How does a computer's Status work?

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Article ID: 180714

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Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server) CMDB Solution

Issue/Introduction

This article provides frequently asked questions and answers about how a computer's Status works and how to troubleshoot it. Note: While this article specifically refers to a computer's Status, most other asset types also have a Status, such as monitors, network printers, etc., and may therefore be applicable to some of this article's topics..

Resolution

How a Computer's Status Works

Question: What is a computer's Status?
Answer: A computer's Status is a field that refers to the "state" that the computer is in. Depending on its Status, certain automatic processes may then affect the computer, which are described throughout this article.
 
Question: Where can a user view or change a computer's Status at?
Answer: A user can view or change a computer's Status on its create/edit page (shown below). Other ways that a user can change a computer's Status include right clicking on a computer in a report and choosing CMDB Functions > Set Asset Status, using a Data Connector import rule, performing a Barcode sync or running a CMDB rule.



Question: Are there any processes that can automatically change a computer's Status?
Answer: There are only a few out of box processes that can automatically change a computer's Status. The main automatic process is when a computer's Symantec Management Agent checks in, its Status will automatically change to Active. (This will occur regardless of what the user wants the computer's Status to be and cannot be disabled unless the Symantec Management Agent is uninstalled from the computer.) Another automatic process is that Purging Maintenance can be configured to automatically change a computer's Status to Retired if its Symantec Management Agent hasn't checked in within so many days. The user may have scheduled Data Connector import rules or CMDB rules that could also change a computer's Status.

Question: What types of Status types are available and what do they do?
Answer: Two out of box Status types are available with the Symantec Management Platform: Active and Retired. The Core platform manages these two Status types and functions relating to them. If CMDB Solution is installed, six additional Status types are added: Disposed, In Stock, Missing, On Order, Returned to Lessor and RMA. CMDB Solution also adds the ability to let the user create their own custom Status types. The following describes what each Status type does:

  • Active: Computer is in use. Active may or may not indicate that the computer is being managed by a Symantec Management Agent; however, if it is, when it checks in it will automatically change the computer's Status to Active. Active automatically adds the computer to many computer filters and makes it eligible for many policies and tasks. Active also automatically adds the computer to the SQL vComputer view. Note: Only the Status type of Active can be used to make computers active as described here, regardless of what other Status type is used or named, including custom Status types. Therefore, all other Status types other than Active are considered non-Active and computers that have a non-Active Status type are automatically removed from many computer filters, are ineligible for many policies and tasks and are automatically removed from the SQL vComputer view. 
  • Disposed: Computer is no longer associated with the company.
  • In Stock: Computer is available for use. An Asset Management Purchase Order can receive computers and automatically change their Status to In Stock for a specific stockroom.
  • Missing: Computer is still associated with the company but missing.
  • On Order: Computer will soon be available for use.
  • Retired: Computer is no longer is use but not disposed. If the computer has certain client-consumed Altiris licenses, such as for Inventory Solution, Monitor Solution or Patch Management Solution, these are reclaimed for reuse. Note: Only the Status type of Retired will reclaim licenses for Monitor Solution and Patch Management Solution, however, all non-Active Status types other than custom will reclaim Inventory Solution licenses.
  • Returned to Lessor: Computer has been returned to Lessor.
  • RMA: Computer has been returned to manufacture for repair or replacement.
  • Custom: Created by the user for custom purposes.


Question:
Where can a custom Status type be created at?
Answer: In the Symantec Management Console, click on the Settings button > All Settings > Service and Asset Management > CMDB Solution > CMDB Global Settings. From here, custom Status types can be created or deleted. Custom Status types automatically appear where ever the Status field appears at in the Symantec Management Console. For more information about creating and using custom Status types, refer to the following article:

How to create and use custom Status types for computers
KB 180715

Question: Where does a computer's Status appear at in the Symantec Management Platform database?
Answer: A computer's Status, if any, is recorded in the ResourceAssociation table. The following SQL scripts demonstrate how to find a computer's Status in the Symantec Management Platform database:

Displays all computers and their Status values (if any)

USE Symantec_CMDB
SELECT vi.Name 'Computer', COALESCE(vi2.Name, '(Implied Active)') 'Status'
FROM vAsset va
JOIN vItem vi
ON vi.Guid = va._ResourceGuid
LEFT JOIN ResourceAssociation ra -- Remove LEFT to see only actual set Status values.
ON ra.ParentResourceGuid = va._ResourceGuid
AND ResourceAssociationTypeGuid = '3028166F-C0D6-41D8-9CB7-F64852E0FD01'
LEFT JOIN vItem vi2  -- Remove LEFT to see only actual set Status values.
ON vi2.Guid = ra.ChildResourceGuid
WHERE [Asset Type] = 'Computer'
OR [Asset Type] = 'Virtual Machine'
ORDER BY 1

