How do I delay the startup of the Altiris Agent process?

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Article ID: 179699

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Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question
How do I delay the startup of the Altiris Agent process? Certain circumstances (such as service conflicts) may require the Altiris Agent to delay its startup as to not interfere with other services.

Answer

Delaying a process by time:

Open the registry keys:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Delay at System Boot (secs) with a value of 180 and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress\Event Logging\LogFile\Severity with a value of 255 .

Under the registry key HKLM\System\ControlSet001\Services\AeXNSClient, you should see a value, DependOnService. If you open this key and modify it by adding another dependency then the agent won't begin until the other service has started. If you choose a service that you know will start later in the bootup process then this can help with issues where the Altiris Agent seems to be hanging on bootup. It might be a bit of trial and error to pick a late service but shouldn't be too difficult.

If, for example, you change the dependency to the IISAdmin service which has a dependency on the RPCSS Service, this means that the AeXNSClient service now has the same dependency as the W3SVC and will not start until those processes have started.

I have also used the TCPIP service which is dependent upon IPSec. My thought on using this service was based on a Microsoft KB stating that it might be possible, especially on domain controllers, that the NIC drivers may not yet be bound to the NIC in time for other services to make use of it. If this is the case, it makes sense that as soon as a computer is rebooted, it tries to send basic inventory but fails, because the drivers haven't yet been bound to the NIC.

Determining Service Dependencies

Some services and drivers that rely on other components are initialized before starting. If a service or driver does not start, the cause might be a dependency requirement that is not met. You can obtain a list of dependencies by using any of the following methods:

Navigate to the registry subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\servicename and examine the information contained in the DependOnGroup and DependOnService entries. Start the Services tool, double-click the service you want information about, and then click the Dependencies tab. Use the Dependency Walker (Depends.exe) Support Tool. For more information about Dependency Walker, see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book. You can also check the Event Viewer System log to obtain information about services that do not start due to dependency issues.

For more information about the Services snap-in, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center. For more information about adding or changing service dependencies for troubleshooting purposes, see article 193888, "How to Delay Loading of Specific Services," in the Microsoft Knowledgebase. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledgebase link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.

 

Note: After ITMS 7.5, it works only on XP/2003, starting with Vista SMA service is “Delayed Start” type of service, starts 2-3 minutes after all other services.