Intel,Altiris Group

Troubleshooting the Altiris Manageability Toolkit for vPro Technology - Part 5 - Real-Time Console Infrastructure 

04-30-2008 12:33 PM

In the previous 4 sections we covered troubleshooting for the Provisioning process for Intel vPro capable systems. The next few articles will cover troubleshooting the management side once systems have been provisioned. The management of AMT systems can be accomplished through Task Server (via the APIs included with Real-Time Console Infrastructure, or RTCI) or through the Real-Time tab available with Real-Time System Manager (RTSM). Part 5 covers the configuration of Real-Time Console Infrastructure, which both RTSM and Task Server uses when invoking AMT functions.

Introduction

Real-Time Console Infrastructure is used by a number of solutions as a foundation module. It provides the direct API interface that RTSM and Task Server use when AMT functions are called. The configuration of this piece is important to ensure that those modules or solutions depending on it function correctly, especially when referencing AMT. This article covers the configuration and troubleshooting of RTCI so that RTSM and Task Server function as expected.

RTCI Configuration

Configuring RTCI allows a user to setup how authentication will be handled by both Task Server and RTSM. It also provides a configuration interface for different AMT features such as System Defense (Task type of Network Filtering). This piece also controls the purge policy for audit logging that occurs with RTSM. Proper configuration of the Solution can avoid issues, so first I will cover the ins and outs of this configuration section.

Standard Configuration

The following option affects how the Real-Time tab interacts with AMT at the system level. Please note the caveat below to avoid or correct issues with Intel AMT connection.

Intel AMT Connection Settings – The Timeouts here are generally sufficient, but I have seen situations where network latency causes the timeout to occur before the connection is established by the target system. Increasing this timeout can produce successful results.

Credential Profiles

Credential profiles allow ease of authentication, or elevated rights to RTSM users who may not normally have AMT rights to target systems. Note the following details on how these work:

  1. The Runtime Profile automatically stores known good credentials to target systems. When a user uses the Real-Time tab and puts in credentials to connect to the system, whether Windows or AMT, on a successful authentication the credentials are stored using the following parameters:
    • Computer Name
    • Logged in User (used in the NS infrastructure)
    • Provided Credentials
  2. The green check box indicates what profile will be used by default when the tab is used. Checking a known good profile can avoid credential prompts when using the Real-Time tab.
  3. Without a good profile, the Real-Time tab will prompt for authentication. The icon for connection is per type of connection, thus WMI and AMT connections are considered separate authentication. When the prompt is made it isn’t for both types. Use the icon shown below to choose the method. When both technologies are detected, the icon will be repeated in the icon bar.

System Defense Filter

If you’ve installed the optional component that gives you the ability to edit the System Defense filter you’ll have an additional node labeled: Edit Network Filters. Another article already covers this option well, found here: Utilizing Intel vPro AMT Technology with Task Server – Part 5: System Defense Tasks.

Common Issues

The following sections cover common issues that can occur with Real-Time Console Infrastructure. If you are running into issues, check this section to see if your problem area is covered. Most function issue will be covered in the Real-Time System Manager section, or Part 7 of this article series.

Normally the symptoms of Install issues stem from the module using RTCI, such as RTSM. The correct RTCI version needs to be installed in supporting the corresponding version of the module or solution that is using it. For example RTSM 6.3 will not work with RTCI version 6.2. See the following items for details:

Blank Console

The Real-Time tab does not populate, leaving both the right and left panes empty – This issue stems from an out of synch versioning between RTSM and RTCI. RTCI must be the same base version as RTSM. To fix:

  1. Check both versions to find out which one is higher.
  2. If RTSM is higher, update RTCI to the same version.
  3. If RTCI is higher, update RTSM to the same version.
  4. If you’re unsure, choose to upgrade RTSM to the latest version and the Solution Center will automatically update RTCI to be the correct version.
  5. If you have other software that uses it, update them to the latest version so that they are all in sync.

Corrupted Install

RTCI corrupted install – This issue has occurred when multiple components that use RTCI have incorrectly installed it, creating conflicting assemblies. To fix:

  1. Browse to the following location on the Notification Server: C:\Program Files\Altiris\Setup Files\RTSM\ or C:\Program Files\Altiris\Setup Files\RTCI\.
  2. Select the file Altiris_RTCI_6_2.msi (if the version is different than the one shown here, the file name may be different).
  3. With that window open, go to Start, Run.
  4. Now drag the MSI selected in step 2 into the 'Run' field.
  5. At the beginning of the resulting string, add 'msiexec.exe /x.
  6. For example: msiexec.exe /x "C:\Program Files\Altiris\Setup Files\RTCI\Altiris_RTCI_6_2.msi.
  7. Click 'OK'.
  8. This will remove RTCI. Now install the correct or latest version of RTCI by clicking on the install for RTSM (it will see that RTCI is not present).

