NetWizard Professional Version 6.0
Enterprise Software Distribution and PC Management

Release Notes

January 2006


NetWizard Professional provides comprehensive desktop management of your Windows PCs. Using NetWizard, you can install, monitor, and manage software applications, files, and other resources on PCs throughout your LAN or WAN.

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Known Issues


The NetWizard manager (or Branch Manager) service must be running when users install an agent and while NetWizard distributions are in progress. Stopping the service while a distribution is in progress might cause distributions to fail or remain pending.

Do not use NetWizard to distribute files with invalid date and time stamps (for example, files dated after Jan 18, 2038).

If you record .ini file changes to a read-only file, you will need to manually add script lines to reset the read-only file attribute at the end of the distribution.

If you distribute a script line to import a registry setting from a read-only .reg file, the .reg file will not be deleted on the agent PC. You should add a line to delete the file at the end of the distribution.

Do not license applications that are running via a distribution script.

Although PKG files larger than 1MB can be successfully distributed, preprocessing can go on for several minutes with no indication that NetWizard is working.

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Installation and Upgrading

NetWizard version 6.0 supports direct upgrades of the Central Manager from version 5.1x or 5.5. When you upgrade your Central Manager, you must also upgrade existing Branch Managers and agents before they can be successfully managed.

Upgrades must be completed in a "top-down" fashion. That is, the Central Manager must be upgraded first, followed by its Branch Manager(s) and agents. Then, each Branch Manager is ready to upgrade its nested Branch Manager(s) and agents.

To upgrade NetWizard
  1. To upgrade the Central Manager, run the NetWizard Manager installation program from the product CD1.

  2. To upgrade Branch Managers and agents, follow the upgrade instructions in Chapter 4 of the NetWizard Administrator's Guide. (As always, you should back up your files before beginning the upgrade process.)

Note If you specified an impersonation account when you installed an earlier version of NetWizard, and then you upgrade a Central or Branch Manager to version 6.0, the administrator name and password must be reentered under Administrator Login for Service in the Options | Workstation Options | Miscellaneous page. Otherwise, the manager may be unable to communicate with its agents.
Note If you have renamed a Branch Manager node, you should change the name back to the original name before upgrading. The original node name is the same as the value for ClientNetworkName, which you can find in the NWCOMMON.INI file in your installation directory. If you do not change the node name, the Branch Manager upgrade will have limited success and the upgrade for its agents will fail.

If an upgrade was attempted before reading this information, you can use the following procedure to repair the installation, if you remember the original node name or if you backed up your files before upgrading. Otherwise, you'll need to reinstall the Branch Manager and all of its agents.

To repair the upgrade of a renamed Branch Manager node
  1. From the backed up version of the Branch Manager's NWCOMMON.INI file, find the value for ClientNetworkName.

  2. From the Central Manager logical tree, select the renamed Branch Manager node and from the Node menu, choose Modify.

  3. In the Modify Node dialog box, change the Node Name to match the value for ClientNetworkName in the backed up NWCOMMON.INI file from step 1.

  4. In the Branch Manager installation directory, locate the NWCOMMON.INI file, and change the value for ClientNetworkName to match the value in the backed up NWCOMMON.INI file from step 1.

  5. In the NWIZARD.INI file in the Branch Manager Windows directory, do the same thing.

  6. Restart the Branch Manager service.

  7. To reset the Branch Manager's agents, from the Branch Manager logical tree, select the root node and choose Node | Reset.

  8. To upgrade the agents, from the Branch Manager logical tree, select the root node and choose Tools | Upgrade Agents.

After upgrading NetWizard from a previous version, you will find that it is no longer possible to use the History option to build new agent media based on agent media that was created in the previous version. This is a result of changes in this version that separate the agent configuration files from the installation media, and render existing path information invalid. You can still base new Branch Manager media on existing media.

