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Created: 06 Feb 2007 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010 | 3 comments
Lance TeNgaio's picture
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If you've ever set up an SVS environment to run without Excludes and then, down the road, decided you really need them, you're aware of the pain and suffering that lies ahead.

Lucky for you, Altiris test maven Lance TeNgaio created FindExcludes to grease the skids of transition.

When you run FindExcludes, it goes back through your legacy Layers and moves the data (that's affected by the newly-enabled excludes) out of Layers and into the Base where it should be.

  1. Run this as Administrator on systems that have SVS 2.0.1403 or later.
  2. Run the batch file to create the output file c:\svs\excludes.txt
  3. The utility when run as "FindExcludes /m /f" will do the following for each layer:
    1. Force the layer to deactivate if active.
    2. Look at the excludes (file, directory, subdirectory) specified for the layer.
    3. Search for any files and directories that are in the corresponding R\W sub layer and copy them to the proper location in the base. This will fail if the user does not exist on the system. No files will be copied but the search will continue. I've considered this a non-issue because it means that the layer had the other user's file in it before the layer was imported.
    4. Verify the copy and if successful, remove the layer's copy.
    5. Reactivate the layer if it was previously active.
    6. Note that if the file already exists in the base, the layer file will be renamed to Copy of , or Copy (2) of , etc. This is so that it does not overwrite any base files which are likely the latest versions.
  4. It will return an error if it encounters svs or system issues. When an error is reported back or a user reports some weirdness with their files, we will need to look at the excludes.txt file to see what happened.
  5. You can check for the existence of %systemdrive%\svs\excludes.txt to see if the utility has been run already.
  6. Please feel free to modify the batch file as needed and let me know if there are issues with the utility.
  7. BTW, without the /m parameter, the utility will just list the files it finds and will not move them to the base.
License: AJSL
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erikw's picture

This was exactly what I was looking for.

Thanxss for contributing this to the juice, and to us.


Regards Erik Dinamiqs is the home of VirtualStorm (

If your issue has been solved, Please mark it as solved

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knightnet's picture

Ahah! Just the thing.

Can I ask a couple of questions before rushing in though?

1) Does the tool log all of the files it has moved? If not, could that be an option?

2) Is there a simulate option that simply logs what would have happened? After all, this is a pretty serious tool that could do a lot of damage B(

Many thanks,


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jasoncordell's picture


When I try to run this, I receive the following error:

ERROR: Could not obtain SVS user.

This error happens no matter who I am logged on as (local admin, domain admin, altiris admin, etc).

Any clues?


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