Display all Status values

USE Symantec_CMDB
SELECT *
FROM vFixedAssetStatus
ORDER BY 2

Question: Does changing a computer's Status delete the computer or any of its data classes, such as its Asset Management Solution (purchase orders, software licenses) or Inventory Solution (hardware and software inventory) data?
Answer: Changing a computer's Status by itself does not delete the computer nor does it delete any of its data classes. However, depending on what the Status was changed to, other processes could begin or start, which could delete data classes. For example, the Inventory Clean Up task may delete all Inventory Solution (all software and hardware inventory) data for a computer if its Status is changed to one being processed by the task.

In some scenarios, computer's Status to Retired may be perceived in itself to be the cause of deleting data classes, which as mentioned, does not normally occur with the out of the box configuration. This is generally caused by reusing the computer's name or hardware, as further discussed in the following article:

After retiring a computer, its asset data is later deleted
KB 161203

Question: Does the IsManaged data class value also set the Status value or visa versa?
Answer: The IsManaged data class value does not set and is not set by the Status value. For example, it may be thought that changing the Status of a computer to Retired sets IsManaged to be 0. This is incorrect. IsManaged is set to 0 when the Inventory Clean Up task is ran and eligible computers have Inventory Solution software and/or hardware data or when the Symantec Management Agent is uninstalled from a computer. Note: As this question is usually in regards to retiring a computer, refer to the following article for more information on how IsManaged is used during the retirement process:

Best practices for retiring a computer
KB 181681

How to Troubleshoot a Computer's Status

Question: After setting a computer's Status to Retired, it didn't reclaim the expected Altiris licenses. Why not?
Answer: Setting a computer's Status to Retired is only expected to reclaim certain client-consumed Altiris licenses, such as for Inventory Solution, Monitor Solution and Patch Management Solution. If these are not being reclaimed, refer to the following article for additional troubleshooting:
 
Retiring a computer does not reclaim an Altiris product license
KB 158855

Question: A computer has the Status of Active, but when some computer reports or SQL scripts are viewed, no Status is shown for it. Why is this? For example, the following reports appear to show a discrepancy in a computer's Status:

Manage > Assets > Manage Configuration Items > Computers and Peripherals > Computer. This report (which is All Computers) shows a computer as Active.



Reports > All Reports > Notification Server Management > Server > Resource Reports > All Assets. This report shows the same computer without any Status.



Answer: Depending on how a computer was created will determine how its Status of Active will appear in computer reports or SQL scripts:

  • If a computer was created by using CMDB Solution, Asset Management, Data Connector or Barcode Solution, an associated record for its Status, which defaults to Active, is added to the ResourceAssociation table. This is its actual Status value.
  • If a computer was created by an automatic discovery process, such as Microsoft Active Directory Import or Network Discovery, and not yet edited by CMDB Solution, Asset Management Solution, Data Connector or Barcode Solution, no associated record for its Status is added to the ResourceAssociation table. However, for all intents and purposes, this is seen as Active, even though it has no actual Status value, by most computer filters, policies and tasks. This is known as its "implied Active" Status value.


In the above examples, the All Computers report uses implied Active if there are no Status records found in the ResourceAssociation table, whereas the All Assets report only checks for the actual Status values in the ResourceAssociation table. Use the SQL script Displays all computers and their Status values (if any) from the How a Computer's Status Works section to see how this works in the Symantec Management Platform database.

Question: Why did a computer's Status unexpectedly change?
Answer: When this occurs, it's usually when the Status unexpectedly changes to Retired or to Active. There are several reasons why these changes can occur, which are described in the following articles, which include additional SQL scripts for troubleshooting Status changes. Note: These can also be used, for general troubleshooting, for unexpected changes to any Status value, not just to specifically to Retired or Active.

Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Retired
KB 157518

Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Active
KB 154264

Question: Why is a computer's Status changed on a Parent Notification Server when the Child Notification Server sends the computer's Status to it or when its Symantec Management Agent checks in?
Answer: A Child Notification Server, where Asset Management Suite is not installed, can replicate a computer's Status (either Active or Retired) to the Parent Notification, which may or may not have Asset Management Suite installed. However, when this occurs, the
Parent computer's Status will change to Active. This is working as designed. Information and workarounds for this can be found in the following articles:

KNOWN ISSUE: Resource Status is being overwritten on the parent server in Hierarchy or when Basic Inventory is received
KB 153068

'Retired' status is being changed automatically to 'Active' when basic inventory reports in
KB 152868

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