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How to delete old Software Policies from client computers?

Created: 03 Jan 2013 | 10 comments

A while ago we had a Managed Software Policy to install a particular application on each managed client computer.  The software is no longer required, so the Policy was turned off and then deleted.  Guess what?  The clients are still running the original task since it was scheduled to run once a week.  The software package/release was set to check for compliance, and if the test failed, it would re-install the software all over again.  The real kicker is that the inventory never gets reported as compliant, an therefore the test fails each time, triggering the re-install.

So, the policy is gone, but the instruction/task still exists on each of the clients.  There has to be a way to delete old tasks from a client, either via SMP/CMS or SQL, but I'm just not aware of one.  I really don't want to create another policy to go out ahc clean the "bad" policy, as that will just add to the workload of the NS server.

Any ideas?  Jobs continue to re-install weekly. 

 

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mclemson's picture

run aexagentutil.exe /stop
rename aexswdpolicy.xml at .\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\SoftwareManagement\Software Delivery to aexswdpolicy.old
delete the GUID folder for the old software policy at .\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\SoftwareManagement\Software Delivery\ if you were able to determine it from a problem client
run aexagentutil.exe /start

Do this on a test computer.  Tasks, including run once tasks, may run again.  If you have valid detection rules this shouldn't be an issue.

 
 

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

andykn101's picture

You've probably realised it's best to export the Policy as an xml file before you delete it.

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

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claus66's picture

Hi Andykn

What are the possible issue in deleting the policy xml? I've done this often and has never experienced a problem. 

 

andykn101's picture

Pretty much none. It's just so easy to keep a backup I do it. You might just be asleep and delete the wrong one.

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

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Papa-Gio's picture

What we found to be a bit easier for the cleanup is to uninstall the SMP NS Agent, using the /uninstall /clean option -- which deletes the entire Software Delivery structure on the target system.  And then do a re-install. 

The benefit is that you end up with a uniform environment, where only the necessary packages are redistributed and run.  This DOES NOT affect the installed software. 

Once a new inventory is generated and sent back to the server, only the current policies will be re-applied and you're right where you need to be.  Sounds like a bit of work but it's a new policy that runs the uninstall/install script and is well behaved. 

We also use a trace file to check for to ensure we don't reinstall to the same system over and over again.

John A.

claus66's picture

Thanks for your response.

My problem is the opposite. I'm about to update our WinXp machines to Win7. To avoid having to download all sw packages again, I'm looking into preserving the Software Delivery folder, but only from active policies. Scripting through aexswdpolicy I should be able to sort good from bad(old).

 

Papa-Gio's picture

Wow!  If you find a way to upgrade systems from XP to Win 7 WITHOUT haveing to reimage and reinstall the software, that would be a huge coup!  Upgrading the OS usually requires you to wipe the disk and start over and reinstall all the apps.  Good Luck and keep us posted on how you make out with that process.

John A.

andykn101's picture

You could use a D: drive as your Alternate Download Location for packages or just install the Altiris Agent to D:\Program Files and reinstall it as part of the upgrade from XP to Win7.

But if you're downloading 10GB of Win7 image I wouldn't lose too much sleep over maybe 1GB of software, you could even pre stage the software for some of your more popular packages in the image.

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

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claus66's picture

The image is 3,6GB and average swd is close to 3GB. Normally this is a no-issue, but we have many locations with low bandwith so any improvement in speed is more than wellcome.

claus66's picture

I will reimage the machines and reinstalling sw but using ghost with -preserve I can save ie. a folder from being wiped(I think).

This way I 'only' need to download image thus saving bandwith and time

Image deploy proces is:

  • Run script to save computername and domain to a textfile and move swd folder to c:\preserveMe
  • Reboot in automation
  • Ghost w. -preserve=c:\PreserveMe switch.
  • Copy sysprep and insert computername and domain from textfile.
  • Install drivers
  • Move swd from c:\preserveMe to default location in agent folder
  • Boot to production

Since computername AND domain is preserved, machine should get it's old(WinXP) guid and hence its old swd policies. There's an issue with PM policies, but disabling these until Resource Memebership Update has run should help.

Still testing though and could be wrong.smiley