best way to include the NS client in a workstation image

Discussion in 'Notification Server' started by itsmillertime4u, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. itsmillertime4u New Member

    Please excuse me if this has been posted somewhere before, but I could find anything discussed this specifically. I'm new to this forum, and I'm trying to see what your guys opinion/implementations that you guys use when creating a new workstation image. We just recently had one of our main Altiris admins leave us and I'm not really sure how he was doing it before. I think he left the client out of the image, and then depended upon the NS server to discover it an then install he client onto it. I would really like to include the agent and its included agents (Carbon Copy, Inventory, etc), so that it would start reporting to the server once it finished its imaging process. I was thinking of removing the GUID from the registry, and then adding a script to the runonce key that would trigger the machine to connect to NS server and either pulling the GUID into the registry or generating a new GUID and then updating the inventory/configuration with the NS server. I was also thinking about adding the ASDK as part of the image this making this tasks easier. Could I get input from you guys. Thanks ahead of time, Tomahawk!
  2. tammy104 New Member

    use the runonce key

    Hi

    The way we do it is to package the NS agent alone and place this installer in the base image to be called by the registry in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce key. This is a clean way to do it as its not recommended to build your image with the agent preinstalled.

    As far as packaging the other altiris agents we let the server bring them down since we update them fairly often.

    Tammy
  3. ScottR New Member

    Altiris in image

    We've used steps in these KB's to successfully do this Altiris KB 19323 and 16846.

    HTH
    Scottr
  4. Nick Altiris/AppSense Guru

    Including the NSA within an image is an easy thing to do with the changes made to the manual installation of the agent since NS 6 SP3 R4.

    Manually installing the agent will not connect it to a Notification Server. If the agent does not connect to a Notification Server then it will not be assigned a unique GUID, which has always been the problem in the past with including the NSA within an image. If you include the NSA in the image this way, you could use DS to run a command line to point it to a Notification Server after image deployment and it would then be assigned a unique GUID.

    Installing the other solution agents manually shouldn't pose a problem either (never tried this though).

    My advise though would be to do as Tammy does. The reason is that eventually the agent version in your image is going to be older than what is on the NS. When that happens you'll need to update it and it will pull the updated agent installer down across your network. By having the installer in the image you can still run it from a guirunonce for example and use firm to inject the newer agent installer as they are released.
  5. itsmillertime4u New Member

    I like Tammy's advice.....and it seems to remind of something heard like this a long time ago.........but I was also looking at installing the other solutions. I'm thinking of put a script in the runonce key, that runs an install of the NS client.....sleeps for a bit (like five minutes), and then call on the install of all our solutions. I was able to find the install files for all of our solutions (Carbon Copy, HP Client Manager, Software Delivery, Task Synchronization, Inventory Solution), except I'm not sure how to call an install of Invetory Agent Package, anyone have any ideas?? I thought that it would be in \NSCAP\Bin\Win32\x86\Inventory Solution, which I think it is, but it looks like it requires some switch or something in order to install it.
  6. Jezz New Member

    One of the most common complaints that I would get was that the machine was not available for Carbon Copy for the first few hours of its life. ie until the agent had talked in and NS ns had deployed the CC agent.

    To overcome this I have now installed all the agents on the build with the ns agent and I have a bat file that runs as part of sysprep to remove the GUID and clean up nsi's etc.

    This job gets run once just before a machine is imaged and once as part of sysprep. So far so good. Does mean that a new agent means recreating the build, but as we do this anyway at least once a quarter this is not too bad.

    ***********Script
    c:\WINDOWS\system32\net.exe stop Aexnsclient
    "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentUtil.exe" /ResetGuid
    reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Client Service /v LastUpdateComputerInfo
    del /Q "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies\*.*"
    del /Q /S "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\*.*"
    rd /S /Q "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\"
  7. itsmillertime4u New Member

    Jezz I noticed that you used the /ResetGUID switch....I've seen this before, but I was wondering does this wipe out the GUID, or does it generate a new one. Reason why I ask is that if it generates a new one then the client wouldn't get back any history it may have had in the past which would be bad in our case, since we need the history present so that we can the machine will get whatever customized apps they had before.
  8. Hoveyg New Member

    Here is the script I run to prepare the image for imaging. Pretty much the same as yours.

    net stop "Altiris Agent"
    net stop "Altiris Client Service"
    echo Y|reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent" /v Machineguid
    echo Y|reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress" /v Machineguid
    echo Y|reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress\NS Client" /v Machineguid
    echo Y|reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Client Service" /v LastUpdateComputerInfo
    echo Y|del "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies\*.*"
    echo Y|rd /S "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\"
    mkdir "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery"
    c:\sysprep\sysprep.exe -mini -quiet -reseal -noreboot
  9. andykn Altiris Guru

    I think that, if you rebuild a PC with the same name and domain as before, when you install the Altiris NS Agent the NS will reassign the old GUID.

    Can anyone confirm?
  10. Jezz New Member

    Yes that's right. The Guid is created on the Machine name and the domain. If these are the same the machine will get the same GUID.

    Deleteing the Client policy and the Software delivery tasks means that the machine has no record of what it has run before so all Tasks will rerun when the machine falls into the relivant collections after it has run its inventory.
  11. itsmillertime4u New Member

    Jezz I noticed that you said:
    "I have a bat file that runs as part of sysprep to remove the GUID and clean up nsi's etc."

    I am assuming that you are doing this via the Cmdlines.txt, rather then [GuiRunOnce]
    so that it will run as system and not the logged on user (please confirm). Also if this is so out of curiosity why do you use a batch file rather then having each step ran as a seperate command in the [Commands] section of Cmdlines.txt ?

    Please note that I am getting my information about sysprep [GuiRunOnce] and Cmdlines.txt from http://www.myitforum.com/articles/15/view.asp?id=4392
  12. Jezz New Member

    I am running this from RunOnce. The engineers building the machines logon to the machine to select the user role (extra software installs) so the runonce is run. I tried cmdlines.txt but desktop firewall didn't like installing until sysprep had finished setting up the network. So I moved it all rather than have 2 places to edit.

    Yes it is a batch file that I call. After the 20th time of cursing after I had retyped the lines I moved it to a bat file that I could call with one line. Also I Call it just before syspreping a machine, extra clean.

    The batch file isn't in the sysprep folder

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