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"Remotes" directory can't be copied between pcAnwhere SP4 installs

Created: 18 Apr 2012 • Updated: 18 Apr 2012 | 5 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi,

I have for years been able to update/synchronize my various installations of pcAnywhere CHF files by copying the Remotes folder from one installation to another, but after upgrading to SP4, CHF files in one SP4 installation are no longer recognized as valid in another, otherwise identical SP4 installation. I have checked permissions on the directories, subdirectories, and individual CHF files once they've been opened in both the "copy to" and "copy from" installations of SP4 and can't see any difference(s), but still the GUI of the "copy to" installation will simply error out and not load the Remotes directory CHF files from the "copy from" installation. This requires hours of previously unnecessary work changing, adding or deleting individual CHFs when trying to keep various installations synchronized.

Any insights/workarounds deeply appreciated.

GaryK

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ICHCB's picture

The caller, host, and remote files are now locked to the installed computer.  You will need to unlock (decrypt)  the remote files to allow you to transfer them to an alternate computer.   Once the unlocked files  (decrypted) are copied to a new system then when they are launched for the first time they will then be locked to that system.  .

http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC5475 has more info also on this new feature.

Please note, all of this is just a summary of the information that can be obtained by running “awfilemgr.exe /?” from the command prompt.

 

AWfilemgr.exe Parameters

 

Parameter

Command Line Example

Expected Input

Expected Output

/ImpInstalledFiles

awFileMgr.exe /ImpInstalledFiles

ImpInstalledFiles will encrypt all the files in the default installation locations.

Files in the default installation directory will be encrypted in PCA13 encryption.

/DecryptTemplates

awFileMgr.exe /DecryptTemplates “template Output Directory”

Bhtempl.bhf, Chtempl.chf, Citempl.cif

(These files are the templates for the Host, Remote, and Caller setup wizards located in the Application Data\Symantec\pcAnywhere)

Bhtempl.bhf, Chtempl.chf, and Citempl.cif  files changed to pca12 encoding.

/EncryptBeHost

awFileMgr.exe /EncryptBeHost "host input directory" "host file"

pca12 Encoded .bhf file

pca13 Encoded .bhf file

/EncryptCallHost

awFileMgr.exe /EncryptCallHost "call host input directory" "call host file"

pca12 Encoded .chf file

pca13 Encoded .chf file

/EncryptCaller

awFileMgr.exe /EncryptCaller "caller input directory" "caller file"

pca12 Encoded .cif file

pca13 Encoded .cif file

/DecryptBeHost

awFileMgr.exe /DecryptBeHost "host input directory" "host file" "host output directory”

pca13 Encoded .bhf file

pca12 Encoded .bhf file

/DecryptCallHost

awFileMgr.exe /DecryptCallHost  "host input directory" "call host file" "call host output directory"

pca13 Encoded .chf file

pca12 Encoded .chf file

/DecryptCaller

awFileMgr.exe /DecryptCaller "caller input directory" "caller file" "caller output directory"

pca13 Encoded .cif file

pca12 Encoded .cif file

/?

Awfilemgr.exe /?

None

Help for all parameters

 

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SOLUTION
ICHCB's picture

Gary  have you gotten this to work for you?  I seem to get errors when running the command with any thing other than a /?    If you were able to make this work what was your syntax to decrypt the host and the caller files?

cheers.

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Gary Karasik's picture

Yes and no, a good-news/bad-news thing. I find the available help information baffling, but I was at least able to get the decryption command to run successfully; sadly I was unable to use the result.

Steps:

      Copy awfilemgr.exe to C:\Temp.

      Copy the Remotes subdirectory to C:\Temp.

      Open a CMD window at C:\Temp.

      Use the syntax awfilemgr decrypttemplates C:\Remotes\Remotes2.

The command ran successfully. The resulting Remotes2 contained a subdirectory called Export. Export in turn contained just three files, one CIF, one BHF, and one CHF. The original Remotes, though, comprises multiple subdirectories containing a total of 150+ CHF files (including 30 in the root of Remotes and no BHF or CIF files). So yes, the command ran successfully; no, the results are useless.

I thought maybe the restore process would recreate the original subdirectory structure--kind of an unzip effect--but I couldn't get any "recryption" process to run at all, because I can't figure out which command to run to accomplish this. Running awfilemgr.exe /? actually returns less information than is contained above.

I have an even bigger problem with this upgrade, though: I have no techs at some remote sites and so can't upgrade my entire organization at once. Because the new version won't talk to the old version, I will be cut off from some not-yet-upgraded sites until I can get to them. The boss says he will not pay travel expenses just for this.

This plus the inconvenience of having to manually update all my CHFs (at least for now) has caused us to conclude we're just going to take our chances with a fully patched 12.5/SP3 while waiting for someone smart to figure out workarounds,

I do not consider this issue "solved."

GaryK

ICHCB's picture

The best I can suggest is to keep a copy of the 12.5 sp3 running.   with this you can keep a list of unencrypted remotes and then once they are executed for the first time in 12.5 sp4 they will then lock to the system that is running them.   

cheers,

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