. In the Altiris Console, select the Configuration tab (If you are using the Altiris Console 6.5, select View > Configuration).
  2. In the left pane, select Upgrade/Install Additional Solutions.
  3. In the right pane, click the Available Solutions tab.
  4. Click Segments.
  5. Click Notification Server Upgrades and Updates to expand the category.
  6. Click Altiris NS SP3 Update KB27859 and follow the on-screen instructions. 

Where to Download Dell Client Manager

To download and extract the installer files

  1. Go to the Dell Open Manage Web site at
  2. In the list on the left, click Client Management.

New installation

Dell Client Manager is a suite of solutions installed on an Altiris Notification Server. If you do not have Altiris Notification Server software installed, you can use the Altiris Installation and Configuration Manager to install both Altiris Notification Server and Dell Client Manager. You can access the utility from > Client Management.

For details, see the Dell Client Manager Reference Guide (see Additional Documentation).

Installation Issue Description

Difficulty downloading Dell Client Manager from the Altiris Web site (Altiris Installation and Configuration Manager)

In a small number of cases, certain proxy server configurations may not allow the Altiris Installation and Configuration Manager (AICM) to download the necessary Dell Client Manager installation files. If you are using AICM in an environment that uses a proxy server and either of the following occurs: 1) The AICM program loads successfully but displays an Internet connection error before any install files are downloaded or 2) If AICM is not able to download ANY files after several minutes, you may be experiencing this limitation.

  1. Try using a Web browser to open a Web site to verify that you have an Internet connection. If you cannot open a Web site with a browser, take necessary steps to re-establish an Internet connection (examples: plug in the network cable, adjust Internet connection settings, or enlist the help of a network administrator). If you can establish an Internet connection, retry AICM.
  2. If, after verifying the Internet connection, AICM still cannot download any installation files, invoke the AICM from a computer that is outside of the proxy server environment. When prompted in the AICM wizard, select the option to download files only. Move the downloaded files to the computer inside the proxy environment to which you wish to install Dell Client Manager and run the installation from the copy.

Upgrading Dell Client Manager

Upgrade Issue Description
Upgrading the client computer from OMCI 6.x If a computer is updated from version 6.x, OMCI will be automatically uninstalled, the computer will be automatically restarted, and then the current version will be installed.
Upgrading the client computer from OMCI 7.x If a computer is updated from an earlier version of 7.x, a restart is not performed. However, there may be cases where some components may not install correctly, and in this case, Dell Client Manager will detect this and perform a restart to correctly configure all components.
User rights and OMCI upgrade on client computer If a computer has OMCI 7.1, and the current logged on user does not have administrator rights, an automatic upgrade to a newer version of OMCI will fail. To upgrade, manually uninstall OMCI 7.1, then use the Dell Client Manager Agent Install policy to reinstall OMCI. Dell Client Manager includes a collection named “All supported Dell Client Computers with Dell OMCI 7.1 Software installed” to help you identify these computers.
Client computer OMCI upgrade limitations All versions prior to 6.x cannot be upgraded. You must manually uninstall OMCI, and then use the Dell Client Manager Agent Install policy to install the current version.
Unsupported models collections not removed sometimes The supported Dell models list and the corresponding collections get updated during the Dell Client Manager upgrade. If you have assigned a policy to the collection of Dell models no longer supported, the collection will not be deleted from the Notification Server during the upgrade. A warning can appear in the Notification Server log, which will not affect the normal operation of Dell Client Manager.
Uninstall Dell Client Manager Plus documentation manually There is no separate documentation pack for Dell Client Manager Plus (previously known as Dell OMCA) in this release. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Dell Client Manager Plus, the Altiris Dell Client Manager Plus Documentation will not be uninstalled. You will have to uninstall the documentation manually.
Upgrade Steps
1. Upgrading to Dell Client Manager 2.1

Dell Client Manager 2.1 will automatically upgrade prior versions of Dell Client Manager (1.0, 1.0 SP1, and 2.0). Customers who already have Dell Client Manager 1.x can select an option within their Altiris Notification Server to upgrade their current version by selecting Configuration tab > Upgrade/Install Additional Solutions (left hand navigation pane) > Available Solutions tab > Segments > Partner Solutions section.

