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JeffVandervoort

Agent notifications

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When the Agent launches, it generates an "Computer is up and running" notification. It would be more accurate if it was accompanied by a notification that said, "PC Monitor agent has started". The "up and running" notification by itself is a little misleading.

Maybe only a PCM newbie like me would make this mistake, but I found "up and running" notifications this morning. I went in to the Event logs to try to figure out why the computers had restarted, and why there wasn't a "shutting down" notification. What I found was that the agent had auto-updated; the computers were up the whole time.

Here are the notifications I'd like to have seen this morning:

PC Monitor Agent v2.4 is shutting down

PC Monitor Agent v2.41 is starting

Computer is up and running.

Then I'd know what actually happened, and why.

In fact, the "up and running" message could be eliminated entirely. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but as far as I can see, all it's really telling us is that the Agent has started and hasn't had time to see any bad stuff happen yet. The "agent is starting" message tells us that.

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When an agent updates it compares the old release version (stored in registry) with the new release version. If they differ it will not send a notification.

We will keep the "up and running" message as it applies to most cases.

As for shut down notification PC Monitor relies on Windows to send a notification to the service that the computer is shutting down.

This might not be called (we've seen cases like this) or it might be called too late and the network interface(s) are down and of course there's no way for the notification to reach the servers.

Hope this answers your questions.

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Here, the server did NOT shut down, but I received a notification that the server was "up and running" that led me to believe the situation in your 2nd paragraph had, indeed, occurred. Perhaps I failed to make it clear, but that was the whole point of my post; PC Monitor misled me about servers having restarted, and I wasted time tracking down a problem that had not occurred.

The sequence of Notifications I described would make very clear that no servers had restarted; only the Agent. And that restart due to an upgrade.

I do strongly believe that an application whose mission is reporting should report on itself. Regardless, I've worked around the problem by creating a custom Event notification that looks for PC Monitor Event 0 with Keywords "New, Update, Found".

As for the "up and running" message, consider this scenario. The only reason the notification is posted is that the service started. There could be 0 bytes free on drive C:, 100% CPU usage, services down left and right, but it would still tell me "Relax, Jeff, all is well."

And that happened to one of my servers the other night. All file shares went offline, and I logged on to discover PC Monitor Service was taking about 30-50% CPU. With no notifications whatsoever. (I am monitoring the situation to see if it occurs again and will follow up if it does.) I restarted PC Monitor, got the "All Clear" notification but nothing else from it...and then had to restart the server from the console because I couldn't keep an RDP session running long enough to do it from my desk!

PC Monitor should report only what it knows. It should not be speculating about the health of the system, because at that moment, PCM is in the dark about everything going on around it. All it knows at that moment is that it launched successfully. Therefore, that is all it should be telling me.

That said, I'm perfectly capable of pretending that where it says "server is up and running" it really means "service is up and running". And to take a break from the stress of the moment to smile at the irony of the reassuring notification I receive while all hell is breaking loose!

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We are investigating what caused the agent to send a notification after update, it should not have happened (and in all our tests it's not happening on update whatsoever.

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Agent 2.5 installed over the last 24 hours on my 10 machines. Of those, 5 posted an "up and running" notification when the Agent launched after the update, 5 did not.

My Event notification that notifies me when it finds the Event that PCM logs when it discovers an update lets me know what's going on. With that, I'm less concerned by the bogus "up and running" notification that otherwise implies a restart. But be aware that I'm still getting them.

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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MMSOFT Design\PC Monitor\CurrentServiceVersion holds the current version of the PC agent. When an update is applied and the service restarts it compares the new version with the one in the registry. If the version differs it will NOT send a notification. I don't know what's happening in your case but we cannot reproduce this here.

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