Tag Archives: client management suite

Manually Installing the Symantec Management Agent

While logged on to the machine you want to install the agent, locate the installation file.  One place to get the file is to drill down into the Symantec Management Platform (SMP) server NSCap share that is created when the server is installed.  In the example below, <SMP Server> is the hostname or FQDN of your SMP server.

\\<SMP Server>\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\NS Client Package\AeXNSC.exe

Copy the file to your machine and then open a command prompt to execute AeXNSC.exe.  Run the command prompt as administrator on Windows 2008 and Windows 7.  In my example here, I placed it in C:\Temp because I will not actually need the file after the installation is done.

Determine where you want the installation path to be.  If this is going to be a package server, make sure that the location is somewhere you’ll have plenty of disk space for packages.  In my example, I’m using the default.  You can substitute anything else you want, like “E:\ServerApps\Altiris” or whatever… You’ll also need to inform the installer what the FQDN of the SMP server is.  The sytax is like this:

AeXNSC.exe /install /path=<My installation path> /ns=<SMP FQDN>

The installer then decompresses to start installing.  It went by too fast for me to catch a screenshot of it.  It looks very similar to other installers that count to 100.  Once the installer finishes running you’ll get a success prompt that will look similar to this one.  If you’re maticulous, you can delete AeXNSC.exe that you used to start the installation.

You can monitor the installation by drilling down to the installation path. 

Optionally, you can also launch AeXAgentActivate.exe to monitor a little closer.

Click on the settings link  to look at the Agent Settings.

You’ll see that the SMP server is shown with what we told it with the /ns switch.   Within 15 minutes, it will update with the SMP server, get applicable policies and proceed to be managed.  If you’re kind of impatient, you can click the Update button to try and force it to update with the SMP server and keep things moving along.  This works kind of like when a pedestrian would press the walk button at an intersection.  After the first update, the button is more responsive to policy updates.  As new plug-ins are installed, the agent will restart and close these windows.  That’s a good sign that things are progressing along as intended.

Asset Management Suite 7.1, Part 1

There are some product enhancements from AMS 6.x to 7.1 as well as 64-bit native code.  It’s a good thing that the fundamentals of managing IT assets remain consistent regardless of the technology.  I am biased and happen to believe that Altiris has the shortest path to implementation when compared with other enterprise products and is by far the simplest to implement for SMB’s.  These are some of my project notes for an AMS 6.x installation, but the broad strokes remain consistent.

When implementing Asset Management, one size does not fit all.  The implementation of such a solution in an enterprise may seem like a daunting task at first.  How does one eat an elephant? (Rhetorical question; No elephants were harmed in the production of this blog)  One eats an elephant one byte at a time.  Knowing a company’s culture and corporate structure can go a long way in determining how this will be approached.  Making sure that all the stakeholders and sources of information are aware of the project and communicating management’s priorities is absolutely essential.  This short series of blogs generically lay out an implementation project for a very generic company of about 1200 seats.  This is most likely not an exact fit and approach for your needs, but hopefully, it will get the gears turning in defining the project for your organization.  Bye the way, the generic IS jargon for AMS is ‘asset management system’ and may be confused at times when addressing the product specifically as AMS ‘Asset Management Suite’.  I think the overlap was intentional by marketing to keep the product related to the infromat systems needs.

Project Management 101: Scope Document.  Make sure you have a scope document that is clear on what assets are to be included in the project (implementation) so that you’ll have a fairly static target to shoot at.  It is quite easy to develop scope creep as people learn more of the capabilities of AMS.  Along with scope creep comes increased level of effort and project costs.  No one likes that, especially if you’re the hired help billing by the hour.

Here is an example of an Altiris AMS implementation scope document in Microsoft Word format.  An actual document could have a considerable more amount of detail and information.  A distilled document referencing the actual document may be nice for most management and other stake holders not neck-deep in the project:


Manually uninstalling Symantec Management Agent

Run through the following steps to fully remove the Symantec Management Agent (A.K.A. Altiris Agent).

Run the following command line to remove the Altiris Agent using AeXAgentUtil.exe located by default at

C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\

If you are running this on Windows 2008 or Windows 7, be sure to run this in a command window running as administrator.

AeXAgentUtil.exe /clean

This will remove all plug-ins (agents) and from the computer.  A reboot of the computer is required if you plan to reinstalling agents.

Optional: Delete Program files at :

C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent

The utility cannot clean itself out while it was running.

You should also go and delete this resource on the SMP console.  It frees up a license and keeps things tidy.