Automated Altiris Agent restart causes the Client Task Agent to repeatedly restart the Altiris Agent Service
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Automated Altiris Agent restart causes the Client Task Agent to repeatedly restart the Altiris Agent Service


Article ID: 176670


Updated On:


IT Management Suite Task Server


When needing to update the Altiris Agent from the 2386 version to the 2387 version, a Software Delivery Task Server job was created that uses the "Aexnsc.exe /reinstall" command line.

Now, all targeted client computers are constantly restarting the Altiris Agent Service. And errors such as "Agent Altiris.ClientTaskAgent has not stopped" and "Unexpected error in ServiceMain: Unknown error" show up on the client and errors such as Source: Altiris.ClientTask.*

Description: Dropping event (Resource: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, TaskInstance: 7d61d5e9-4500-4c39-8165-0c0f58729688, Time: 10/5/2007 1:15:35 PM) show as well on the server. Why?


It appears that the Altiris Agent service restart procedure is not being recognized as a valid Task Server service restart procedure. Task Server does not recognize the fact that the Altiris Agent is controlling the service and can't reliably shut down the Task Server service, and the client task agent keeps the "AexNSc.exe /reinstall" command repeating.

You can duplicate this using the following steps:

  1. Create a SWD Task Server Task to run "AexNSC.exe /Reinstall".
  2. Distribute to some computers.
  3. Monitor those computers in Task Manager, you will see numerous restarts of the Altiris Agent Service.


Deleting the Task Server task, and stopping and restarting the ATRSHOST.exe service on the Task Server resolves the issue. However, this is just a workaround at this point.  The Agent upgrade/reinstall HAS successfully completed, so stopping the task  does not adversely affect the targeted client machines.

There may be some other options for handling this differently, such as a script, etc.  However, Altiris best practices for this would be to NOT use a Task Server Task to reinstall, or upgrade the root Altiris Agent, since and upgrade requires a service restart, and the transport that Task Server uses to distribute tasks and the status of the Tasks is the Altiris Agent.  If that service keeps restarting, no Altiris Agent dependent procedures can run effectively.


Applies To
Notification Server 6.0.6074 R5 - Task Server 6.0 GA, SWD Task Server Add on