By default, when you upgrade a Central or Branch Manager, inventory files are imported from its agents, which can take some time. If you want to speed up the upgrade process, you can set an option that defers inventory updates until the branch or agent updates its own inventory file, which typically occurs when a node is added to a logical tree, and every seven days thereafter.

Upgrading the Central Manager

To avoid importing inventory files when upgrading a Central Manager, use the following command to upgrade the manager:

msiexec /i NetWizard.msi NOINVENTORYCOLLECTION=1

Upgrading Branch Managers

To avoid importing inventory files when upgrading Branch Managers, before upgrading (Tools | Upgrade All), find the following line in the bda.ini file on the Central Manager, located in the <InstallDir>\Peer\BRSVC\ directory:

OLE_OA1, SystemEditor, WinExec, 1.00.00, , , -Wait, "%[UserDir]\db_upgrade_tool.exe" /type branch /netwizardroot "%[UserDir]" /remotepath "%[RemoteDir]\WSAGENT\BRAGENT\%[NetworkName]\%[BranchTree].xml" /branchxmlfile "%[BranchTree].xml"

and change it to:

OLE_OA1, SystemEditor, WinExec, 1.00.00, , , -Wait, "%[UserDir]\db_upgrade_tool.exe" /type branch /noinventory /netwizardroot "%[UserDir]" /remotepath "%[RemoteDir]\WSAGENT\BRAGENT\%[NetworkName]\%[BranchTree].xml" /branchxmlfile "%[BranchTree].xml"

To successfully install a single user agent for a user who is currently not logged in to the agent PC, when creating the agent configuration media you need to change the user-specific directory to a location outside of the %[UserProfileDir] directory. This is not necessary when installing multiple user agents on a single PC.

When a user with restricted rights will be performing an agent installation, note the following:

If you need to reinstall an agent after an installation failure, you must delete the Program Files\Attachmate directory on the agent computer before you can successfully install the agent.

When using the Remote Installation Wizard to install agents over the network, specify the location of installation files using a UNC path. If you use a local path (for example, c:\nw_agent), the installation will fail.

When using the Remote Installation Wizard to install agents over the network, if the installation media is located on a computer running Windows 2000 Professional, an error is displayed when the wizard attempts to automatically share the installation media location, and the installation fails.

To successfully install agents with the Remote Installation Wizard in this environment, you need to share the installation media location manually before running the wizard, and then use the UNC path when you specify the location in the wizard.

If you attempt to upgrade a Branch Manager from the Central Manager with the Branch Manager console open, the upgrade will fail. This may or may not be obvious. To be sure that your upgrade has been successfully applied, you can check the Help About information.

If the upgrade fails, restart the Branch Manager computer and ensure that the Branch Manager service is not running. Then you can successfully re-apply the upgrade.

Note If necessary, you can use the remote control component, RemotelyAnywhere, to restart the Branch Manager computer from the Central Manager computer.

If you want to enable or disable multiple user profiles on a Windows 98 SE agent PC, you must do so prior to installing the agent. If you change the agent PC to use multiple user profiles after the agent is installed, you must reinstall the agent after the change.

To successfully install an agent on a computer running Windows NT, the agent installer must have write access to the location from which it is run. Otherwise, the installation will be corrupted, leading to errors while viewing agent directories or sending distributions from the manager, or receiving inventory data from the agent.

A common way to ensure write access is to copy the agent installation and configuration media to a local drive on the agent computer and install the agent from there.

The NetWizard installation may attempt to update files that are shared among Windows applications or marked read-only. If the installation fails, make sure that no applications or services that may use shared files (such as IIS) are running. In addition, check that the file mfc42.dll has not been marked read-only.

If you attempt to use the Copy Agent Configuration utility to copy agent configuration files, and the copy fails, check that you have write access to the specified destination.

If you have access to the NetWizard installation CD when you are installing a Branch Manager, you can install a portion of the Branch Manager from that CD. This can speed up the Branch Manager installation compared to installing only from the Branch Manager installation media.

