Following a recent Patch Tuesday run, some client machines that met the criteria for some patch applications, attempted to run the installation of certain patches - and received a client-side status messages in the Altiris Agent of "Run Failed" or 'Failed to Start" and exit codes of either 87 or -2147942402. With much consternation, lots of ideas were tossed about. These messages were not typical messages that pointed towards a simple explanation and solution. While the clues were not clear, the solution did end up being pretty simple.
But after reviewing the Patch Task configurations for the affected bulletins, it was noticed that for some reason, the source locations for the packages were blank. Once configured, and package sources were updated, the packages installed correctly on the affected client machines.
In each of these cases, the bulletins were actually present on the client machine, but not able to run. It was observed that, prior to execution, Patch Management verifies the package sources locations to assure that no changes need to be implemented and then proceeds to execute (install) the patch on the client machine.