Why are computers being targeted by policies that no longer apply?


Article ID: 181227


Updated On:


Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)




I have computers that have recently been re-imaged, and they are being targeted with Software Delivery Policies that are not applicable. This also occurs when I do a clean reinstallation of the Altiris agent.

For example:

  1. Microsoft* Windows* XP computers should have Office* 2003 installed.
  2. Microsoft Windows Vista computers should have Office 2007 installed.
  3. When a XP computer is re-imaged with Vista it is still installing Office 2003.

How do I ensure that this does not occur?

Notification Server 6.x
Inventory Solution 6.x

When a clean reinstallation of the Altiris agent occurs, the agent will download its policies and evaluate whether the policy has been executed. The execution status for all policies will be "false" for a fresh agent installation, and the each policy will execute in priority and then download order. This is by design.

Because the computer previously existed in the Notification Server database, it already has policies assigned to it.  Until the Notification Server has processed updated inventory data and refreshed the policy collections (delta collection update), the computer will remain a member of all previous collections, even if it no longer satisfies the criteria.


Best practice is to update your dynamic collections to only target computers that do not have the software package installed.

The following technique uses a combination of advance reporting techniques, combined with Inventory Solution results, and the attached custom collection definition.

  1. Use the Report builder to generate a report that accurately shows a list of computers that are at the desired state (that is have the software program installed).
  2. Use the Create a collection based upon this reports SQL {SQL.EN_US} button to generate a collection based upon the report.
  3. Import the attached file into into the My Collections folder.
  4. Modify the imported collection as follows:
    • Set the first collection to the base target collection. This is all the computers that should have the task run against it.
    • Set the second collection to the collection generated in step 1.
    • Ensure that the intersect type is set to Difference
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Refresh the collection membership to show all machines that do not have the software product installed within the base target collection.


  • To ensure accurate results the collections used must reference the same view or table.  Collections generated from reports will be compatible with all many built-in collections
  • To ensure the set of machines that you require the second collection should be a subset of the first.  That is, if you select All 32-bit Windows XP Computers as the first collection then the second collection selected should be a subset of this collection.


All machines not in collection X (difference).xml get_app