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Altiris 7.1 Managment Agent Primary Key

Created: 05 Nov 2012 | 2 comments

I know there is at least one other posting with this subject, but the thread is closed with no solution, so I would like to see if anyone can shed some light.

We have found, after much testing, that the primary key for the Symantec Management Agent 7.1 is the computer name. This doesn't seem like the best primary key because when imaging multiple computers, the Altiris Agent will have duplicate GUIDs after checking back into the Altiris server. In version 6.9, the primary key could be changed to Serial number, asset tag, UUID, or Mac Address. I called Symantec support two times regarding this matter. The first time, I was told to run the 'Prepare for Image Capture' job. This is supposed to run sysprep on the computer and clearn the Altiris Guids. This doesn't solve the issue because the computers will all have the same name when they first come back up. They will then receive identical GUIDs in the managment agent. I was then told to run a task to rename the computer. The problem with this is that this task runs in Windows, and therefore requires that the Symantec Management Agent be installed on the computer with a unique GUID. We have found that the best solution is to leave the Managment agent off of the base image then do the following:

1) Image the computer.

2) Rename the computer (and join to the domain)

3) Install the Altiris Managment Agent.

This is relatively time consuming. I also know there are scripts that will clear the guids. These scripts also need to be run from the computers that were just imaged, which requires touching each of the recently imaged computers.

Also, I am aware that a scripted install with an answer file will enable the user to replace the computer name, using token replacement. It just seems strange to have to use a Microsoft solution in Altiris for mass deployments. Ghost seems to run a bit faster than a scripted install.

Does anyone know of a solution for this? Is there a way to change the primary key? We would like to use Ghost for our deployments in the future.

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andykn101's picture

I don't think you can change the primary key but, as well as using the "Prepare for Image Capture" Task, you have to give the imaged computer a new name by copying down an unattend.xml or sysprep.inf in automation, after imaging but before rebooting, with a new name in it.

The "Deploy Image" task should do this for you, a bit more detail here:

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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nnewcomer's picture

Thank you for your reply Andy. We are currently using scripted install with an unattend file that changes the computer name. I would like to use Ghost, so your suggestion sounds like a good one. I will give it a try.

Ned Newcomer

Network Administrator

City of Peoria, Arizona 623-773-7255 (Work)