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CondorMan | 20 Jun 2008 | 8 comments

A useful feature that allows you to use any data in your Deployment Server database in a script task is Custom Tokens. The syntax for a custom token is %#*"Your SQL Query Here"%. Here are some custom tokens that might come in handy.


will return the current date and time.

%#*"SELECT @@servername"%

will return the name of the SQL Server.

%#*"SELECT FROM computer c, computer_group g WHERE c.group_id = g.group_id AND c.computer_id = %ID%"%

will return the name of the group that this computer is a member of.

Martin Charker | 20 Jun 2008 | 0 comments

Here's the scenario: you have an HP server and you need to rebuild it. To do this you need to pxe boot it, but its off site and you have no remote view when the OS is not up :-( Well I had to do this and not just 1 server... double :-( Luckily I came across a tool in the HP SmartStart Scripting Toolkit, called setbootorder.exe.

It lets me change the boot order from Windows (or WinPE) to any order I need. So I set it to Network first and at the end of the deployment I set it back to Hard Disk (If only it worked on IBM servers I'd be a happy man).

You just run "setbootorder pxe hd cdrom usb floppy" in any order you need and that's it, job done!

The Toolkit has a number of other tools in it, but this is the only one I have needed to use so far. Hope it helps someone out!

The Toolkit can be found at:...

CondorMan | 18 Jun 2008 | 1 comment

Sometimes a Windows Executable, Script, or Command will fail with an error. What does that mean?

While there is no enforced set of error code meanings, most executables and all system commands follow a standard definition of error codes.

You can find out the meanings by viewing Microsoft's list of Windows Error Codes and their descriptions here.

You might want to add that link to your favorites.

Martin Charker | 18 Jun 2008 | 0 comments

Registration for ManageFusion EMEA 08 is now open. See

When: 7-9 October 2008
Where: World Forum Convention Center, The Hague, Netherlands

Early Bird Price: €995 — Valid until 15 July
Regular Price: €1,395 — Valid 16 July to 15 September
Late/Onsite price: €1,495 — Valid 16 September to 9 October

CondorMan | 18 Jun 2008 | 0 comments

Have you ever wanted to start, stop, delete, create, or configure a service in your batch script? The "SC" command will allow you to do this and more.

Here are a few examples of how you can use this command:

Start a service sc start ServiceName
Stop a service sc stop ServiceName
Delete a service sc delete ServiceName
Create a service sc create ServiceName binPath="C:\Program Files\InstallDir\Service.exe" start=auto
Configure a service sc config ServiceName <options>

For more information about the settings you can make when creating and configuring services, go to a command prompt and type "sc create /?" and "sc config /?"

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.

piyushnasa | 03 Jun 2008 | 2 comments

There are 3 types of properties in Windows Installer; namely: Public Property, Private Property and Restricted Public Property.

Here's what you need to include Public Properties in Restricted Public Properties.

Public property can be changed from command line while installing the package whereas private properties cannot be changed from command line.

Restricted public properties can be only changed by a system administrator or by a user who has elevated privileges.

To include public properties in Restricted public properties, add them to the SecureCustomProperties property.

Generally we add INSTALLDIR and UPGRADE_1 properties as Restricted public property.

Here UPGRADE_1 refers to the Upgrade action name which is there in your package.

piyushnasa | 02 Jun 2008 | 3 comments

Hopefully this information will help aspiring packagers become the Juice Ninjas they're destined to be.

These are the most Frequently asked queries about Windows Installer.

Q. What is Windows Installer?

A. Windows Installer is a system service for installing and managing applications. It provides a standard method for developing, customizing, installing, and updating applications.

Q. What basic functionality is provided by Windows Installer?

A. Windows Installer provides the following basic functions:

  • Transactional operations: All installation operations are transactional. For each operation that Windows Installer performs, it generates an equivalent undo operation that would undo the change made to the system. If a failure occurs during the middle of an installation, Windows Installer can roll back the machine to its original state.
  • Self-healing: Windows Installer supports "self-...
CondorMan | 23 May 2008 | 5 comments

If you are using WinPE 1.6, you will probably be interested to know that you can enable AClient Remote Control. This allows you to right-click any computer that is running a job in automation so that you can view the progress and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. If you notice that a computer has been stuck in automation for a long time, you can simply remote control the computer to fix the problem.

To enable AClient Remote Control in WinPE 1.6, you will need to edit your Boot Disk Configuration (From PXE or the Boot Disk Creator).

  1. On step 8, you will have the chance to edit the aclient.inp file.
  2. Replace ";PromptRemoteControl=Yes | No" with "PromptRemoteControl=No"
  3. Replace ";AllowRemoteControl=Yes | No" with "AllowRemoteControl=Yes"
  4. Save the changes to aclient.inp
  5. Regenerate your boot environment.

Now you can remote control your clients while they are in WinPE Automation!

erikw | 19 May 2008 | 0 comments

This video walks you trough the creation of a package (WinZip v9) using Wise SetupCapture. It defines and describes the benefits of repackaging before going into a step-by-step video using SetupCapture to repackage WinZip. The demonstration uses the Snapshot and InstallMonitor methods to create a WSI project file for WinZip. Then it takes you to Wise Windows Installer Editor for final cleanup and compilation actions.