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How to Migrate Package Server Content Between Drives (Without Re-replicating!)

Created: 07 Sep 2011 • Updated: 23 Mar 2012
KSchroeder's picture
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Note that the following applies to and was tested on Altiris NS 6.0 SP3 R13, but may work with some adjustments on SMP 7.x as well (untested).

On some occasions, you may need to move the Altiris Agent on your Package Server from one drive to another, particularly if the first drive (probably C:) is out of space or was incorrectly installed to begin with.  The following procedure will accomplish this, without having to re-replicate possibly dozens or hundreds of GB of packages (which is what will happen if you do this the traditional way of uninstalling/reinstalling core agent/reinstalling Package Server Agent).

How to move the Package Server from One Drive to Another (without re-replicating 10's of GB of Packages)

In some cases, the Altiris Agent and Package Server Agent may get installed to the C: drive instead  of the usual D: drive (depending on the particular machine's configuration).  This basic method can also be used to "pre-stage" a new Package Server for a remote site (i.e. so it can be built at headquarters site, then shipped to the remote site, THEN install the PS Agent and perform the procedure from Step 8 and on).  In this case, you would want the 2ndparameter to RoboCopy to be "D:\Temp\Package Delivery" drive of the new package server and the source could be \\packageserver\pkgsvrhostd$ from the existing PS.

  1. Stop the Altiris Agent service.
  2. MOVE or COPY the \Package Delivery folder from the Altiris Agent directory to another location outside of the Program Files folder (D:\Temp perhaps), on the drive where you want the PS to be installed.  It is preferred to do this using RoboCopy, to avoid another step later, and assuming the Altiris Agent is installed to the default 32bit location on the C: drive (and you DO include RoboCopy in all your builds, RIGHT?!):
    RoboCopy.exe "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Package Delivery" D:\Temp\PackageDelivery /e /xf snapshot.xml
  3. Uninstall the Altiris Agent (you can run AeXAgentUtil.exe /clean /uninstallagents from the Altiris Agent directory)
  4. Reinstall the Altiris Agent again on the correct drive where you want to use it (typically D:\).  When the Agent updates configuration with the NS, it will/should receive the same GUID back, as long as the PS name hasn't changed.
  5. Reinstall the PS Agent (AeXNSCPkgSvr.exe, you can find this in the Package Delivery folder you backed up in step 2 using Windows Search)
  6. Verify that the Package Delivery tab shows up in the Altiris Agent.
  7. Immediately stop the Altiris Agent service again.
  8. MOVE the \Package Delivery folder back from the backup created in Step 2 to the new location for the PS Agent (probably D:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\).
  9. If the RoboCopy method with /xf was not used, use Windows Explorer's Search… function to find and delete all snapshot.xml files in the Package Delivery folder.  This will take several minutes to complete.  Be sure the Altiris Agent is still stopped during this process.
  10. Disabling Windows' built-in Zip folder functionality will speed this up, as otherwise Search will also process every .zip and .cab file in the Package Delivery folder, and there are A LOT of them. To disable Zip folders, run the following from a Cmd or Run prompt:
    regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll
  11. Start the Altiris Agent service.
  12. Depending on the number of packages and connection speed to the NS, it may take an hour or more for the PS to re-sync all of the packages, as it will need to re-create the snapshot.xml file for each package.  However, none of the actual package data should need to cross the wire again, just the XML contents of the snapshot.xml.

NOTE: if the snapshot.xml files are not removed, the Agent may start re-downloading all the old packages to the C: drive again, even though the agent and the files are on the D: drive, as the snapshot.xml contains the local destination path for the files in the package (which will still contain C:\).