Altiris™ pcAnywhere Solution 12.5 SP1 from Symantec Release Notes

Article:DOC1865  |  Created: 2009-07-27  |  Updated: 2010-11-10  |  Article URL
Article Type


Altiris™ pcAnywhere Solution 12.5 SP1 from Symantec
Release Notes

Build number: 415


Hierarchy and replication

Features in this release

Known issues in this release

Fixed issues in this release

Where to get more information


pcAnywhere Solution helps organizations access and manage remote computers securely across multiple platforms. In pcAnywhere terminology, the administrator's computer that has the Symantec Management Platform installed on it or another computer that is running the Symantec Management Console is called the remote computer or the console. The managed client computer that has the pcAnywhere Plug-in installed on it is called the host computer because it hosts the connection.

pcAnywhere Solution 12.5 SP1 and the boxed pcAnywhere 12.5 SP1 product support Windows Server 2008 edition. They do not support Windows Server 2008 R2. For the complete support matrix, see article 50631.

pcAnywhere Solution is part of Altiris™ Client Management Suite from Symantec. For the suite release notes, see Knowledge Base article 48420.

pcAnywhere Solution 12.5 SP2 is now available. See article 50630.

Hierarchy and replication

pcAnywhere Solution supports hierarchy on the Symantec Management Platform to the following extent:

  • There is no restriction on establishing remote control sessions in the hierarchy structure. For example, the managed computers of the child Notification Server can establish a remote control session with the managed computers of the parent Notification Server. You can also establish a remote control session between the managed computers of the first child (Child1) and the second child (Child2).
  • You can replicate the following items down the hierarchical levels: policy pages, cloned items, pcAnywhere tasks, filters, and pcAnywhere folders.
    • Policy pages, cloned items, and pcAnywhere tasks These can be replicated in edit mode. The settings can be applied to the managed computers of the child Notification Servers.
    • Filters Replicated collections render the data from the child Notification Server according to the filter query.
    • pcAnywhere folder The entire or partial folder structure of pcAnywhere Solution can be replicated and used on the child Notification Server.

The following are unsupported hierarchy and replication items:

  • The report data from a child Notification Server is not being displayed on the parent Notification Server.
  • The pcAnywhere policy pages cannot be replicated in read only mode on the child Notification Server.

Features in this release

The following are features of this release:

Approve connection option (Superuser)

If a user is defined as a Superuser, the host is not allowed to cancel the connection (on the approve connection message box). The connection is established by clicking Yes or on timeout, regardless of the computer's state.

Custom port

You can configure the pcAnywhere Host agent to run on a custom port (other than the default 5631 port). After the inventory returns, the remote automatically picks up the host port and establishes the connection.

Hide host waiting message for Macintosh and Linux

For Macintosh and Linux computers, the host waiting window is hidden from the user.

Simpler rollout policies

The reboot and no reboot policies were converted to a single policy.

Enable approve connection dialogue by default

By default, the setting for approving the pcAnywhere connection on the host is enabled. Whenever the pcAnywhere host agent is installed, the Approve connection message box is enabled by default. To change this setting, the user can send a new configuration policy.

Support for report scoping

pcAnywhere Solution supports report scoping. When a user tries to view the reports, only the records of scoped computers display.

Known issues in this release

The following are known issues in this release:

Description Details
Host configuration policies are removed during installation. All existing host configuration policies are removed during the installation of SP1. Prior to installing SP1, we recomment that you export all pcAnywhere host configuration policies that are in use from the Symantec Management Console to XML files, or othewise record the current policy names and settings.  For more information, see Altiris Knowledgebase article 49304.
After installing the SP1 update, the filter "Windows computers requiring pcAnywhere plug-in Upgrade" shows errors. The errors prevent use of this filter as a means to upgrade existing installations of the pcAnywhere plug-in.  For more information, see Altiris Knowledgebase article 49314.

Upgrading the pcAnywhere agent overrides host settings.

Upgrading the pcAnywhere agent from 12.5 to 12.5 SP1 overrides the host settings with the default settings. You need to reconfigure and re-apply the host settings after upgrading the pcAnywhere agent.

Do not install or deploy the pcAnywhere plug-in to the Symantec Management Platform server.

