Asset pick list windows take a long time to populate, times out or doesn't populate at all


Article ID: 159029


Updated On:


Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server) Asset Management Solution CMDB Solution


When using a pick list for an asset, such as trying to add a location to a computer, a cost center to a monitor, etc., the pop-up pick list window opens, but the list of resources either takes a long time (longer than expected) to populate, times out or doesn't populate at all.


The cause of this issue varies depending on many things, including what product (CMDB or Asset), what version (7.0, 7.1 SP1, 7.1 SP2, 7.5) and what platform (Symantec Management Platform 7.0, 7.1 SP1, 7.1 SP2, 7.5) are involved.


Part 1: Gather known information about the issue.

Determine specifics about the issue so it can be better understood where and how this is happening. For example:

  • What is the specific issue?
  • Are there error messages on-screen in the Console and/or in the Altiris server logs?
  • What product, version and platform version is this occurring with?
  • Where in the Console is this occurring at; what are the steps to reproduce?
  • Does this always happen or does this sometimes not happen?
  • Did this start happening after a change to the system? If so, what was the change?
  • If this used to work, did this progressively get worse over a period of time?
  • Does this work better directly on the server versus trying this on a workstation?

Part 2: Identify and troubleshoot the root cause.

The root cause is not necessarily caused specifically by CMDB Solution or Asset Solution. For example, if the Symantec Management Platform server is performing slowly due to NSEs failing to process, this can greatly impact many aspects of the Console including Asset windows and pick lists. The root cause should therefore be focused on. The following are some areas that can be evaluated to determine if they provide information on the root cause:

  1. Review the Symantec Knowledge Base for issues relating to the specific product, version and platform version being used. These will depend on the exact issue being seen. For example, if nothing is populated on a pick list for Locations, this could be caused by a defect in 7.1 if there is an apostrophe character " ' " in the name, which is further described here:

    Cost Centers, Departments or Locations with an apostrophe character " ' " in their name do not appear in Tree view lists
  2. On the Symantec Management Platform server, open the Altiris Log Viewer. Use the Find box, type "deadlock", then click on the down arrow to the right of the box. This will attempt to find issues that are causing a failure to communicate to the Altiris server. Repeat this for "timeout" and "NSE" (for NSEs lines, look for "failed to process"). If these are present and especially if they are rampant, this could indicate severe performance issues in the general performance of the Symantec Management Platform server. Correct these before continuing working on less critical issues. The following articles describe how to resolve issues caused by NSEs failing to process. Other articles (not listed) in the Symantec Knowledge Base can also help resolve general deadlock and timeout issues.

    Event Queues in ITMS 7.1 SP2

    How to increase Queue processing performance in NS 7.1 SP2
  3. If there are a large amount of assets being used by the pick list, this may result in slow performance. In a large environment, it may take 5 to 20 seconds to open and populate a pick list, depending on what is in the database and the Altiris server's performance. There may not necessarily be anything that can be done to change this. However, large organizational groups can impact this and there are solutions to alleviating this. The following articles discuss this in more detail:

    Multiple location Organization Views causes performance problems when thousands of locations exist

    Large number of Organizational Views and Groups cause general performance issues in the Symantec Management Platform Console

    Performance in the picker windows when using the Simple option is not acceptable when using large amount of assets

     TECH198040 and TECH200500 are internal articles. Please contact Symantec Technical Support for information about these.
  4. Pick list windows are generally actually reports. Verify if the report that it is based on goes slow or times out. If so, data or server performance is likely the issue. Scoping or slow SQL scripts in the report can also impact performance. These can be modified to exclude scoping or certain views, such as vItem, to improve performance. (Step 3's solutions reference this as well.) Any related stored procedure in SQL may also be impacted by scoping or slow SQL scripts; please contact Symantec Technical Support for assistance with this step.
  5. Use the Altiris Profiler to analyze code and SQL events that occur while reproducing the issue. Please contact Symantec Technical Support for assistance with this step.
  6. If the Altiris server and/or SQL Server are underperforming, ensure that they have suffient processors, RAM and the ability to normally work efficiently. If these are a virtual machine, this could complicate performance, especially if the host server is under powered. Refer to the following articles for information on what is needed for the minimum system performance hardware and increase, as necessary, these on the Altiris server and/or SQL Server:

    Symantec IT Management Suite 7.5 powered by Altiris technology Planning for Implementation Guide

    SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Implementation Best Practices and Optimization 

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Applies To

CMDB Solution 7.x
Asset Management Solution 7.x
Symantec Management Platform 7.x