Note: We recommend that you disable any enabled Dell Client Manager BIOS and Monitoring policies prior to performing an upgrade.

If you have installed Dell Client Manager 2.1 Standard and you want to upgrade to Dell Client Manager Plus or Altiris® Client Management Suite™ software, only those solutions that the customer does not already have will be installed. If the customer has older versions of solutions contained in either of these suites, the individual solutions will attempt to upgrade the older versions.

2. Installing and Upgrading the Dell Client Manager Agent

The Dell Client Manager Agent includes Dell OMCI client software that provides the ability to gather detailed inventory, change BIOS settings, upgrade BIOS, and coordinate these automated tasks through the Altiris Agent.

The Dell OMCI version that is included in this release is 7.5.630.

You can use the Dell Client Manager Agent Install policy to install OMCI on computers that do not have it already installed. The instructions for doing this are included in the Dell Client Manager Reference Guide (see Additional Documentation).

If you are upgrading from Dell Client Manager 1.0, 1.0 SP1, or 2.0 (with the older version of OMCI included), you can upgrade both the Dell Client Manager Agent and Dell OMCI on the managed client computers by using the Dell Client Manager Agent Upgrade policy.

If you have computers that already have a previous version of OMCI installed, the agent install policy will also upgrade the OMCI software. You can upgrade all 6.x and 7.x versions earlier than 7.4.

3. Licensing

Dell Client Manager includes a restricted trial license that is valid for 90 days on 900,000 nodes. You can register and receive a free unlimited and permanent license by visiting the following Web site:

Agent Uninstallation

There are three Notification Server policies that you can use to uninstall Dell Client Manager Agents:

  • Dell Client Manager Agent and OMCI Software uninstall
  • Dell Client Manager Agent uninstall
  • Dell OMCI Software uninstall

You can uninstall both clients or each one. For example, you may want to uninstall the Dell Client Manager Agent but keep OMCI to use in another way. After that, you may want to uninstall OMCI if you have already uninstalled the Dell Client Manager Agent.

A special collection "All supported Dell Client Computers running Dell OMCI software without Dell Client Manager Agent" is the default collection for uninstalling Dell OMCI software because you generally wouldn't uninstall OMCI if you have the Dell Client Manager Agent already installed.

New Features in this Release

Improvements for this release include the following new features:

New Dell Computer Models Supported

See the list of supported models.

Microsoft Windows Vista Supported

The Dell Client Manager Agent can be rolled out to Dell client computers running Microsoft Windows Vista (Business and Ultimate versions).

Dell OMCI Version Updated

The Dell OMCI version that is included in this release is 7.5.630. The existing Dell OMCI installation will be automatically upgraded when you run either the Dell Client Manager Agent Install or Upgrade task on the Dell client computers.

Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) Support

Altiris Out of Band Management Solution, which is included in this release (when installed from the Solution Center), provides out-of-band management support of the new Dell OptiPlex computers with Intel AMT 2.0 and later.

Administrator can Control Reboots Required by Dell Client Manager Agent Installation

The Notification Server administrator can control when to perform Dell client computer reboots that are required by the Dell Client Manager Agent installation or upgrade task. The reboot can be performed immediately, or at a later time, using the Task Management Solution. A collection listing the computers pending reboot is created, and the administrator can assign the Task Management's Reboot task to that collection and run it on a schedule.

Dell OMCI Notifications can be Disabled

The administrator can disable OMCI notifications centrally from the Altiris Console to avoid duplicated alert notifications.

Expanded Boot Devices List

The list of boot devices in a group has been expanded. Now the administrator can set a more accurate boot order for a Dell client computer.

Reduced Network Traffic

The events sent to the Notification Server are now grouped on per-policy basis to reduce the network traffic. The Dell discovery and installed components inventory can be disabled from the Dell Client Manager Agent Settings policy.

Dell Client Manager Solution Folders can be Moved

You can move the Dell Client Manager Solution folders within the Altiris Console.

Internal Tasks and Packages Exposed

For troubleshooting purposes, the internal supplementary tasks are shown in the Internal Autogenerated Items folder.