Installing the pcAnywhere plug-in on the Symantec Management Platform server computer is not supported.
While applying the pcAnywhere Agent Install Policy, we recommend that you use the pcAnywhere default targets instead of All Computers. All Computers installs the pcAnywhere agent on the Symantec Management Platform server computer. If this happens, the server can still deploy the pcAnywhere plug-in to managed clients and control the pcAnywhere Solution host settings, but the ability to initiate a remote control session from the server will be lost.
Using domain groups or accounts for pcAnywhere authentication fails. If you want to use domain groups or accounts for pcAnywhere authentication, prior to running Symantec Installation Manager to install the Symantec Management Platform, specify a domain account for the Application Identity. For more information, see Altiris Knowledgebase article 46675.
Some server locales (other than English - US) present problems. German - Germany
Spanish - Modern Sort - Spain
French - France
Italian - Italy
Portuguese - Brazil
Russian - Russia
English - Australia
English - Philippines
English - United Kingdom
English - Canada
English - Ireland
English - New Zealand

For more information, see Knowledgebase Article 48691. To avoid the problems described in the article, you must implement the workaround that is provided in the article.
Domain local group does not work when added to local admin group. While using NT Authentication, Local Administrators Group, or Domain Groups, only the ADS group with a Global scope can be used. A caller from this group with Domain Local scope cannot be used to authenticate the host.
pcA Agent won't install to non-default location on client. The pcAnywhere Agent always installs to the default location (\\Program Files\Symantec\pcAnywhere) on the client machine. A non-default location is not supported.
Remote control modes (blank host screen) on security page not working on Vista/2K8 64. On the pcAnywhere Configuration Settings page, the Security tab > Remote Control Mode, the Blank Host Screen option might not work on the 64-bit versions of Vista and 2K8 servers. After the session is established, you can perform the same task from the NIS bar.
"Invalid login. Please try again" appears with AD authentication when the primary user group is Domain Admins. If the Primary Group of the user in AD is changed from Domain Users to Domain Admins, the host might fail to authenticate the user. For more information, see Altiris Knowledgebase article 47230.
Ability to run a Mac Host while switching users on the Mac OS is not supported. If a Mac Host is launched by a user, followed by a user switch, the resulting connection to the waiting host fails to display the video. To ensure that the Mac Host functions as expected, ensure that the user who launches the host remains active for the duration of the session.
Default caller for pcAnywhere Agent. When the pcAnywhere Agent is deployed on the client computer, the default caller is the Local Administrators group. This caller can be changed when a custom policy is applied.
Using the disconnect and lock host computer file transfer setting from an active remote session does not lock the host computer. While in File Transfer mode in a remote session, some settings in the After queue ends section might not work appropriately.
Computer with only pcAnywhere remote control cannot be upgraded to 12.5 SP1. A managed computer that does not have the pcAnywhere Agent on it but it is used for remote control only, does not upgrade the remote control module (even if it accesses the upgraded NS with an upgraded pcAnywhere Solution).
NT authentication/Local Administrators group does not work on some localized OS. When you apply the pcAnywhere Agent Install policy, the default authentication of the local computer's Administrators group might not work on some localized operating systems. The workaround is to create an NT caller (according to the Administrators group name on the localized platform) and copy it to the > Application Data\Symantec\pcAnywhere\Hosts folder.
When connected through Access Server to a host for file transfer, the session hangs the remote when the session ends. Remote session might not be ended appropriately if it is in the file transfer session and has a host docked in Access Server.
Uninstalling pcAnywhere Solution from the uninstallation policy does not release the pcAnywhere Agent license. Uninstalling the pcAnywhere Agent does not release the agent license. The workaround is to dispose the pcAnywhere Solution Agent from the pcAnywhere Plug-In Installed Active filter. Then, apply the pcAnywhere Solution agent uninstall policy.
pcAnywhere Host Security and Encryption and pcAnywhere Hosts by Version reports don't delete entries of computers where pcAnywhere Agent is uninstalled. Uninstalling the pcAnywhere Agent might not be reflected in the reports.
Approve connection message does not appear on Mac/Linux computer if the computer is in locked state. For Macintosh and Linux computers in a locked state, the approve connection message does not appear, and the session times out without establishing the remote session.
Restart after disconnect works, even if the logged in user does not have shut down rights. The host setting on the pcAnywhere Configuration Settings page > Security tab > Restart on Disconnect option reboots the host machine, even if the logged in user on the host computer does not have shutdown rights. The reboot happens because the policy is set by the Notification Server administrator.
Host is in initializing state when incorrect IP or incorrect port used while docking to Access Server. If the user provides an incorrect IP address, name of the Access Server (on the Access Server tab), or data port (on the Connection tab), the Host goes into the initializing state. This state happens while you are docking the pcAnywhere host to Access Server by using the configuration policy page. You can verify that this state occurred by the following two items:
  • The host is in a loop of waiting and initializing the state without showing any status. The Cancel Host icon is enabled on the right-click menu, but the host cannot be cancelled by clicking on it.
  • Applying the corrected settings does not restart the host. However, the policy XML becomes available on the agent computer.