Run the Branch Manager installation from the location to which you built the installation media, and select the Have CD option. When you specify the location of the CD drive, also specify the NetWizard directory, as follows:

cd drive:\netwizard

NetWizard's ODBC installation does not update .dll files that are currently in use. Make sure all applications using ODBC are closed before installing a manager.

If you install or upgrade a NetWizard manager or agent in a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environment with the Windows Firewall turned off, and then subsequently you enable the firewall, you'll need to restart the NetWizard services and add RemotelyAnywhere to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list before you can continue using NetWizard. If the Windows Firewall is enabled when you install this release of NetWizard, NetWizard services and RemotelyAnywhere are added automatically.

Use the following information to add RemotelyAnywhere to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list:

Remotely Anywhere remotelyanywhere.exe

If you install a NetWizard Shared Manager for a Central or Branch Manager running in a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environment with the Windows Firewall is enabled, you'll need to add TCP port 3050 to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list on the Central or Branch Manager. Otherwise, the Shared Manager will be unable to communicate with its manager.

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If an operation that you have performed on the logical tree seems incomplete, try saving, closing, and reopening the tree, or saving and refreshing the view. For example:

You can drag-and-drop files to or from a Directory node for a local directory only if the node is located directly beneath the root of the logical tree.

If you need to drag-and-drop files to or from a directory on a Branch Manager or nested Branch Manager, you can share the directory, and then create a Directory node using an UNC path (//machine_name/share_name).

When using the Add Node command to create a Directory node under a Branch Manager from the Central Manager console, the Browse dialog box displays the directory structure for the Central Manager. You may have to type the path to the directory on the Branch Manager.

If the path that you specify exists on the branch but does not also exist on the Central Manager, a message is displayed informing you that the directory does not exist. However, when you continue, the Directory node is successfully created.

You cannot use the Node Wizard to create a nested Directory node.

After a Directory node has been deleted under a Branch Manager from the Central Manager logical tree, you must use a different node name if you want to add the node back to the tree. If you attempt to use the same name, an error is displayed.

After preboot services is installed, the first preboot client that is detected by a NetWizard manager is considered off-line and must be restarted before an asset report can be obtained. This is an issue only for the first client that is detected; all other clients are queried immediately upon detection.

If you select the root node in the logical tree, and then choose the Variables command, the Variables dialog box displays values for the first Branch Manager or agent in the logical tree. If there are no Branch Managers or agents in the tree, the Variables command has no effect.

The Explore Branch command on the Node menu is a remnant of the previous version's user interface, which has been replaced by more direct navigation of the logical tree, similar to Windows Explorer.

When modifying logical trees at a branch from a Central Manager, you might want to disable the Branch Manager's ability to automatically update the logical tree. Otherwise, the Branch Manager may add Agent/Manager nodes back into the logical tree after you have removed them. To disable this feature, set the branch's %[BranchTreeUpdate] node variable to 0.

When you attempt to create a Web page node under a Branch Manager from the Central Manager console, an error is displayed. If you choose Cancel, the Web page node will be temporarily created but when you save and reopen the tree, it will become an Empty node. To create a Web page node under a Branch Manager, you must add the node at the Branch Manager console.

To display a remote control confirmation dialog box to users of agent PCs, manager computers must have a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) installed, regardless of whether agents are displayed in a browser or in the RemotelyAnywhere console window.

By default, the confirmation dialog box is displayed on agent computers whenever the manager attempts to take control. This allows users to deny remote control requests. If no JVM is installed on the manager, a screenshot viewer is used to display agent desktops and users are not prompted.

Under Windows NT, intermittent system lockups may occur on systems using certain versions of the ATI GX MACH 64 PCI video card. Revision AA or cards with a serial number on the video BIOS chip ending 101 are known to have this issue. Using the standard VGA driver that ships with Windows NT will allow you to avoid this problem.