Fixes in this Release

No known issues were fixed in this release.

Known Issues in this Release

The following are unresolved issues in this release. For additional information regarding a known issue, click the Article ID link.

Known Issue Article ID
Do not perform a shutdown operation after a BIOS upgrade

After performing a BIOS upgrade, the computer must be restarted rather than shut down. If a computer is shut down, the BIOS upgrade will not take affect and you may cause the computer to not start properly.

  • BIOS Upgrade Policy—When using the BIOS Upgrade policy, and when configuring Power Management options, we recommend that you select “Restart the computer after task.” However, set the “User can defer for n minutes” to 0. If you configure a deferred reboot, a user may shut down the computer before it reboots.
  • BIOS Upgrade Stand-alone Package—If using a stand-alone package to perform a BIOS upgrade, use the “Restart computer” operation. We also recommend that you do not use “No action required” because a user may manually shut down the computer after the upgrade.
BIOS password restrictions

BIOS Passwords set in a BIOS policy have the following restrictions:

  1. Only alphanumeric passwords are supported.
  2. Spaces may not be used. Using spaces will result in incorrect passwords. Example: If you specified a BIOS password as "qwe 123," the password will be set as “qwe.”
  3. The maximum length is dependent on the computer model. For example, on Dell Latitude notebooks, the maximum is eight characters. When using the real-time view to provide a password with more than the maximum characters, the password will be truncated to the first number of characters allowed. For example, if the maximum is eight characters, and you provide a 12-character password, only the first eight characters are used. You will need to use that truncated password to use or clear the BIOS password.

These restrictions apply to both setting passwords and password verification.

BIOS password numeric values

When using a computer's BIOS configuration utility (after a start or restart), a BIOS password entered from the numeric keypad on a keyboard (below NumLock) doesn't match a similar password entered from numeric keys under the F1...F10 keys. Dell Client Manager does not recognize the format from the numeric keypad in the BIOS.

If you use the numeric keypad in the BIOS, you cannot match the password using Dell Client Manager.

Scenario 1:
  1. In the BIOS, you turned on NumLock and provide a password from the numeric part of the keyboard (below NumLock).
  2. Using a policy, stand-alone package, or real-time view, attempt to modify this password (or apply some BIOS Settings on the computer where you need to provide a password to change them). Your password (the same as you entered in the BIOS) will not be accepted. It doesn't matter which kind of number keys you use in Dell Client Manager; it won't match.
Scenario 2:
  1. Using a Dell Client Manager policy, stand-alone package, or real-time view, set the BIOS password using numbers (either form of numbers).
  2. Enter BIOS and attempt to enter the same password using numeric keypad keys—it will not match. It will work only if you enter this from the numeric keys (under F1...F10 keys).

When using a computer's BIOS configuration utility (after a start or restart), to enter a BIOS password, always use the numeric keys under the F1...F10 keys.

Extracting .hdr file from non-packaged BIOS upgrade .exe file

When using DOS-based BIOS upgrade files, you must extract the .hdr file from the downloaded .exe file. You can do this by running filename.exe –writehdrfile.

Some files may not extract correctly. This occurs because the extraction process requires more memory than it's allocated by default. If this occurs, right-click the .exe, click the Memory tab of the .exe file properties, and modify memory allocation values to maximum values for all settings. Then close the properties dialog and re-execute the extraction process.

Asset Tag length limitations

If setting the Asset Tag value in the BIOS profile, there is a 10-character limit. If you have more than 10 characters, this will cause the changing of an Asset Tag (of more than 10 characters) to fail.

Example: If you use a %systemname% macro as a value for the Asset Tag, and if %systemname% is more than 10 characters, the set operation will fail.

Boot order limitations
  • Drive Type Limitations—The current boot order functionality cannot distinguish between different hard drive types (IDE, SATA, SCSI) and multiple hard drives of the same. If you have multiple hard drives, you cannot configure a specific hard drive to boot from.
  • RAID Volumes Not Recognized for Boot Order—RAID volumes are not recognized for boot order configuration. RAID volumes are also ignored if boot order configuration is imported using the Import feature of BIOS Profile Editor.
Text in dialog not localized

When working with Monitoring Policies, the pre-defined action text in the “Create incident” dialog for automated actions is not localized and appears only in English. On Japanese language operating systems, the pre-defined create incident action is not displayed in the dialog. However, you can create your own.

BIOS upgrade not automatically performed with password-locked screen saver

If using an Upgrade BIOS policy for a client computer that has a password-locked screen saver, by default it will prevent the computer from automatically restarting and flashing the BIOS. (If the computer is manually rebooted, it will then flash the BIOS). In the Upgrade BIOS policy, there is an option (Force running applications to quit upon restart) that is cleared by default. If you select this option, the computer will restart and flash the BIOS automatically.

Dell Client Manager Real-Time view showing for non-Dell computers

When viewing the Resource Manager for a non-Dell computer and viewing the Real-Time tab, the Dell Client Manager view is visible. You may see a non-functional credentials dialog and other errors. We recommend not using this view for non-Dell computers.

Hyperthreading settings management not possible on some models

Hyperthreading status on Dell OptiPlex 745 and 745C computers is displayed as Disabled or Enabled, but in fact, the settings are not supported by the BIOS and cannot be changed.
On Dell Latitude D420, D520, D620, D820, Dell Precision Workstation M65, and M90 notebooks, changing Hyperthreading settings (using a BIOS Profile or Real-Time tab) changes MultiCore settings instead.

Upgrade BIOS on Dell Latitude 131L before managing the computer

Hardware inventory collection, monitoring policies, and stand-alone packages fail to run on Dell Latitude 131L computers with BIOS version 1.7 or earlier. To manage the computers, manually upgrade the BIOS to version 2.1 or later by running a BIOS upgrade package on the client computer. The BIOS upgrade package can be obtained from the Dell Web site (

BIOS cannot be upgraded on Dell Latitude 131L

You cannot upgrade the BIOS to versions 2.1 or earlier on Dell Latitude 131L remotely, using a BIOS Upgrade policy. You have to upgrade the BIOS manually by running a BIOS upgrade package on the client computer.

Dell is currently working on resolving the issue. Check the Dell Web site if a newer version of BIOS is available (

BIOS settings cannot be changed on Dell Latitude 131L

BIOS settings on Dell Latitude 131L cannot be changed, either by using a BIOS Settings Policy or Real-Time view.

BIOS cannot be upgraded on Dell OptiPlex 740

You cannot upgrade the BIOS to versions 1.0.5 or earlier on Dell OptiPlex 740 remotely, using a BIOS Upgrade policy.

Dell is currently working on resolving the issue. Check the Dell Web site if a newer version of BIOS is available (

Incorrect message in the tooltip help

In the BIOS Profile dialog, the tooltip help for the "Front USB Ports" item should read "Enables or Disables the USB ports on the front of the chassis."

ASF Out-of-Band power management limitation

Dell Latitude D531, D630, D631, and D830 notebooks with ASF 2.0 capability do not support Reboot/Reset power management command using ASF technology - only Power On and Power Off power actions are supported.


Additional Documentation

Altiris product documentation is available in Microsoft* HTML Help (.chm) and Adobe Acrobat* (.pdf) formats. To view Altiris product documentation in .PDF format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at:

By default, documentation files are installed in the following directory on the Altiris® Notification Server™ computer:

C:\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Help.

The following documentation is provided with Dell Client Manager:

Dell Client Manager Reference Guide

Altiris Information Resources

Source What Information it Includes Location
Altiris Documentation Information about new features, update instructions, and known issues for each release. Includes Altiris formal documentation such as release notes, help, reference guides, best practice articles, and technical reference articles.
Altiris Knowledgebase Comprehensive collection of articles, incidents, and issues for Altiris solutions.
Altiris Juice:
an online magazine for Altiris users
Best practices, tips and tricks, and articles for users of Altiris solutions.
Online Forums Forums for Altiris solutions and suites.

Document History

Date Changes
3/15/2007 Released
3/13/2007 Added more supported platforms
2/16/2007 Added latest known issues
1/10/2007 Beta version release

Legacy ID


Article URL

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices