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Altiris Agent Unique ID v7.x Image and sysprep

Created: 24 Feb 2011 | 3 comments

Hi there, i have read many articles on including the altiris agent inside a syspreped image but unfortunetly i am having problems after the images are being deployed.

Scenario:- we have a build image with Altiris installed and all sub agents installed. i have a script i run which stops the altiris agent service and deletes the reg keys listed here

...HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Machineguid

...HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress\NS Client\MachineGuid
...HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Client Service\LastUpdateComputerInfo (Note: This will exist when the AClient is installed.)

Then the script deletes the .xml file in the \Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies folder and also deletes all files in the \Altiris\Altiris Agent\\Software Delivery directory. this is based on these two articles.

The Problem: - The problem i am having is when i am trying to deploy this image to several disks. An engineer has deployed this image to 3 hard disks in the same machine, when the image starts up (before windows starts) the computer is named differently from the master image. we label our computer names based on the serial number of the hard disk to keep them unique. When windows starts up, and after you log in, altiris checks in and the guid is sent to the machine, this is the same as the master image guid so not unique.

I think the problem is the guid must be generated from the hardware of the machine (not the hard disk). is this the case? i thought the uniqueness was generates from the NS but it seems not?

Going forward the problem i have is this the engineers use build machines to ghost down images and to prepare harddisks before sending them to clients,  so im always going to be stuck with this problem, i did also notice that there was two other keys in the registry that had the origianl unique guid of the machine which are.

...HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Plugin Objects\Agents\InvAgent\Machineguid

...HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Plugin Objects\Agents\SMFAgent\Machineguid

I have tried removing these but no still get the problem as described above....


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jharings's picture

so, you are using the same chassis, just swapping disks, and reapplying the image, correct? The way a GUID is generated is indeed based off of machine hardware, amongst other items.

One avenue I could offer would to have the .exe's on the image, and then acutally install (depending on the OS) via script or command line in the post installation phase. You could do this via sysprep (XP), or the customization pass of Windows 7.

Jim Harings
HP Enterprise Services
1st Rule of Connect Club: Mark the post that helped you the most as a 'solution'. 2nd Rule of Connect Club:You must talk about Connect club.

mclemson's picture

This explains how the GUID is created, if you're curious:

To resolve any duplicate GUID issues, start here:

This script would explain a process for regenerating the GUID on the client side, in place of the /resetguid switch.  It may point out registry entries you've missed that still hold the GUID: (granted this is NS6)

And this is a reference to the shared GUID toolkit for NS7.0 for resolving duplicate GUIDs:

Assuming identical hardware, including MAC addresses, and even an identical computer name and domain, the NS still creates a unique value when assigning a GUID to account for such a scenario.  The most likely answer here is that the GUID is still in your image.

Are you running the Prepare for Image Capture task as part of your image gathering?  If not, you need to do this in order to properly strip out agent GUIDs.  Re-run your image gathering job that includes a Prepare for Image Capture task in it.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

altirists's picture

Thanks for the responces, the image we are creating is a Ghost image not a DS image. We basically follow the articles mentioned before and sysprep the machine... Im going to look in the articles you mention to see if i can find out more.