Should the need arise to remove the Core components of the Symantec Management Platform (SMP) manually, rather than through the Symantec Installation Manager (SIM), this document will cover where and what files and changes have been deployed to the system on installation and what steps can be taken to cleanly remove them.
Be mindful to backup any data that you may wish to keep before beginning this process. This includes any customized files currently operating in the system.
This document deals mainly with those pieces of the SMP that were formerly, collectively known as the Notification Server. Any extended Platform components may cease to function as a result of these actions and will also require removal but may not be specifically mentioned as part of this guide. The following steps are in reference to version 7 of the SMP and any iterations thereof. A detailed list of Core components can be found in Appendix A.
If removal through SIM is not an option, the next best approach is to remove each Core component individually through its Windows Installer based uninstallation routine. If successfully run to completion, this will do most of the clean-up work for you.
There are a couple of options to initiate uninstallation in this manner.
It may be immediately obvious that not all components installed as part of the SMP are visible in the Add or Remove Programs Feature. In fact, there may only be one entry titled Symantec Platform and Solutions (or possibly something else such as Altiris Notification Server and Solutions). This is to avoid confusion since all installations are to be managed under the umbrella of their relevant products through SIM. However, they have merely been hidden and it is possible to unhide them sufficiently to remove them.
To do so you will need to manipulate the registry.
• Start > Run… > regedit
• Browse to key…
• Select the value… SystemComponent
• Set its DWORD data value to 0 (zero)
• Open Add or Remove Programs again
An entry for Altiris Server 7.0 should now have appeared. Clicking the Remove button for this item should also remove all the Core components that relate to this entry from the system.
Note: It is always beneficial to stop all related services (SMP owned and Web Publishing services) before beginning such tasks. For a list of services installed with the SMP, see Appendix B.
If the previous approach resulted in one or more components having their attempt at removal being reversed by the system or you would simply like to check against the list in Appendix A to see if all related components have indeed been removed, Microsoft® provides a utility called Windows Install Clean Up as part of help and support for Windows®. Once downloaded, installed and started, all of the individually registered installed programs on the system are visible in a list. Cleaning the system of this component consists of making a selection and clicking the Remove button.
If in a situation where removal happens routinely, then combining the above two approaches into a script may be the best option. This can be done best through command-line execution and providing some simple arguments.
This is the executable for the Windows® Installer software and essentially what does the work behind the Add or Remove Programs step above. It should be present within any installation of Windows® or service pack upgrades. Its location (%SystemRoot%\system32) should also be included in your path and so can be executed without making reference to its directory. You can use the command-line arguments to attempt a component uninstallation directly, if you are aware of each component’s Product Code.
Msiexec.exe /quiet /x[Product Code]
Note: This will still fail if the uninstall failed in the Add or Remove Programs feature. However, this option will fail quietly thereby allowing for multiple removal attempts to be scripted, and in combination with the next program can provide a brute force approach to cleaning the system.
This is another Microsoft® command-line application and essentially what does the work behind the Windows Install Clean Up step above, available with a separate download of the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers. It may also already be present on your system if you have an existing installation of Wise for Windows Installer or in the installation directory of the Windows Install Clean Up utility that was mentioned above. This program can remove the files, directories and registry entries that relate to a product even if the uninstallation process is failing due to corruption or some other problem. The Product Code of the installation is again required, when running this on the command line.
[Location]\Msizap.exe T [Product Code]
Note: This command-line option works well for script driven removal. However, the difficulty comes in determining the Product Code of each component as they can differ between releases of the product. Unless you know the Product Codes or have an option to extract them then it is probably best to stick with the first two approaches.
Note II: If interested in manually determining the Product Codes for what is installed, the keys present under…
…may be examined one by one for their Publisher and DisplayName values. The Product Code for each is the actual name of the key itself, which should be in the form of a GUID (including curly braces).
The approach given above is simple, but not always 100% effective. If seeking whether your system has been truly cleaned of everything that was delivered with the SMP there are a number of locations that should be examined. If entries are found, steps can be taken to remove them manually.
As part of the installation of the SMP, various assembly files (.dll) are deployed to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). These may also be accompanied by entries for Publisher Policies. The GAC can be viewed by opening an Explorer window to…
Generally any entries beginning with the following can be considered for removal:
The exception to this are any separately installed tools that you are aware of. In particular if you are looking at a machine involved in developing for the SMP then the assemblies belonging to the SDK should be excluded. These will contain either Altiris.SDK or Altiris.Developer in their names.
Removal of an assembly from here consists of a right-click > Uninstall. If an assembly complains that it cannot be removed then it is likely that one or more components have been missed in the removal process above.
