Problem solved – Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager 11.0.6 not updating clients

Symptoms:

In scm-server-0.log:

SEVERE: Unknown Exception in: com.sygate.scm.server.task.PackageTask java.lang.NullPointerException

In SEPM Console under Admin -> Servers -> Local Site: Unknown Exception repeated every 16 seconds or so

Also, though not often: “Failed to create a folder to which to publish the package” and “The binary file[5FD4C2B2C52AC7CB8591454F941A22F8] referred at the physical file[170F16BD7F7C09E448967BCF346E04A7], which is referred at the software package[4209DCACED66213A52DB822FCD5D1C80,Symantec Endpoint Protection (version 11.0.4000.0) for WIN32BIT], does not exist”

Most groups would not update virus definitions and the Policy Serial Number + Policy Date remained unchanged despite recent policy changes. If I created new groups they would have no Policy Serial Number and no Policy Date and they also would not show up as hexadecimal folders in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\data\outbox\agent” (the groups in question also would not change modified date in this folder).

Solution:

I tried everything else and ended up with:

Stopping services (Symantec Endpoint Manager and Symantec Embedded Database) and restoring the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\db” folder to a point in time before the last “Policy Date” on the groups in question (although dbvalidator said the old db was ok).

After that everything works again.

Since it was also complaing about two old Symantec Installation Packages (hard to find the media for those old versions) I also had to import those two old installation packages and delete them again (import form the SEPM\Packages folder on the installation media and point to the SAV32.info file and name it (in this case) “Symantec Endpoint Protection version 11.0.4000.0 for WIN32BIT” which name can also be found by opening the SAV32.info file in Notepad)

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How to Reduce Disk Space used for System Restore Points

I got a funny little task the other day where a I had to reduce the disk space that some Windows XP clients were using for System Restore Points. This was due to a very old application that couldn’t see above a 8 GB limit and hence thought that the machine was out of disk space while it actually had plenty of free space left.

Newer versions of Windows have a nice commandline utility (vssadmin) that quite easily can handle this issue when you’re an administrator managing a hole bunch of machines and don’t want to run around to each of them and click in a GUI. To my big surprise it was not that easy with Windows XP because while you can completely disable System Restore Points by group policy or registry tweak it’s not that easy to just reduce it’s space usage. We didn’t want to completely disable System Restore Points as they can actually be very useful in some situations (saved one of my clients at least once) so we found these handy registry keys that you can set to reduce the size:

 reg add “\\%1\HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\SystemRestore” /v DiskPercent /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
 reg add “\\%1\HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\SystemRestore\Cfg” /v DiskPercent /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

%1 = computername

This should reduce the size to a maximum of 1% total disk space. But guess what – after some days, several reboots and automated “disk cleanup” that runs every day (although excluding System Restore Point deletions) nothing happened and disk space usage remained unchanged. It turns out that the registry keys are ignored unless you go through the GUI manually and apply a change. After several hours of Goggleing I found a solution that disables and the reenables System Restore Points. After which it will apply the new registry key settings. You can run these commands remote from a batch file using Sysinternals PsExec utility:

 psexec -i \\%1 wmic /namespace:\\root\default path SystemRestore call Disable %SystemDrive%\
 psexec -i \\%1 wmic /namespace:\\root\default path SystemRestore call Enable %SystemDrive%\

%1 = computername

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Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and Denmark pictures now online

It’s been a while since last update so quite a bunch of new albums are now online:
 
2010-04 Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto during peak Cherry blossom season)
2010-03 Vietnam (Ricky’s Birthday)
2010-03 Thailand (Family trip)
2010-03 Singapore (Family trip)
2010-02 Vietnam (Vietnamese New Year + William’s Birthday)
2010-01 Denmark (Farewell/Birthday party)
2009-12 Denmark (Christmas and New Year)
2009-11 London (short stopover after our trip to Australia)
2009-10+11 Australia (from South to North along the East Coast – Melbourne to Port Douglas by car + short stopover in Darwin)
2009-10+11 = October/November 2009, 2010-04 = April 2010 and so on – just in case you wonder what the numbers are for (YYYY-MM format)
 
Close to 1,500 pictures of great, great times – what a journey and what a story to tell.
Will be reporting from Bali and Singapore in the upcoming May 2010 album.
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USA pictures now online – see the 2009-04 album

 
Pictures from our trip to Illinois (Chicago) and Texas (Houston, San Antonio and Galveston) are now online.
 
We had a great trip with visits to Shedd Aquarium (Chicago), the "bean" (Cloud Gate, Chicago), Hancock Observatory (Chicago), a snow storm (last day in Chicago), Houston Zoo, Seaworld San Antonio, The Alamo (San Antonio), Galveston (the beach) and much, much more. Great, great  weather in Texas by the way.
 
On our return journey the entire Newark Fire Department was lined up to welcome us upon arrival (might have something to do with our  landing without flaps).
 
We even made it home before H1N1 made headlines and got back in time for Sakura (cherry blossoms), the green leafs of spring, sunny weather and blue sky.
What more can you possibly ask for?
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Christmas, Winter and Birthday pictures now online

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August and September pictures now online

 
Added the following albums:
2008-08 Denmark (August)
2008-09 Greenland (September)
2008-09 Denmark (September)
 
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Danish Summer pictures now online

Pictures have been added to the 2008-05 (May) album. June and July pictures are now also online.
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