How to Gather File Inventory Data for Any File Type/Extension

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Article ID: 181448

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An Inventory policy or task can be configured to collect file inventory data. The Collect Full Inventory policy by default collects only summary data (number of files and overall space used) for file types with extensions including .pdf, .doc, .tiff, .mp3 and .mov, and collects both summary and detailed data (names, paths, and sizes of individual files) for .exe and .dll files related to applications. However, inventory policies and tasks can be further configured to collect detailed data for any file type. Detailed file inventory data can be viewed in the Audit Software Search report whereas summary data can be viewed in the Disk Usage by File Extension report. Configuring an Inventory policy or task to collect file inventory data is covered in chapter 4: Gathering inventory on managed computers, in: Altiris Inventory Solution 7.1 SP2 from Symantec User Guide.

The following steps describe how to collect and view detailed file inventory data for any specified file type.
1.    Modify Include rules within a file inventory to capture file name, path, and size information for files of the desired extension types.
a.   Create or edit an inventory task or policy.  
b.   In the Gather Inventory drop down section make sure that File Properties – manufacturer, version, size, internal name, etc. is enabled (figure 1, arrow 0).

Figure 1. An inventory task or policy can be configured to collect file inventory data by enabling File Properties (arrow 0). To open the Advanced Options window click Advanced (arrow 1). In the Advanced Options window go to the File Properties Scan Settings tab (arrow 2), then the Files tab (arrow 3) in order to add and edit Include rules for file types. For file types with existing include rules click on the rule and then click the Edit (pencil) button (arrow 4) and disable Report size/file count only to gather more data for those files (figure 2). If an include rule does not exist for the desired file type then click + Include rule and configure the rule.

c.   Click Advanced (figure 1, arrow 1).
d.   Select the File Properties Scan Settings tab, then select the Files tab within (figure 1).
Edit existing include rules for the desired file types/extensions by selecting the rule then clicking the pencil button (figure 1). In the Include file rules window disable Report size/file count only (figure 2).

Figure 2. In the Include file rules window make sure that the rule is configured correctly and uncheck Report size/file count only (arrow).

e.   For file types/extensions that do not already have an include rule, click + Include rule then configure the rule. For example, for TXT files choose "FileName equals *.txt" or "FileName contains .txt", and for best results do both (figure 3). Make sure that Report size/file count only is unchecked. Next look through the Drives tab and Folders tab and make sure that the include and exclude rules will not exclude any files of interest. For best results add an include rule for the path to a file of interest.

Figure 3. Create Include file rules for file extension types that are not already defined. This figure shows custom include rules for both TXT files and HTML files.

 
2.   Run the Inventory task or policy on machines to collect file information. Keep in mind that collecting detailed information on additional file types will increase workload on clients, communications, the NS, and the database.
3.   View inventory information on the desired file types in the Reports>Discovery and Inventory>Inventory>Cross-platform>Software/Applications>General Software>Audit Software Search report (figure 4)

Figure 4. In Audit Software Search report specify any parameters needed to filter the inventory data and then click Refresh to view an inventory of files of the desired file types

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