As part of the SMP installation, the Altiris Agent will also have been installed on the Server. To initiate its removal, execute the following from the command-line.
“[Install Path]\Altiris Agent\AeXNSAgent.exe” /uninstall
A number of the entries we will cover in this document such as those contained in the file structure and registry can be contributed to the presence of the Altiris Agent. A proper uninstall should always be attempted before modifying or removing any of files or system configuration relating to the Altiris Agent.
Through carrying out a supported installation of the SMP, the Symantec Installation Manager (SIM) is required to be present on the system.
A number of the entries we will cover in this document such as those contained in the file structure and registry can be contributed to the presence of SIM. A proper uninstall should always be attempted before modifying or removing any of the files or system configuration relating to SIM.
Instructions on how to manually remove SIM 7 itself, without affecting any other installed product, can be found under the KB Article 44263 which can be read here:
Check for and delete any SMP related files and directories in the following locations, if they still exist:
• [Install Path]\* (by default this is under \Program Files\Altiris)
• \Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\*
• %SystemRoot%\Installer\*.msi (related to Altiris in the file Properties)
• %SystemRoot%\Tasks\NS.* (see Schedules section below)
Note: Remember to make the same exclusions as above for anything that may be outside the SMP such as development tools or the SDK. Do not remove directories or files for SIM (a.k.a. Altiris Installation Manager) if you have not yet attempted to uninstall it.
Check for and delete any SMP related keys and values in the following registry trees, if they still exist:
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes (keys and values related to Altiris)
Including anything under the sub-keys…
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Folders (values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UpgradeCodes (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls (values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Fusion\PublisherPolicy\Default (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services (see Services section below)
• HKCR\AppId (keys and values related to Altiris)
• HKCR\Installer\Products (keys and values related to Altiris)
Note: Remember to make the same exclusions as above for anything that may be outside the SMP such as development tools or the SDK. Do not remove keys or values for SIM (a.k.a. Altiris Installation Manager, AIM) if you have not yet attempted to uninstall it.
Note II: This is an exhaustive list designed to give an open and honest view about what changes the SMP makes to a system on install. Most of these registry entries will have no effect if left unremoved.
As part of the installation of the SMP, ActiveX Controls are used to improve the user’s experience of the Console. When a workstation views a portion of the Console that requires one such control, depending on your browser security, the Console prompts for its installation. To see if it is present or to attempt removal, check the Manage Add-ons section of Microsoft® Internet Explorer. There may be entries for…
· ConsoleUtilities Class – AeXNSConsoleUtilities.dll
Note: This will be present on all machines that have loaded the control through the Console. Not simply the machine with the SMP installation.
As part of the installation of the SMP, some third party libraries are also deployed to compliment the functionality delivered with the Core components. If you are examining the GAC, file structure and registry tree for entries by Altiris or Symantec, you may also come across various entries for the following products…
· ComponentArt Web UI
· Infragistics UltraChart and WebUI
· Quiksoft Easymail (SMTP.Net)
The SMP installs some scheduled tasks with Windows® as part of its out-of-the-box configuration. In general, these will all have names beginning with “NS.” and can be viewed or removed by opening an Explorer window to…
The SMP and Altiris Agent install some services with Windows® for their operation. A detailed list can be found in Appendix B. Registered services may be viewed, stopped and started from the Services Console, opened by executing…
Start > Run > Services.msc
Removal of a registered service, however, must either be accomplished with a tool or through manually editing the registry entries that reside under the key…
As part of the installation of the SMP, a structure of webs and virtual directories is created with the Windows® Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. If they are still present after an attempt at removing the SMP they can also be removed through this console.
If installed with the standard configuration there will be one root web called Altiris, beneath the Default Web Site. Then there will be various virtual directories at the level beneath that for the majority of the respective Core components.
As part of its base installation the SMP will have created some Local Group Accounts for role-based security. These can be viewed by executing…
Start > Run > lusrmgr.msc
…and selecting the Groups folder. Group names presently include…
Symantec Level 1 Workers
Symantec Level 2 Workers
Symantec Software Packagers
An installation of the SMP will have had an accompanying Database Catalog created on an instance of SQL Server. This instance may have resided on the same machine or have been off-box. By default this catalog would be named Symantec_CMDB.
Details of the specific Server and Catalog used can be retrieved from the Altiris Console > Settings > Notification Server > Database Settings page before any removal is attempted.
Shortcut entries for the Altiris Console, Diagnostics Tools etc. will generally have been created under…
• \Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Altiris*
There are a number of tools available for automating one or more parts of the process described above, depending on the requirements. For information about these options contact the Support Team.
Appendix B – Services