Customizations in Helpdesk result in performance issues

Article:TECH166127  |  Created: 2011-08-01  |  Updated: 2011-08-02  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution


Helpdesk customizations (custom user interface windows or elements controlled by custom.config files) result in performance issues, such as high CPU/w3wp.exe/IIS usage. These may also result in other critical issues such as timeouts or out of memory errors, or simply may not be working as the user expect.


Helpdesk customizations are not implemented correctly.


Determine if there are any Helpdesk customizations present. If so, temporarily disable these to verify if they are the cause of the issue. If these are, their custom changes must be corrected to permanently resolve the issue or be left disabled.

A Helpdesk customization is categorized as follows:

  • Changes made to Helpdesk by editing Helpdesk files, such as .ascx, to add or remove fields or other user interface elements are considered customizations. Customizations can also include adding custom dashboard queries that run when the console is accessed. Customizations can be done by using custom.config files to redirect Helpdesk to the customizations or by directly editing Helpdesk files (not supported).
  • Changes made to Helpdesk by using the user interface are not considered customizations but are configuration changes. For example, editing or creating new business rules such as notify rules or modifying an email template are configuration changes.

The following instructions describe how to find and disable Helpdesk customizations:

  1. On the Helpdesk server, search for all "custom.config" files under the <Altiris_installation_drive>:\Program Files\Altiris\Helpdesk folder and all subfolders. There may be more than one custom.config file present. If no custom.config files are found, then either there are no customizations present or Helpdesk's files have been directly customized. If it is believed that there are no customizations, then this article should be considered unnecessary and the remainder of the instructions can be skipped. Refer to the following related article for additional troubleshooting:

    Slow performance, timeouts, out of memory errors or high CPU/w3wp.exe/IIS usage occurs when using Helpdesk
  2. Rename any custom.config files found, such as to "custom.old".
  3. Once all custom.config files have been renamed, restart IIS. This can be done by clicking on the Windows Start button > Run > type "iisreset" and then click on the OK button.
  4. After a few minutes have passed after the IIS reset, open a new Helpdesk console and try to reproduce the issue. If the issue can no longer be reproduced, than one or more of the now-disabled customizations are the issue. These will need to either be corrected or left disabled to permanently resolve the issue.

Please Note: Symantec Technical Support is unable to assist with the implementation or troubleshooting of Helpdesk customizations. If the user is unable to determine how to resolve a customization issue, the only solution would then be to leave this permanently disabled. For assistance with customizations, a consultant may be able to be hired by the user's company. Or, questions regarding customization can be posted to the Symantec Connect user forums for community support at

Related Article

How to customize Helpdesk 6

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