You can use the following workaround to fix this issue: On the agent side, after receiving and applying the new policy, restart the pcAnywhere host service. The host docks again.

Windows 2000 installation. Before installing pcAnywhere Solution on Windows 2000, you must install the 3.1 Windows installer.
Localized text for the Options icon. On localized (non-English) versions, the text on the Options icon is not visible on the pcAnywhere Quick Connect dialog box.
Playing session recording files requires Standalone version. Unless the pcAnywhere (Standalone) product is installed, you cannot play back session recording files.
Uninstall Carbon Copy before installing pcAnywhere Solution. If you installed the Carbon Copy agent on the same server computer as the Symantec Management Platform, you need to manually uninstall the Carbon Copy agent before installing pcAnywhere Solution.
Remote control using VNC not working. Remote control using VNC from a 64-bit operating system with 64-bit Java is not working.
Backup driver used until reboot. The pcAnywhere Solution Windows agent runs with a backup driver until the machine is restarted. After restarting the computer, the pcAnywhere mirror drivers install.
Domain users group in AD authentication. If the Domain Users group is added to AD authentication, you must use the FQDN while authenticating.
Packages might not deploy correctly to child servers. If the parent Notification Server is installed to a location that is different than the child server and the server is upgraded from the last release, you might not be able to deploy all pcAnywhere packages to the computers that are managed by the child server. In cases of a new install, the problem occurs only with pcAnywhere tasks packages. You can either edit the package source location or copy the packages to the correct location to resolve the issue.

Fixed issues in this release

The following issues were resolved in this release:

Description Article ID
"Invalid login. Please try again" message appears with NT authentication when user is not directly in the Local Administrators group. 46430
"Invalid login. Please try again" message appears with AD authentication when user belongs only to Domain Users group. 46484
Unable to connect to a pcAnywhere host when no one is present to approve the connection. 48119
Unable to remote control a PowerPC based Mac computer. 47129

Unable to log off or shut down a Mac system with a pcAnywhere ThinHost that is running.

Three hidden packages are autoAssigned to sites instead of assigning them to all package servers. 40958
 Uninstalling pcAnywhere disables DCOM Service and breaks ODBC connections 50045

Where to get more information

The product installation includes the following documentation:

Document Description Location

User’s Guide

Information about how to use this product, including detailed technical information and instructions for performing common tasks.

This information is available in PDF format.


Information about how to use this product. This information is the same as in the User’s Guide.

Help is available at the solution level and at the suite level.

This information is available in HTML help format.

The Documentation Library, which is available in the Symantec Management Console on the Help menu.

Context-sensitive help is available for most screens in the Symantec Management Console.

You can open context-sensitive help in the following ways:

  • The F1 key.
  • The Context command, which is available in the Symantec Management Console on the Help menu.


For more information, you can use the following resources:


Resource Description Location

Symantec Management Platform Release Notes

Information about new features and important issues in the Symantec Management Platform.

This information is available as an article in the Knowledge Base.

You can also search for the product name under Release Notes.

Installing the Symantec Management Platform products

Information about using Symantec Installation Manager to install the Symantec Management Platform products.

This information is available as an article in the Knowledge Base.

Altiris 7 Planning and Implementation Guide

Information about capacity recommendations, design models, scenarios, test results, and optimization best practices to consider when planning or customizing an Altiris 7 Infrastructure for your organization.

This information is available as an article in the Knowledge Base.

Knowledge Base

Articles, incidents, and issues about this product.

Symantec Connect (formerly Altiris Juice)

An online magazine that contains best practices, tips, tricks, and articles for users of this product.

Online Forums

Forums for users of this product.

Legacy ID


Article URL

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices