How to add antivirus servers into Symantec System Center using Importer.exe

Article:TECH99451  |  Created: 2001-01-20  |  Updated: 2005-01-03  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



You need to identify computers in a non-WINS environment for the purposes of installation and discovery.


Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition 7.6 and later releases provide a tool (Importer.exe) that enables the administrator to import machine names and addresses from a file into the address cache registry entries used by Symantec System Center. This enables Symantec System Center to locate machines during the network discovery process in situations where the names cannot be browsed using WINS/DNS.

For Norton AntiVirus 7.6, Importer.exe is located on Disk 1 in the Admtools folder. On the Symantec AntiVirus CD, Importer.exe is located in the Tools folder.

The Importer is a command-line tool specifically for use with the Symantec System Center. Importer.exe can be copied to any folder on a computer to which Symantec System Center has already been installed, and then run. Although Importer is included with Norton AntiVirus 7.6 and later, it can be used with earlier 7.0 and 7.5 releases of Symantec System Center. The UI features consist only of error messages and user help that can be displayed on the screen.

Simple Usage
The command line takes one parameter, the name of the import file. This feature requires the data file to use a predefined format. The items must be in "machine name/IP address" order. The delimiter between machine name and IP address must be a comma. The delimiter between the machine name/IP address pairs must be a linefeed. There can be a space or no space after the comma.

An example data file in this format could read as follows:
Server 1,
Server 2,
Server 3,

Note: You can type a semicolon or colon to the left of an address to comment it out. For example, if you know that a network segment is down, then you can comment out associated subnet addresses.

In addition to importing paired names and IP addresses of computers located in non-WINS environments, you can add any other computer name and IP address pairing to the text file so that the computer can be discovered in the future. For example, you may want to add the name and address of a computer that has not been discovered successfully for some reason.

Advanced usage
The command line takes four parameters: import file path, first delimiter, second delimiter, and order (1 = computer name/IP address, 2 = IP address/computer name; the default is 1).

Note: The first and second delimiter must to be a single character except for SP and LF. For example, the ampersand cannot be used as it would have to be entered as "&."

For example, an import file named "machines.txt", in C:\MACHINES, could read as follows: 1 2 3
Note that the above example is in IP address/computer name order (2). The first parameter is a slash (/) and the second is a linefeed. The corresponding syntax for the command line would be:

"importer C:\MACHINES\machines.txt / LF 2"

After the computer name and address pairs are imported, entries are created in the registry under the following key:


A local or intense discovery must be run after importing the data file. The discovery queries the addresses of the computers. The computers running Symantec AntiVirus or Norton AntiVirus are added to the discovery service in memory and have complete entries created in the registry. The discovery service can then find the computers each time that the discovery service is run.

To run the Importer tool
At a command line prompt, type the following command:


represents the full path of the import file, such as C:\Computers\Computers.txt.

Note: Avoid typing incorrect IP addresses for servers. No validation is performed to determine whether two servers have the same IP address in the Importer text file.

User help
When "importer" is entered at the command line without any parameters, the following help will be displayed:

Simple Usage : IMPORTER
: full path of import file

File format :

Example File : Server 1,
Server 2,
Server 3,

press "a" for advanced usage

When "a" is pressed for advanced usage, the following help will be displayed:

Advanced Usage: IMPORTER

: full path of import file

: separator between first and second item in pair
: separator between pairs
Note: for carriage return/linefeed delimiters, use LF
for space delimiters, use SP
for comma, use ,
: order of computer name/ip address pairs
1 = computer name/ip address order
2 = ip address/computer name order


File contents : 1

Command line : IMPORTER C:\MyFolder\MyFile.txt / LF 2

Known problems:
  • The Importer depends on the HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Intel\LANDesk\VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\AddressCache key used by Symantec System Center. If this key is not present, then an error message will be displayed.
  • The Importer modifies the AddressCache key under HKey_Local_Machine, therefore, the user will need local administrator rights.
  • The Importer is a tool specifically for use in aiding the discovery process of Symantec System Center. The Importer determines whether Symantec System Center is present on the local machine. If not, then an error message is displayed.
  • After an import, the computer name/address pairs placed in the registry are not yet complete. They only show the computer then under the Address_0 and Protocol dword values. A discovery must be run to complete the process (using the Run Discovery Now button on the Discovery Service Properties dialog.)
  • Care needs to be taken by the user not to inadvertently push the "Clear Cache Now" button on the Discovery Service Properties dialog. This will delete the contents of the address cache, including the imported data.
  • The Importer cannot assist in locating machines during the installation process.

    Note: Do not confuse this with the Import button on the NT Remote and Server Rollout installation screens.

  • The Importer does not overwrite existing machine addresses in the address cache. This is an intended design feature. However, there is a possibility an incorrect machine address may exist in the cache. In such a case, the Importer would not be able to correct it.

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