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TS7.0 Manual Installation or Reinstallation of Client Task Servers


Article ID: 179944


Updated On:


Deployment Solution





There are 3 tiers to Task Server:

  1. Top Tier = NS SMP/Task Server installation, containing the DB, menu's, and settings. 
  2. Second Tier = Client Task Server on Site Servers (Including the NS), which receive instructions for clients and forward to CTA's.
    1. The Task Server on the NS is the only Task Server in this tier that binds on all 5 ports.  On all other servers, Object Host only binds on 2 instead of 4 ports.
    2. It IS important to have Task installed on the NS and pointing to the NS itself, not pointing to another server.  It is not a supported environment to be missing Task on the NS.
    3. NOTE: the Client Task Server also plays a role in server-side tasks.  Some tasks are executed only on the server(s) including the remote task servers, and without Task Server installed, these will not fire.  Most importantly, if Task Server is not installed on the NS, some tasks, such as the Patch Management downloads do not fire, for they are actually server-side tasks designed for the NS.
  3. Third Tier = Client Task Agent, which receive and execute instructions for tasks from the CTS's and policies (All CTS's are also CTA's).

Installing Task Server on a Site Server (other than the NS)

This process is generally used to correct an issue where the task server had to be removed and re-added.  Under these circumstances, because the CTS is a run-once-asap package, it doesn't run again, leaving the installation to a manual process.  It can also be used to repair problem installations.  The installation is executed from the NSCap\bin\Win32\x86\Client Task Management\Server Package folder on the NS (or an equivalent package folder) and is called "TaskServerSetup.exe".

  1. (Optional) Remove any faulty installation of Task Server (see complete removal instructions below).  This can be necessary for several reasons, including 1) removed and reinstalled installation that went to the wrong drive, removed and never reinstalled, but services still remaining, or whatever. 
  2. Install Task Server on the (hopefully) clean Site Server (see installation process below).
  3. Verify the Object Host service is running and located in the same folder as where you intended/installed to.  Do the same with the Client Task Dataloader service.
  4. (Optional) Verify the services are binding on the correct ports using netstat -an |more in a command prompt (space bar to page through) and be sure you have bindings on 50120, 50121, 50124.

Installing Task Server on the NS

Here, the instructions are a little different, and you have to check several files to ensure everything is pointing the right direction.  This is especially true if the NS's agent has been moved.

  1. (Optional) Remove any faulty installation of Task Server (see complete removal instructions below).
    • If you find you need to remove Task Server on the NS first, you can either 1) uninstall by following the removal process below, or 2) uninstall the NS Agent.  I've found in the past that the latter is happening a lot for various reasons.  However, if you remove the NS Agent, you will need to perform the NS Agent Installation steps below prior to reinstalling Task Server
    • If you decide to remove the NS Agent, there are KB's on this process, but the summary is to run aexagentutil from the Altiris Agent folder with two switches, as follows
             "...\Altiris Agent\AexAgentUtil" /uninstallagents /clean
      Remember to reinstall the agent as specified below.
  2. Install Task Server on the (hopefully) clean Site Server (see installation process below).
  3. Verify the Object Host service is running and located in the same folder as where you intended/installed to.  Do the same with the Client Task Dataloader service.
  4. (Optional) Verify the services are binding on the correct ports using netstat -an |more in a command prompt (space bar to page through) and be sure you have bindings on 50120, 50121, 50122, 50123, 50124.
  5. (Optional) Verify the "config" files are all in, and pointing to the right locations, as follows:
    • Altiris\TaskManagement\Altiris.ClientTask.Remoting.config (in this location)
    • Altiris\TaskManagement\Altiris.ClientTask.TickleService.config (in this location with a path in it pointing to this location)
    • Altiris\TaskManagement\Atrs.Host.config (in this location, with two paths pointing to this location)
    • Altiris\TaskManagement\ctdataloader.config (in this location)
    • Altiris\TaskManagement\Altiris.ClientTask.Server.config (in this location with a path to this location) (sometimes, a copy may need to be in \program files\altiris\altiris agent\client task server as well.  We're still figuring out why this may be necessary.)