It is preferable to use long names for the NetWizard manager's network configuration to prevent conflicts between the 7-character short name and the NetWizard manager's network information. For example, an agent named "nwizard2" will use a short name of "nwizard" (the first 7 characters) and may conflict with a manager named "nwizard".

When using NetWizard in conjunction with remote access products, you should attempt to directly manage no more than 5-8 PCs at each remote site. Otherwise, unacceptable performance may result due the limited bandwidth of this type of connection. For sites containing more than this limit, a Branch Manager should be installed at the site to segment the network traffic generated by NetWizard. This allows the Branch Manager to act as a proxy for the purposes of carrying out software distribution operations.

When an agent PC user is notified that a concurrent license is available, they must click Yes or press Y on their keyboard. Pressing Enter will be interpreted as No.

If your agent PCs are running virus scanning software that is configured to scan all files as they are accessed, this may negatively affect NetWizard's software inventory process. The inventory process may be significantly slow and/or problematic, because the virus scanning software attempts to scan each file as NetWizard attempts to read the file header information. To avoid this problem, exit the virus scanning software prior to installing the agent or updating the inventory.

NetWizard 4.1.1 provided several improvements in the way hardware information is written to an ODBC-compliant database (including the Fixed, Mapped, and CDROM hardware items). If you want to use a table definition created with a later version of NetWizard that includes any of these hardware items, however, you must delete and re-add each item to the table definition before exporting data to that table. To access table definitions, select Tools menu | Write To Database from the manager.

If you are exporting NetWizard data to a database or text file using an ODBC data source that requires a user name and password, you must configure the user name and password either within the data source or using the Connection String field on the Table Definition dialog box. If you do not, the data source will attempt to prompt you for this information when you export data, which may cause the manager service to hang.

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System Policy View

To use Policy view, the policy tree (.NDB file) must be located in the NetWizard manager installation directory. If you save the tree to a different location, Policy view will not be visible.

If you want policy settings to affect agents of a Branch Manager, you must explicitly set the option to use the Branch Manager logical tree as a policy tree, even if you have already selected this option for the Central Manager (parent) logical tree. This is not the default behavior.

To specify the Branch Manager logical tree as the policy tree for the branch, from the NetWizard Branch Manager main window, choose Options | Workstation | Miscellaneous | Current Policy Tree | Modify.

The Windows 98 SE system policy downloader does not copy the policy file stored in the NetworkPath (in the registry) to a locally accessible location. As a result, the policy downloader must be able to reach it on the network. If the agent's primary network client cannot access the file, policy downloading will fail because the downloader is run before secondary clients are started in Windows 98 SE. Therefore, the agent's %[PolicyDir] node variable must point to a network path accessible by the agent's primary network client.

For the Registry view or the System Policy view (in Direct Registry mode) to function correctly for NetWizard agents in Windows XP environments, File and Printer Sharing must be included as an exception for the Windows Firewall, if the firewall is enabled.

If you have trouble getting the Registry view or the System Policy view (in Direct Registry mode) to display the remote PC's settings, run the Registry editor (Regedit or Regedt32, depending on your environment) and try using it to connect to the same PC. If it fails to connect, troubleshoot the basic operation of the registry service itself before attempting to use it from within the NetWizard manager.

In some cases, the user authentication mechanism (remote administration security) of the target PC may be at fault due to an invalid configuration. This has been observed on some PCs where the primary network provider has been changed after the initial installation. To cross check this problem, enable file sharing, then try adding a new user to the share's access list (under the drive's properties menu). This failure is confirmed if you are unable to see a list of possible users and groups from the authentication server after selecting the Add button. The only known remedy is to remove and reinstall all components in the Network control panel.

For all PCs running the NetWizard manager, the TEMP environment variable must not point to removable media nor to any location with less than 5 MB of free space.

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