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Martin Charker | 12 Jun 2008 | 3 comments

Windows Installer 4.5 is now available as a redistributable system component for the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008, 32-bit editions
  • Windows Server 2008, 64-bit editions
  • Windows Server 2008, Itanium-based editions
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Windows Server SP2


CondorMan | 06 Jun 2008 | 4 comments

Sometimes a Windows Installer will fail with an error 16xx. What does that mean?

You can find out by viewing Microsoft's list of Windows Installer Error Codes and their meanings here. You might want to add that link to your favorites if you manage a lot of .msi installs.

CondorMan | 05 Jun 2008 | 1 comment

If your workstations are using the NTFS file system, you can use COMPACT.EXE that is included with Windows to compress files with a certain extension. For example, to compress all of the .CHM files (which are rarely used), use the command: COMPACT /C /S:C:\ *.CHM

Here is a list of all the available parameters:

COMPACT [/C | /U] [/S[:dir]] [/A] [/I] [/F] [/Q] [filename [...]]

/C Compresses the specified files. Directories will be marked so that files added afterward will be compressed.
/U Uncompresses the specified files. Directories will be marked so that files added afterward will not be compressed.
/S Performs the specified operation on files in the given directory and all subdirectories. Default "dir" is the current directory...
CondorMan | 05 Jun 2008 | 2 comments

I just learned that you can enable MSI logging so that if your installer fails with an error you can see where the MSI failed.

To enable MSI loggging:

  1. Open Regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer.
  3. Create a new Reg_SZ value named "Logging" with the value "voicewarmup".

While "voicewarmup" is easy to remember, it actually signifies all of the different options that you want to enable.

Here is the complete list of options:

v Verbose output
o Out-of-disk-space messages
i Status messages
c Initial UI parameters
e All error messages
w Non-fatal warnings
a Start up of actions
r Action-specific records...
kbuller | 20 May 2008 | 0 comments

We upgraded to Exchange 2007 last weekend. In doing so, we started using a new server name and dns name. Outlook automatically notices the change and will update accordingly, Entourage... not so much. I learned quite a few things about scripting Entourage in preparing for this, so along with the code, I'll also explain why it is written the way it is.

First thing to know is that you can not query the settings in Entourage without Entourage being open. That's why the first part of the script checks to see if Entourage is running or not. If you try and query the settings when it's not open, it will launch it, not exactly desired behavior for me. The next thing is that if you try and make a change to it's settings while it is actively connecting to the server or downloading items, it will lockup and will need to be force quit... again not...

dougj | 15 May 2008 | 2 comments

It is possible to write custom inventory to gather data from more than one registry key. An example follows and is also found in the custom inventory samples repository (seek KB# 4237).


  1. Apparently, the logic starts at the bottom key and works its way back up. So, we need to store the type and identifier values until we get back to the dmaenabled property.
  2. We can only clear out the curtype and curidentifier variables once we get back to the dmaenabled property. Otherwise, they'll be blank when we need them to populate the z:row data.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252"?>
<InventoryClass name='AeX OS DMA Status' manufacturer='Altiris' description='Reg Entries for OS...
Eshwar | 13 May 2008 | 5 comments

Did you know you can install an application with VBScript using the "Run" method.

Here's a sample script illustrating how we do it (and how we also write return codes to the eventlog):

object.Run(strCommand, [intWindowStyle],[bWaitOnReturn])  

Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
spath = objShell.CurrentDirectory

If fso.FileExists(spath & "\IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe") Then
	path = """" & spath & "\IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe" & """ /passive /norestart /update-no"
	objShell.Run(path, 1 ,True)
	i = 0
	i = objShell.Run(path, 1 ,True)
	If (i = 0) Or (i = 3010) Then 
		'WRITE EXIT CODE [0-success/3010-success&requires reboot] TO EVENTLOG
		objShell.LogEvent vbLogSuccess, sLogHeader & "Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 installation completed successfully." & VbCrLf & "Exit code: " & i
		MsgBox "The installation of Microsoft...
Eshwar | 13 May 2008 | 5 comments

You can find whether a software package is installed on computers on you network by querying the [Inv_AeX_OS_Add_Remove_Programs] table.

Here's how to find the machine name by joining the [Inv_AeX_AC_Identification] table.


SELECT DISTINCT(ACI.[Name]) AS 'Machine Name', ACI.[Domain] AS 'Domain', ARP.[Name] AS 'Application Name'
FROM  [Inv_AeX_AC_Identification] ACI 
INNER JOIN [Inv_AeX_OS_Add_Remove_Programs] ARP 
ON ACI.[_ResourceGuid] = ARP.[_ResourceGuid] 
WHERE ARP.[Name] LIKE '%Application Name%' 

Eshwar | 12 May 2008 | 1 comment

Did you know you could retrieve hardware serial numbers and memory module information from your Inventory Solution data? It's possible by joining [Inv_AeX_HW_Serial_Number] and [Inv_AeX_HW_Memory_Modules] tables with [Inv_AeX_AC_Identification].

Here's the syntax:


SELECT DISTINCT(ACI.[Name]) AS 'Machine Name', AHS.[Serial Number] AS 'Serial Number', MM.[Size], MM.[Type]
FROM [Inv_AeX_AC_Identification] ACI
INNER JOIN [Inv_AeX_HW_Serial_Number] AHS ON ACI.[_ResourceGuid] = AHS.[_ResourceGuid]
JOIN [Inv_AeX_HW_Memory_Modules] MM ON MM.[_ResourceGuid] = ACI.[_ResourceGuid]  

vortex0007 | 07 May 2008 | 0 comments

Active Directory and Altiris Notification Server seem to have a love hate relationship. The Active Directory connector loves to import user names and computer names, but it hates to do anything related to group membership. A common request has been the ability to incorporate user group information from Active Directory into collections in order to allow user based software delivery. In other words, install Quickbooks to all of the users who are in the Accounting OU. This tip steps through how to accomplish this.

The first step is to create a connection between the Microsoft SQL Server hosting the Altiris databases and the Active Directory. This is accomplished through a SQL concept known as "Linked Servers." There is a bit of black magic to making linked servers work and a full technical drill down into how they work is beyond the...