Why does the Altiris Agent right-click show Diagnostics options after running AeXNSC.exe?

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Article ID: 180352

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Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question

Why does the Altiris Agent right-click show Diagnostics options?

When doing a right-click on the Altiris Agent, it shows more options than normal. It shows Diagnostics options in addition to the normal options of "Altiris Agent" and "Altiris Agent Details".

Answer

A design decision was made in the past that when installing the Altiris Agent via AeXNSC.exe, if no command line parameters are supplied, Diagnostics (/diags) is installed. If the '/ns' parameter is not supplied Diagnostics (/diags) is installed. This overrides the '/nodiag' switch. Installing AeXNSC.exe directly on a client machine will install the Altiris Agent as well the AeXAgentDiagnostics.dll that usually are not registered when you do a Push or Pull installation of the Altiris Agent. 

Example 1
This is a example of how a AeXNSC.log looks like when the AeXNSC.exe has run manually (without using AexSWDInstSvc.exe (for more details on AeXSWDInstSvc.exe see Altiris KB 2029)):
2009-02-09 10:42:15: ==========================
2009-02-09 10:42:15: AeXInstallPreCheck started
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Current dir: C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\apt0
2009-02-09 10:42:15: AeXInstallPreCheck Finished
2009-02-09 10:42:15: ===========================
2009-02-09 10:42:15:
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Passing control to AeXNSAgent
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Commandline: AeXNSAgent.exe /install
2009-02-09 10:42:15: ===============================
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Core Agent Installation started
2009-02-09 10:42:15: GetInstallPath didnt find installDir in the 6.x key, trying the old key.
2009-02-09 10:42:15: GetInstallPath could not get installDir from the old key, the agent may not be installed.
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Checking minimum requirements.
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Detected NT based Platform.
2009-02-09 10:42:15: RegisterMSXML: MSXML is installed
2009-02-09 10:42:15: SetServerAndWeb cannot set the NS value becuase it is blank.
2009-02-09 10:42:15: Product version set to 6.0.0.2399
2009-02-09 10:42:15: EnableLogging is leaving previous settings unchanged.
2009-02-09 10:42:16: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentPages.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:17: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentUI.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:17: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXBasicInventory.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:18: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXSWDAgent.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:18: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXTaskSchedulerLib.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:18: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AexPackageDelivery.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:19: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AeXNetComms.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:19: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AtrsMCast.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:20: Enabling Diagnostics.
2009-02-09 10:42:20: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentDiagnostics.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 10:42:22: StartAgent, starting core agent.
2009-02-09 10:42:22: Core Agent Installation Ended 
2009-02-09 10:42:22: ===============================

Example 2
Here is an example of how the AeXNSC.log looks like when the Altiris Agent has been installed via Push installation (if the Altiris Agent was already installed using AeXNSC.exe manually):
2009-02-09 10:51:38: ==========================
2009-02-09 10:51:38: AeXInstallPreCheck started
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Current dir: C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\apt1
2009-02-09 10:51:38: AeXInstallPreCheck Finished
2009-02-09 10:51:38: ===========================
2009-02-09 10:51:38:
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Passing control to AeXNSAgent
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Commandline: AeXNSAgent.exe -s -a ns="servername.domain.com" nsweb="
http://servername.domain.com/Altiris/" NOSTARTMENU /s
2009-02-09 10:51:38: ===============================
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Core Agent Installation started
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Installed agent in newer.  Install aborted.
2009-02-09 10:51:38: StartAgent, starting core agent.
2009-02-09 10:51:38: Core Agent Installation Ended 
2009-02-09 10:51:38: ===============================

Example 3
Here is an example of an AeXNSC.log from a fresh install of the Altiris Agent via Push installation (No Altiris Agent is present at the moment):
2009-02-09 11:42:51: ==========================
2009-02-09 11:42:51: AeXInstallPreCheck started
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Current dir: C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\apt1
2009-02-09 11:42:51: AeXInstallPreCheck Finished
2009-02-09 11:42:51: ===========================
2009-02-09 11:42:51:
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Passing control to AeXNSAgent
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Commandline: AeXNSAgent.exe -s -a ns="servername.domain.com" nsweb="http://servername.domain.com/Altiris/" NOSTARTMENU /s
2009-02-09 11:42:51: ===============================
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Core Agent Installation started
2009-02-09 11:42:51: GetInstallPath didnt find installDir in the 6.x key, trying the old key.
2009-02-09 11:42:51: GetInstallPath could not get installDir from the old key, the agent may not be installed.
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Checking minimum requirements.
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Detected NT based Platform.
2009-02-09 11:42:51: RegisterMSXML: MSXML is installed
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Server and web set to servername.domain.com and http://servername.domain.com/Altiris/
2009-02-09 11:42:51: Product version set to 6.0.0.2399
2009-02-09 11:42:51: EnableLogging is leaving previous settings unchanged.
2009-02-09 11:42:52: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentPages.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:53: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXAgentUI.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:53: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXBasicInventory.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:53: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXSWDAgent.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:53: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\AeXTaskSchedulerLib.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:54: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AexPackageDelivery.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:54: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AeXNetComms.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:54: RegisterDLL, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Altiris\AtrsMCast.dll has been registered.
2009-02-09 11:42:54: StartAgent, starting core agent.
2009-02-09 11:42:54: Core Agent Installation Ended 
2009-02-09 11:42:54: ===============================

As you can see in the logs, manually running AeXNSC.exe (or as well called AeXNSAgent.exe) will not pass any parameters to the installation. This is why there is no server name added to the installation and the Server Name under the Altiris Agent Details is blank. Since NS 6 SP3, this is the expected behavior. After installing this way, you would need to use the "/server" switch for the AeXAgentUtil.exe in order to direct the client machine to the proper server.

If you installed the AeXNSC.exe manually on the client machine, as we mentioned before, it will install the Diagnostics tools automatically (as you can see in Example 1 above, the AeXAgentDiagnostics is been registered automatically). If you later try to install the Altiris Agent (without removing it after running the AeXNSC.exe manually) via Push or Pull installation methods, it will keep the Diagnostics tools installed since the Pull or Push installation methods don't unregister the AeXAgentDiagnostics.dll (as you can see in Example 2 above). In a normal installation, the AeXAgentDiagnostics.dll is not installed (as you can see in Example 3 above).

For example, if you run 'AeXNSC.exe /install /nodiags', the Altiris Agent is installed without pointing to a specific Notification Server and the Diagnostics tools are installed by default. If you run 'AeXNSC.exe /reinstall /nodiags' , it will reinstall the Altiris Agent no pointing to a specific Notification Server but the Diagnostics tools are removed and not reinstalled. Now, if I use 'AeXNSC.exe /install /ns=servername /nodiags', the Diagnostics tools are not installed since the expected '/ns' switch is present.

These are the commandline arguments used by AeXNSC.exe:

 /Start  Starts the Altiris Agent
 /Stop  Stops the Altiris Agent
 /install  Installs the Altiris Agent
 /reinstall  Reinstalls the Altiris Agent
 /uninstall  Uninstalls the Altiris Agent
 /path=  Optionally set the install path for the agent (used with install only).
 /ns=  Sets the agent's NS (used with install only).
 /nsweb=  Optionally set the server web of the NS (used with install only).
 /diags  Enable agent diagnostics.
 /nodiags  Disable agent diagnostics.
 /?  Displays this Help.