There is a registry setting in "HKLM\Software\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Delay at System Boot (secs)." What is this value or what does it do?
Along the same lines, what does the setting, "Disable Altiris Agent/Notification Server communication... At startup and after blockout for up to:" in the Agent Configuration do?
The client registry value "Delay at System Boot (secs)" is used in the following context:
Delay At System Startup (secs) puts an artificial delay in the Agent startup routine for 0-180 seconds. This was written for Patch 6.1 that would hammer disk IO during startup when defragmenting the inventory cache. Note that this may not be supported in the future as development is not aware of any current need for it.
To clarify the Agent configuration setting, 'Disable Altiris Agent/Notification Server communication...':
This was written to allow admins to stop large batches of agents “phoning home” after a new agent rollout. This setting is essentially a random blockout which stops the Notification Server from being overloaded when the Agent starts up and performs its initial "get config policy" and "send basic inventory" operations.
So if, for example, an administrator sets up and installs a large number of clients, this configuration will keep these new clients from all communicating all at the same time.
Note: After ITMS 7.5, it works only on XP/2003, starting with Vista SMA service is “Delayed Start” type of service, starts 2-3 minutes after all other services.