How to troubleshoot if the Software Updates tab is blank


Article ID: 180388


Updated On:


Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)




How do I troubleshoot the Altiris Agent Software Updates tab if it is blank?  (This tab is a Patch Management tab.)



  1. On the NS Admin console's Configuration tab, go to Configuration > Solution Settings > Software Management > Patch Management > Windows > Software Update Agent Uninstall and verify if the computers are members of the collection "All Windows Computers with Software Update Agent Installed" or "All Windows Computers with Software Update Agent Installed (English Only)".
  2. On the NS Admin console's Resources tab, go to Resources Management > Collection > Software Management > Patch Management > Software Update Aggregate Collections and select some random updates that should be on Windows XP* and Windows 2000* or Windows 2003* computers and see if they are in the correct collections. (These Collections are Hidden in Patch 6.2 and will not be shown in the Console.)
  3. Open Resource Manager for each of the computers with the blank packages 
    1. On the Summaries tab and the Resource Summary > General section, you can see which operating system and language the computer is running.
    2. On the Inventory tab, go to Software Management > Patch Management > Global > Windows, and there should be two Data Classes here:
      • Windows Service Pack
      • Windows Software Release
    3. Go to Software Management > Patch Management > Microsoft, and there should be four Data Classes here: 
      • Applicable Microsoft Software Update
      • Installed Microsoft Software Update
      • Microsoft Service Pack
      • Microsoft Software Release

        If these six Data Classes exist, then the PM Inventory process ran and created them. If they do not exist, there is an issue with the PM Inventory process on the individual computers.
  4. On the file system of the problem computers, verify the existence and the creation/modification timestamps and the filesize of the file ...\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\InventoryRuleAgent\InventoryRuleCache.iad.  
  5. Verify that the four PM Software Inventory Tasks are properly configured and enabled. These can be found on the Configuration tab under Configuration > Solution Settings > Software Management > Patch Management > Windows > Software Inventory—two tasks under Global and two tasks under Microsoft. There are four tasks that check for operating system and version, operating system release and service packs, non–operating system Microsoft applications, and Microsoft software updates applied. Make sure that the collection "All Windows Computers with Software Update Agent Installed" is selected, verify that the scheduled interval is what you want (default is 4 hours), and verify that the "Only report inventory if changed" is selected; this tells the clients to only send delta data after the first full inventory is set, and you can safely turn off "Send inventory summary," as this is event data and will be disabled by default in PM 6.2.

Notes for step 1: If the computers do not show up this collection, you need to troubleshoot the installation for the Software Update Agent.

Notes for step 2: If the computers do not show up in the correct aggregate collections then you need to troubleshoot the PM inventory process (steps 3 and 4 are part of this).

Notes for step 3: The presence of these Data Classes tell you if the PM Inventory process has run and reported back to the server.

Notes for step 4: The InventoryRuleCache.iad contains the PM Inventory Rules from the PMImport file that are applicable for each individual computer. Like computers should have the same filesize, and the timestamps should be recent (depending on your frequency of PMImport downloads). If these files do not have current timestamps or the file size is not consistent, as a test delete the file on a computer or two and have it re-created by doing a Client Configuration Update.

Notes for step 5: For troubleshooting purposes, you can uncheck the "Only report inventory if changed" for a day or so and all computers will send a complete PM inventory to the server; this can quickly correct inconsistencies in the database, but leaving this unchecked for an extended period of time will cause some additional data traffic on your network.

Note: Also see article 20903, "Software Updates tab does not correctly reflect updates status".