Client Task Server Installation Process

  1. Find the executable for the installation under \\NSServerName\NSCap\bin\win32\x86\ClientTaskManagement\ServerPackage\ called TaskServerSetup.exe.  (If this is a remote task server/site server, you can either go to the above location or to the package location from where it was downloaded.)
  2. Run the package and agree to all the license prompts.
  3. Be sure to verify the location of the installation.  By default, the installer points to C:\Program Files\.... 
    • If the NS or SS agent is installed on a drive other than C, this will need to be changed, including the program files folder potentially.
    • If this is an NS installation, the destination folder should be \altiris\TaskManagement, not the default folder which is altiris\altiris agent\client task server.
  4. Choose "Custom Install"
    • If prompted to or given the option to Repair, we'd recommend a full removal rather than a repair.  Please follow the instructions below for that.
  5. On the list of install options, there are 2 items.  Click the top option and select to install all so that all subcomponants are added.  For the HTTP service, make sure it is not installed since it is not supported and is not a secure service (we are requesting it be removed).
  6. (2008 R2 ONLY) - IIS 8 is the default on Win2K8, and must be set to run in compatibility mode.  We've also found that the Default App Pool must be set to Classic mode or the task server will not function.
  7. Follow instructions above for the appropriate tier you're installing.

Client Task Server (CTS) Complete Removal

  1. Run the setup for the product, found here: \\NSServerName\NSCap\bin\win32\x86\ClientTaskManagement\ServerPackage\ called TaskServerSetup.exe
    • This may also be found in a local package on the remote Task Server in the Package Delivery folders if you're having a hard time getting to the NS.
  2. Choose to remove the product.
  3. When the installation / removal is complete, verify the services are gone: Altiris Object Host and Altiris Client Task Dataloader
    • If they are not removed by the uninstallation, you can remove them by running Service Control in a command prompt, as follows:
          sc delete atrshost
          sc delete ctdataloader
  4. Restart server if necessary (i.e. for removal of the services).  Generally, this is not a necessary step

NS Agent Reinstallation

The process of reinstalling the agent on the NS (or really any task server) is a bit different than on other clients, mostly because we need to be in a hurry to get things done, and policies are never in a hurry!  And, Task Servers need to be installed manually in the middle of the process, but can't run while another install is running.  Accordingly, to get it done fastest, we recommend something like this:

  1. Install the client to the correct location. Often this requires switches to ensure it doesn't go to C: and there are other KB's on this.
  2. Once the client agent is up and running, open the agent and "send" inventory.  Wait for a GUID to appear.  You may need to manually run a DELTA configuration update
  3. Once a GUID appears, "Update" configuration.  This will download several policies.
  4. Switch to the SWD tab and watch the installations until all of them are finished (sometimes, this will restart the agent)
  5. Once completed, send inventory again.
  6. Go to the server and run the DELTA again.
  7. When that is finished, again go to the client and click "Update"
  8. Repeate 4-7 until no more updates are received.  You can tell this has happened when you click Update and the changed time stamp doesn't change to match the requested time (or very close).
  9. Install Task Server manually.  At this point the client is ready for it.
  10. Repeat steps 4-7 (starting at step 5 the first time) until no more updates are received.


Other items of note:

  1. If you ever need to reinstall Task Server on a computer that already had it once, the policy will not do so.  We don't yet have 100% confirmation of this yet, but it seems to be due to the policy being a run-once-asap that records it as having been run and wont run again.  Thus, if you re-apply the policy, it sends the policy and disables it immediately rather than installing again, leaving you to do so manually.  However, if you have 100% removed the agent and all registry keys/files, then the policy will in fact push it again because the recorded status of the installation is kept client-side.
  2. 2008 Task Servers:  Though already mentioned above, there are some items of note fir 2008 R2 severs that run IIS7 by default.  The main thing we see is that, by default in version 7.0 and 7.1 sp1, Task Servers often don't work "out of the box".  This is almost always a very quick "fix" involving going into IIS and modifying the default app pool to operate in Classic instead of Integrated mode.
    1. On a server with shared roles, this may not be possible, so you can modify the ClientTaskServer application instead to use the classic-mode app pool.  It has the same net effect, and is what we do on the NS.
    2. To find where to change this, go to Server Manager\Roles\Web Server and highlight "Internet Information Server".  Then, in the next pane to the right, expand your server name and highlight Application Pools.  Here you can change the Default App Pool (highlight it) and at the right, select Basic Settings.  This shows you the integrated option and you can change it to Classic.  Alternatively, if you continue browsing in the 2nd pane to Sites\Default Web Site\Altiris, right-click ClientTaskServer, select Manage Application\Advanced Settings and you can switch from using the Default App Pool to the Classic Mode App Pool.