Best Practices for Retiring Computers
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Best Practices for Retiring Computers


Article ID: 181681


Updated On:


IT Management Suite Asset Management Solution Asset Management Suite


Setting a computer's Status to Retired reclaims certain licenses and hides the computer from appearing in reports but does not remove any Inventory, CMDB, or Asset data. The following best practices should be followed to fully retire a computer, uninstall its Symantec Management Agent and plug-ins, release Altiris client-consumed licenses, and clear its Inventory data if desired.


ITMS 8.x


Part 1: Set the Status to Retired for the computers to retire to reclaim their certain Altiris client-consumed licenses.

Certain Altiris licenses are consumed by their clients. The only way to reclaim these types of licenses is to set the Status to Retired for the computers to retire. The following describes how to retire computers:

  1. To manually retire computers: In the Symantec Management Platform Console, go to Manage > Computers or Home > Service and Asset Management > Manage Configuration Items and expand the folder Computers and Peripherals. Right-click on the computer to retire the select CMDB Functions > Set Asset Status > Retired, or, Asset Functions > Retire Asset(s). Or, edit the computer and manually set its Status to Retired (this can be done from any area where the computer is listed, in reports, etc., so long as there is a CMDB or Asset pop-up window that enabes the status change). Complete any remaining configurations requested, depending on which process was chosen.
  2. To automatically retire computers: Go to Settings > Notification Server > Purging Maintenance and open Purging Maintenance. Enable the option Purge computers managed by this NS..., specify a reasonable time, select Retire the computers... below, and finally click Purge Now. Alternatively, set the Status to Retired by a Data Connector import rule, or perform a Barcode sync change. 
  3. Notes: (1) Once the computer's Status is no longer set to Active, this will affect certain filters and reports, which only include computers with the Status of Active. (2) Only the Status of Retired can be used to reclaim certain Altiris client-consumed licenses, primarily Inventory Solution, Monitor Solution and Patch Management Solution. Other status types, whether out-of-box or custom, do not affect this. (3) If the computer's Status is not desired to be left as Retired, it must still be retired temporarily to reclaim certain Altiris client-consumed licenses. Afterward, the Status can be set to something more preferred, such as Disposed, Retired, etc.
  4. After the computer's Status is set to Retired the Altiris client-consumed licenses should be immediately reclaimed, but if not see TECH214058.

Part 2: Uninstall the Symantec Management Agent from the retired computers.

If the Symantec Management Agent is still active on the retired computers they will check back into the Symantec Management Platform server within an hour and change their Status back to Active and their IsManaged data class value back to 1. This may then result in policies and tasks being pushed out accidentally to these computers. It is therefore recommended to uninstall the Symantec Management Agent from retired computers as soon as possible after retiring them, but not before because that can break the license reclamation process: TECH214058. The following describes how to do this:

  1. In the Symantec Management Platform Console, click on Actions > Agents/Plug-ins > Push Symantec Management Agent.
  2. Click on Symantec Management Agent for Windows - Uninstall.
  3. Select the retired computers and click Uninstall.


Part 3: Run the Inventory Clean Up task for the retired computers to remove their Inventory Solution data (optional but recommended).

Run this task for retired computers if it is desired to:

  • Remove their Inventory Solution hardware and software data. This removes about 700 Inventory Solution database table records per computer and also reconciles software data with Asset Management's Software Compliancy.
  • Set their IsManaged data class to have a value of 0. Notes: (1) This will affect certain filters, such as All Computers, which only show computers with the Status of Active and if their IsManaged has a value of 1. (2) Simply having IsManaged set to 0 does not change a computer's Status.

For information on how to run and configure the Inventory Clean Up task, refer to the following article:

How to use the CMDB task "Inventory Clean Up"
KB 181680

Part 4: Delete the retired computers in Altiris (optional).

Delete the retired computers in Altiris if it is desired to: 

  • Delete their computer records. All associations to the computer records are left, but "orphaned", as there is no actual record to then reference. For example, if the computers were originally brought into the database by receiving items from a Purchase Order, the PO will still show that it did this, but without any actual record to access. Note: Deleting a computer in Altiris does not entirely remove it from the database. For example, if this computer were to be used again later, it would check in and the old record would be found based on the computer's FQDN or MAC address, and these would then be merged. This could result in data discrepancies. Refer to the following article for more information about this:

    Computer's Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number or System Number are incorrect or missing
    KB TECH209095

    Alternatively, computers can also be deleted automatically by using Purging Maintenance.
    KB 228171

Part 5: Disconnect the retired computers from the network.

Ensure that the retired computers are not still detectable by an automated discovery processes, such as Microsoft Active Directory Synchronization or Network Discovery. If they are, they are eligible for re-integration by a Symantec Management Agent, resulting in being re-integrated back into the Symantec Management Platform. To avoid this, either remove the computers from the network or turn them off.

Additional information about licenses

Asset and CMDB licenses

Asset Management Solution and CMDB Solution licenses are reclaimed differently, as they do not have clients. Refer to the following article on how these types of licenses are reclaimed:

How do Asset Management Solution and CMDB Solution licenses work?

Third party software licenses

Altiris has no ability to reclaim third party software licenses, such as for Adobe, Microsoft, etc., as these are not managed by Altiris. Information about this can be found in the following articles:

Does Asset Management manage 3rd party software licenses?

How to add software product license keys to an Asset Management Software Purchase or Computer as a custom data class

Troubleshooting license reclamation issues

If setting a computer's Status to Retired fails to reclaim its certain Altiris client-consumed licenses, refer to the following article:
Retiring a computer does not reclaim an Altiris product license
KB TECH214058

Related Articles

Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Active
KB TECH160029

Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Retired
KB TECH201295

After retiring a computer, its asset data is later deleted
KB TECH224876

How does a computer's Status work?