Continued Installation Issues

Should the above not correct the installation problems, use the methodology here to fix the problem:

  1. In Add/Remove Programs uninstall RTSM (if possible). Use the above RTCI removal process to remove RTCI in this manner, and then continue.
  2. Delete the folders/files from the following locations if present:
    • C:\Program Files\Altiris\Setup Files\RTSM
    • C:\Program Files\Altiris\Setup Files\RTCI
    • Install Path\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Install\Altiris_RT*.msi
    • Install Path\Program Files\Altiris\RTSM
    • Install Path\Program Files\Altiris\RTCI
  3. At this location: C:\\Installer, review the properties of the files to learn what .MSI is for which product, located under the Title beneath the Summary tab. This location is a hidden system folder, so you may need to turn off hiding system files and folders under View > Folder Options > View tab. C:\\Installer. Delete these files, if present:
    • Real-Time System Manager
    • Real-Time Console Infrastructure
  4. Bring up the registry editor (Start, Run, type regedit, and click 'OK'). Do a search for the strings:
    • Real-Time System Manager
    • Real-Time Console Infrastructure
    • RTSM
    • RTCI
    Keep searching through the entire registry. When an instance is found, on the right check to make sure it is the main install for Network Discovery and not a report pack, language pack, etc. When found, you'll want to delete the corresponding GUID key where the values are present on the left. This will be true for some items, but not others. Only delete the left-side key if it is a GUID, as shown here:
  5. Go to Start > Run > type %temp% and click OK. Delete the contents of this working Temp directory so that all remnant installation files are removed.
  6. Delete the contents of Temporary Internet Files under your user’s profile.
  7. Browse to C:\Windows\Assembly and look for any files labeled: Altiris.RTSM*, or Altiris.RTCI* ... Delete these files.
  8. The uninstalls should now be complete.

    NOTE: You may not have the above items depending on how the MSI uninstall proceeded in the first step.

  9. This should remove both fully and allow a reinstall.

Troubleshooting Tools

Because RTCI is a ‘behind the scenes’ module, issues with it typically show up in the modules or solutions that are using it. Once it is identified that the issue is with RTCI, there are several methods and tools at your disposal to properly troubleshoot.

Debug Trace Logging

Enabling trace allows direct debug output to be written to a debugging program. This enables you to review what RTCI is doing when the issue being troubleshot occurs. Use the following steps to enable trace logging:

  1. On the Notification Server, go to Start > Run > type Regedit > click OK.
  2. Browse to the following location in the Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | SOFTWARE | Altiris | eXpress | Notification Server | ProductInstallation | {13987439-8929-48d2-aa30-ef4bf0eb26a6}
  3. Right-click on the open space in the right-hand pane and choose New > DWORD Value.
  4. Name the value ‘TraceLevel’ (without the quotes).
  5. I recommend setting the value to 1, but the following list gives you additional options:
    • None = 0
    • Debug = 1
    • Verbose = 2
    • Information = 4
    • Warning = 8
    • Error = 16
    • All to Debug Program = 31
    • NS = 32
    • ALL to NS = 63
  6. Use a debugging program to capture the trace elements. One option is to use Debug View found at www.sysinternals.com, under Misc. Utilities, named: Debug View to capture the trace.
  7. Once these changes have been made, you need to rerun the action that causes the issue or reload the RTSM console to invoke the logging for the issue you are experiencing.

Here is an example of the trace window:

NS Trace Logging

The installed component of Real-Time Console Infrastructure logs normally to the Notification Server log. Like any component or solution in Notification Server, .NET errors or problems will be logged into the Notification Server log. For .NET errors in the console with the Real-Time tab, or within the configuration nodes for RTCI, use the Notification Server logging to capture and analyze the errors. If nothing else, you can provide the error to Support when you log a support incident to expedite the troubleshooting process.

Here is a good article on NS Logging: https://kb.altiris.com/article.asp?article=1992&p=1

Conclusion

If this article does not cover the issue you are having with RTCI, please check the next part of the article series, part 6, since RTCI and RTSM overlap so closely. Most AMT issues, once past the install issues covered here, will be covered in part 6.

Troubleshooting the Altiris Manageability Toolkit for vPro Technology – Part 4 – Provisioning Server Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting the Altiris Manageability Toolkit for vPro Technology, Part 6: Real-Time System Manager
 

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