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Including Altiris 7.1 Agent and All Plug-ins in Image and Deploying

Created: 04 Mar 2013 | 5 comments
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R.Prasanna's picture
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I was having challenge were Windows Xp embedded system was getting imaged through DS 6.9, pen drive.. etc And my engineers are keeping Altiris 7.1 agent inside it. This has started making issue as same GUID was taken by all system.Altiris 7.1 is not yet implemented fully hence engineer from different location are using their local DS or other methods to capture and deploy image … to overcome from this I have found this way … And It Works …

Below steps need to be followed without fail and Point No 7 is a key

  1. Once System is ready with everything  Install Altiris 7.1 and ensure all plug ins get installed.
  2. After installing with all Plug-in with proper version please do the below steps.
  3. Note the GUID and HOST Name.

  

  1. Stop and Disable ‘Symantec Management Agent’ service.

 

 

  1. Delete all files from “C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies” folder

 

 

 

  1. Run below command

"C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentUtil.exe" /resetguid

 

  1. Delete Host Name and GUID (Noted as per point 3) from Altiris 7.1 server.
  2. Use Fbreseal.exe (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-in/library/ms932914(v=winembedded.5).aspx)
  3. Capture image through 6.9. or Ghost ... Pen Drive …
  4. Deploy image Change the hostname, Domain …
  5. Enable ‘Symantec Management Agent’ service and start the same.

 

  1. Check it has got new GUID.

 

  1. Do the commit if it is a Thin Client

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Gibson99's picture

hey that's pretty useful!  we image using ds 6.9 even though we use ns7.1 for everything else, and i hate waiting hours and hours after a machine is built for the smp agent to install all its sub-agents, and the PCA agent always needs a reboot after it gets installed before it will work reliably.  this sounds like it will solve that issue for us.  

i'll have to try to incorporate this next time i update the image.  i expect it will probably work the same in win7 as it does for you in xp, since i don't see anything xp-specific in your process.  

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Mohammad Bamya's picture

Q. What will happen when you upgrade SMP to later version and you imaged a PC after that? Will you create an image everytime?

I personally don't put the agent in my image, simply after the image is deployed i copy from SMP\NSCAP\BIN the agent and all the plugin and then install them in order. That way no need to unregister agent (GUID) and/or delete a record from SMP and no worries if i upgraded SMP as the location and the plugin msi will never change.

Mohammad Bamya

 

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rjones's picture

It seems to me that you are making this a lot harder than it needs to be.

Since in Step 1 you are installing “Altiris 7.1 (which I’m assuming you mean Deployment Solution 7.1 - DS), then you should be taking advantage of the Symantec Management Console and the power of DS instead of trying to do everything manually.

From you description, you are really only trying to ensure that the deployed image does not have a duplicate GUID and that each deployed system has a unique host name and that it is joined to the correct domain. All of this can be accomplished automatically and remotely using the Symantec Management Console

Use these steps instead.

  1. Prepare target computer as needed (apps, patches, etc.), including installing the Symantec Management Agent and the Deployment Solution Plug-in.
  2. Ensure that the computer can either obtain a preboot OS from a PXE server or install “Automation Folder” on the target computer.
  3. Create a job to capture an image of the computer. Ensure that the job contains at least the following tasks (in the order shown):
    a. Prepare for Image capture.
    This task will reset the GUID, Sysprep the machine, and tell it to load a preboot OS from either a PXE server or from the “Automation Folder”.
    Note: If you are creating images of XP, you will need to make sure you have configured DS with the required Sysprep files. From the console select Settings > Deployment > Sysprep Imaging Configuration.
    If you are using PXE, you will need to ensure you have created a Preboot Configuration. From the console select Settings > Deployment > Crete Preboot Configurations.
    b. Create Image
    (configured to use an image type of: “Disk Image”.
    c. Reboot To [Production]
     
  4. Deploy the image using a job containing these tasks:
    a. Reboot To [Automation] or [PXE].
    b. Deploy Image.
    c. Reboot To [Production]

If you need to change the computer to a different domain than it belonged to before it was reimaged, or if you want to change the host name to something different, they you can insert a “Apply System Configuration” task to perform those steps and/or you can use a custom answer file (Sysprep Configuration file) in conjunction with the “Deploy Image” task.

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Gibson99's picture

rjones - in his very first sentence, he says he's imaging w/ ds 6.9.

My shop images everything w/ 6.9, and probably plenty of other shops who, like me, tried DS 7.1 and found it lacking in many different ways and decided to keep ds 6.9 for imaging/deploying computers.  To me, and probably plenty of other people, DS 7.1 is a mess.  i don't want to use symantec's "prepare for image capture" because it's way too oversimplified for the processes i want to run during winpe, post-PE, and so on.  i'm glad symantec hasn't EOL'd 6.9 yet because 7.1 still isn't ready to replace 6.9.  We love itms 7.1's patch management, inventory, software delivery, etc, but DS 7.1 just isn't where we need it to be, so we have both agents on every machine - Dagent 6.9 and smp 7.1.

Mohammad - upgrading SMP is not something that happens all the time.  If you are keeping with good practices, you update your image more often than you update SMP itself.  On top of that, it's a simple matter to turn on the policy in SMP to automatically upgrade agents.  This way, PCs imaged during the time between upgrading the SMP and updating the image aren't left in the lurch.  As long as upgrading the SMP doesn't change the server's name and/or IP address (or screw up the database), this is not an issue.

as i said, i plan to implent this pretty soon myself.  thanks for sharing your hard work, R.Prasanna!

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R.Prasanna's picture

Thanks Gibson99 for making my job easy.

Some update for rjones "Prepare for Image capture" will it work for "XP Embedded" ?

As per my knowledge you don't have sysprep (deploy.cab) file for it.

Until you upload proper cab file in NS 7.1 how will it be able to do this (Prepare for Image capture) job.

although it shows as completed and reboots but will not do "sysprep" removing GUID, SID ….

The methods I found (made) is because of situation.. real time need.. we have deployed more than 500 system with agent and all plug-ins by using this method as of now and all are now managed by 7.1.

Thanks

Prasanna R

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