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*Warning*: Serious Transform bugs found in "MR1" Upgrade for Wise Package Studio 8.0

Created: 08 Jun 2012 | 13 comments

FYI to Wise gurus and packagers out there considering an upgrade to the new "MR1" upgrade to Wise Package Studio 8.0: it will break your ability to create viable transforms under two typical use case scenarios. I've already sent the following steps on how to reproduce the problem to Symantec support, and they confirmed it.

 

How to reproduce the broken Transform issues

My team has successfully been using two different methods to create thousands of MSTs with prior versions of Wise including 8.0, 7.0 SP3, and 5.5: (a) the “save as…transform” method and (b) the InstallTailor method. The specific conditions under which the issue can be reproduced in the “MR1” version of WPS 8.0 are as follows:

 

The "save as… transform” method

  1. Open any MSI that contains files in Wise editor and do a "save as - transform".
  2. Delete any existing file and replace with another identically named-but-different file in the same target folder (we often do this for applications that have config files that change depending on the target facility or region (Ex: C:\program files\myapp\config.ini).
  3. Save your transform and exit Wise.
  4. Try to re-open your new MST for editing in Wise and you will see “cannot apply transform” and “incorrect file handle” errors (happens on both Win7 & XP).

 

The InstallTailor method

  1. Open Wise and launch InstallTailor (either from the "Projects" tab or from the "Tools" tab in Workbench).
  2. Create a transform to your MSI using the InstallTailor interface then open it for editing.
  3. Delete any existing file and replace with another identically named-but-different file in the same target folder (we often do this for applications that have config files that change depending on the target facility or region (Ex: C:\program files\myapp\config.ini).
  4. Save your transform and exit Wise.
  5. If your base MSI has an external cabfile, check to see if the modified date has changed to today's date (in other words, Wise modified the base MSI's cabfile when you saved the MST).
  6. Open your MST in Wise for editing, browse to the "Tables" tab --> CustomAction.
  7. Select "Tools" menu --> Visual MSIDiff --> Compare Transform to Base .MSI.
  8. You will now see extra "InstallTailorProperty" entries hard-coded to the local profile of the user that was logged onto the reference PC. You may also see similar entries under the "Directory" table, especially on WinXP.
  9. If you try installing the MSI + MST on another PC, it will fail because that local profile does not exist on the target PC.
  10. Delete these “junk” user profile entries and re-save the MST.
  11. Try installing the MSI +MST again, it will fail and you will see 1606 and/or 2343 errors in the Event Viewer application log.

 

Comments 13 CommentsJump to latest comment

EdT's picture

Thank you for posting this information. Did you get any indication from Symantec that a hotfix might be released for this bug?

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

norexx's picture

Np, EdT

The support rep who responded is forwarding this to the Wise development team. She said a hotfix may be possible for the latter problem (the InstallTailor bug), but wasn't sure about the first one (the 'Save as' bug). Reason being that the 'Save as' method is not "offcially" supported for creating a transform --you're only supposed to use InstallTailor. That said, the packagers on my team have been successfully creating thousands of viable transforms this way for 9 years on Wise 5.5, 7.0SP3 and 8.0.

Unfortunately, since Wise goes end-of-life this November and this was the last major release, I doubt issuing a hotfix is a super-hot priority. Since my team really needs a way to make viable transforms that replace same-name files, we went ahead and rolled back to (pre-MR1) v8.0 for now.

VBScab's picture

>the 'Save as' method is not "offcially" supported for creating a transform --you're only supposed to use InstallTailor.

What piffle! I'd get the rep's name and let his/her supervisor know of the errant nonsense they're putting out.

Don't know why 'x' happened? Want to know why 'y' happened? Use ProcMon and it will tell you.
Think about using http://www.google.com before posting.

philbenson's picture

is pretty rubbish. Try creating a Transform with Install Tailor on a Win 7 box, and then attempt to install the msi + mst on a Windows XP system... Burrrrp!

Apart from that, setting the various properties, Feature States and Directories via Custom Actions is a nightmare. Installer Tailor is just for Next,Next, Next Monkeys and nothing more...

Better still is just creating a generic script that creates an MST that can be edited using the WfWI ...

just my tuppence...

 

Phil

VBScab's picture

>Try creating a Transform with Install Tailor on a Win 7 box, and then attempt to install the msi + mst on a Windows XP system.

Is it me? IS it? No offence, but since the dawn of time, hasn't the mantra been to package on the lowest common denominator OS?

Don't know why 'x' happened? Want to know why 'y' happened? Use ProcMon and it will tell you.
Think about using http://www.google.com before posting.

EdT's picture

I am currently packaging on XP and testing on Win 7 as well as XP as that gives me the best outcome.

However, I far prefer the ORCA editor for creating transforms - it does what it says on the tin and nothing more.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

philbenson's picture

occasionaly just getting a contract for a Win7 package, and then to save money by just deplying the win7 package on XP clients is a great one that I've come across a number of time... only to hear the crys saing "Why does it not work! It's just a transform!!!!"

Try explaining that to a shiny arsed pen-pusher who has read a couple of articles about MSI / MST packages :-(

 

Cheers

Phil

EdT's picture

Shiny-arseed pen pusher - SAPP.  Could be the next buzzword after PHB.  ;-)

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

philbenson's picture

I don't even know the old one (PHB)... enlighten me please Ed...

 

Cheers

Phil

EdT's picture

It's from the Dilbert cartoon strip by Scott Adams, and stands for Pointy Head Boss.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.