KNOWN ISSUE: When an Inventory task is invoked on Windows Vista or other Windows OS, sometimes the Altiris Agent crashes

Article:TECH41859  |  Created: 2009-04-15  |  Updated: 2009-11-04  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH41859
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Article Type
Technical Solution



Issue



When the Inventory Plug-in is invoked to run an Inventory Task, the Altiris Agent service crashes.

Current data shows that this happens only on Windows Vista, though other OSes may be affected. The crash also only occurs in some instances of Vista (specifics are still under investigation), though when this issue has been seen, it is consistent on the affected machines.


Environment



Notification Server 7.0
Inventory Solution 7.0

Cause



Unknown

Solution



Limited Hotfix Released. It is recommended to use Inventory 7.0 SP1 (CMS SP1 release) to apply this fix, but if SP1 is not available or you cannot upgrade, use this hotfix to resolve the issue.

The previous version of this hotfix that had an issue installing on Child-level NS systems has been removed, and a new installer provided. This one will install successfully, though please note the bottom of the following details for known situations.

Otherwise, see these directions for installing the hotfix:

Introduction:

Hotfix for Inventory Agent crash contains updated InvAgent.dll (7.0.1086.0). This hotfix will be applied to 7.0 Inventory Solution, version 7.0.1085.0.

 

Cause of the crash:

One of the program logics in InvAgent.dll file, which is part of Inventory Agent, was causing the crash. This file is also used in stand-alone inventory packages.

 

What does the hotfix do?

The hot fix fixes the crash for

A.      Currently managed computers which have the Inventory agent installed. This is done using Inventory Agent Upgrade policy.

B.      For the managed computers where the Inventory Agent will be installed in future.

C.      The existing  stand-alone packages present on NS at \\NSName\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\StandalonePackages

D.      For the new stand-alone packages that will be created in future

 

What exact changes will the hotfix do in your NS environment?

1.       Symantec Management Console > Manage > Filters > Software Filters > Agent and Plug-in Filters > Windows Computers Requiring Inventory Plug-in Upgrade

This filter is used by Symantec Management Console > Settings > Agents/Plug-ins > Discovery and Inventory > Windows > Inventory Plug-in for Windows – Upgrade policy which is responsible for upgrading the agents on the managed computers.

 

Note: The hotfix does not automatically enable the Inventory Plug-in for Windows – Upgrade policy. Administrators will need to enable it manually, so that the fix is rolled on the managed computers.

 

This is done to apply the fix for point A mentioned above.

 

2.       \\NSName\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\Agent Package\Symantec_InventoryAgent_x86.msi

The existing MSI carries InvAgent.dll of version 7.0.1085.0, which was causing the crash. The updated MSI will carry InvAgent.dll of version 7.0.1086.0, which has the fix.  The policy, Symantec Management Console > Settings > Agents/Plug-ins > Discovery and Inventory > Windows > Inventory Plug-in for Windows Install , uses this MSI to install Inventory Agent on the new computers. So the next time you install Inventory Agent on any managed computer using this policy, the computer will receive the fixed version of InvAgent.dll automatically.

 

This is done to apply the fix for point B mentioned above.

 

3.       The stand-alone inventory packages present at \\NSName\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\StandalonePackages

 

The existing packages contain the problematic InvAgent.dll. The hotfix will replace the problematic InvAgent.dll inside each package with the fixed version of InvAgent.dll.

This is done to apply the fix for point C mentioned above.

 

Note: If you had shared the stand-alone packages on any portal, network share etc. you will manually need to replace those with the updated stand-alone packages from \\NSName\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\StandalonePackages.

 

4.       InvAgent.dll at InstallDir\Altiris\Inventory\Standalone\bin

The files from this folder are used for creating/editing a stand-alone package.

This is done to apply the fix for point D mentioned above.

      

How to run the hotfix?

1.       Go to NS box.

2.       Copy/download the hotfix file to C:\

3.       Go to Windows Start > Run. Type cmd.exe.

4.       On the command prompt,

a.       Change the directory to C:\.

b.      Run following command

Msiexec.exe /i  Altiris_inventorysolution_7_0_kb46615_hf2_x86.msi  skipaim=1

 

 

How to confirm if the hotfix has correctly installed?

a.       Check the versions of #2 and #4 mentioned in What exact changes will the hotfix do in your NS environment?

b.      For unmanaged computers which have reported the inventory running the updated stand-alone inventory packages, go to Resource Manager check the Inventory Results data class > Version column for Inventory Agent.

c.       For managed computers, which have been updated by Inventory Plug-in for Windows – Upgrade policy and reported their basic inventory, check the Product version and Build version columns in AeX AC Client Agent data class.

 

The correct version should be 7.0.1086.0

 

 

Side notes:

1.       Any stand-alone inventory packages deleted manually from \\NSName\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\StandalonePackages and not using NS console, which is not a recommended practice, will be recreated during the application of this hotfix and will be visible to user.

2.       This hot fix does not support the roll back.

3.       After executing the msi on Child NS, one will see following error in log: The specified item cannot be modified because it is a hierarchy managed item (Item: The collection…).

The reason being the item “Windows Computers Requiring Inventory Plug-in Upgrade” has been replicated on child NS from the top server. To overcome this limitation, user has to execute the msi on top server so that it gets replicated on child NS at scheduled replication time or for quick results, user can replicate the item through NS console “Manage > Filters > Software Filters > Agent and Plug-in Filters > Windows Computers Requiring Inventory Plug-in Upgrade “manually.

Error 1722 thrown on hotfix installation

We have seen rare cases where the hotfix will not apply and throw a 1722 error upon installation. It is recommended to use Inventory Solution 7.0 SP1 to apply this fix, but if you are unable the following manual process can be used to apply the hotfix.

Download the files  attached to this KB and follow the steps below:

  1. Copy the file Symantec_InventoryAgent_x86.msi onto the Notification Server at \Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Inventory\Agent Package\
    NOTE: If this directory does not exist, create it.
  2. In the Symantec Management Console browse under Manage > All Resources > Package > Software Package.
  3. Search or browse for the package Inventory Plug-in for Windows Package.
  4. Right-click and choose Update Distribution Points.
    NOTE: if you are using Package Servers in the environment it will take time for the package to be delivered.
  5. In the Console, browse under Manage > Filters > Software Filters > Agent Plug-in Filters.
  6. Right-click on Agent Plug-in Filters and choose Import.
  7. Browse to the file Windows Computers requiring Inventory Plug-in upgrade.xml and click Open to import it.
  8. In the Console, browse under Settings > Agent/Plug-ins > All Agents/Plug-ins > Discovery and Inventory > Windows.
  9. Enable the Policy Inventory Plug-in for Windows - Upgrade.
  10. If you are using Stand-alone Inventory, copy/replace the contents of the Stand-alone folder (copied previously from the ftp site) to \Program Files\Altiris\Inventory\Standalone\bin.

That should do it!


    Supplemental Materials

    SourceDEFECT
    ValueLB 77377
    DescriptionLogged in Littlebuggy (Altiris - Lindon, Plymouth) database

    SourceDEFECT
    ValueETK 1678036
    DescriptionLogged in Etrack (Symantec) database


    Legacy ID



    46615


    Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH41859


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