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Showing posts tagged with Basics
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WiseUser | 05 Oct 2007 | 1 comment

Here are a few questions (and their answers) about some obvious and some obscure Wise Package Studio functionality -- just to make sure you're keeping up with your homework. There will be a test at the end of the semester so read up ;)

  1. Which capture method should you use to capture registry keys and replace files that are same version and service on a clean machine?
  2. Where do resources reside?
  3. What Type of update must you do if the product code and the version of an application installation changes?
  4. Files added to your installation acquire the attributes (such as hidden or read only) of the original files stored where?
  5. In Which installation sequences should you place install MSI custom actions?
  6. What is a Primary Key?
    A: Unique identifier that identifies a record in a table from other records.
  7. ...
R-Vijay | 04 Oct 2007 | 2 comments

Here's a list of tools and utilities that are part of the Windows Installer SDK. Hopefully this short reference will help you find the right tool for the right job.

Allows you to open a Windows Installer database as a database and examine or make changes to it, for example with Notepad.

Informs custom.doc to update the files around it.

Updates the file table sizes and version from source file tree. This is much like MSIFiler.exe.

Generates or applies a transform file and can be used to view the transform file. Compares two databases (such as ms.db and custom.db) and generates the transform file.

Allows you to get Windows Installer back to a clean state. This support tool helps Windows Installer maintain the configuration data about all applications.
WiDiffDB.vbs Lists the differences between two databases (CSCRIPT...

WiseUser | 03 Oct 2007 | 3 comments

Source Resiliency: Applications that rely on network resources for installation-on-demand are susceptible to source failures if the source location should change for any reason or become damaged.

The Microsoft® Windows® Installer provides source resiliency for features that are installed on-demand by using a source list.

The source list contains the locations searched by the installer for installation packages. The entries in this list can be

1) Network locations
2) Uniform Resource Locators (URLs),
3) Compact discs.

If one of these sources fails, the installer can quickly and seamlessly try the next.

R-Vijay | 03 Oct 2007 | 0 comments

Here's a nice tip that explains the advantages (and disadvantages) of two capture mechanisms and how to use them both to create the best possible installation packages.


This Setup Capture mechanism monitors and records the installation's operations as they happen. This method is faster than snapshot comparisons, because it doesn't require a time-consuming scan of the computer. SmartMonitor records the following operations:

  1. Copying, moving, deleting, or opening a file.
  2. Replacing files even if they are the same size, modification date, and version.
  3. Creating or removing a directory.
  4. Creating, starting, stopping, or deleting a service.
  5. Setting or deleting a registry value, creating or deleting a registry key.
  6. Overwriting existing registry keys with the same value.
  7. Installing ODBC drivers or configuring ODBC data sources.
  8. Changing .INI files regardless of their location.
  9. ...
R-Vijay | 02 Oct 2007 | 1 comment

Components are collections of resources that are always installed or removed as a unit from a user's system. A resource can be a file, registry key, shortcut, or anything else that may be installed. Every component is assigned a unique component code GUID.

Few Component Rules are listed below:

  1. Two components must not have the same key path file. The key path value points to a particular file or folder belonging to the component that the installer uses to detect the component. If two components had the same key path file, the installer would be unable to distinguish which component is installed.
  2. No file, registry entry, shortcut, or other resources should ever be shipped as a member of more than one component. This applies across products, product versions, and companies.
  3. Never create two components that install...
eorme | 02 Oct 2007 | 2 comments

Deployment Solution for Dell Servers leverages the IPMIutil project for interaction with Dell servers via their Base Management Controllers. The supplemental file available for download with Deployment Solution for Dell Servers contains a copy of IPMIutil 1.9.8.

Recently, IPMIutil version 2.0 has been released with several enhancements and bug fixes. The most significant of these changes is a bugfix that fixes a problem that existed when trying to discover or perform remote power control commands with Dell 1855 blades.

To upgrade the version of IPMIutil used by Deployment Solution for Dell Servers and take advantage of these features, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit and download the file: (this contains the windows version of ipmiutil)
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded zip file, and...
Harsh Mokal | 25 Sep 2007 | 2 comments

Shutting down a Windows Installer-based installation can cause subsequent installations to fail. Use this tip to get them started again.

When Windows Installer is invoked to process a Installer database file (.MSI), information is input into the following registry key:


This tells the Windows Installer service that an installation is processing so it can back out from a failed installation. Also, in the environment-defined TEMP directory, temporary files will exist from the installation.

When you attempt to shutdown a Windows Installer installation by means other than the method provided through the Cancel button, the entries in the registry and the files in the TEMP directory can remain. By shutting down by non-normal means, this...

WiseUser | 24 Sep 2007 | 2 comments

Have you ever wondered why Add/Remove Programs doesn't remove everything you think it should? WiseUser enlightens us with these answers to a few questions from the "mysteries of life" folder.

There are four common reasons for why files may not be removed during uninstallation:

  • The components to which these files belong are marked as permanent. (This is done through the Attributes column of the Component table.)
  • None of the components to which these files belong have component GUIDs. (The value for the component in the ComponentId column of the Component table is NULL). Components without GUIDs are not managed by Windows Installer.
  • If the keypath of the component has a shared DLL refcount, then the component will not be uninstalled.
  • If the component is installed in the system folder and at the time of...
WiseUser | 24 Sep 2007 | 1 comment

Transitive components are those which evaluate their conditions during repair/modify mode. The creator of the installation package specifies those components that need to be swapped out during a system upgrade as having the transitive attribute.

Learn more aobut these components (and how they can change your life, or not) here.

Let's take an example:

Component name: MYCOMPONENT
Condition on component: VARFLAG="TRUE"
Description: Installs a text file (mytest.txt for example) in Program Files\Test

Non transitive:

If this component was non transitive, it would evaluate the condition VARFLAG="TRUE" only at install time to determine if the file mytest.txt should be installed or not. Now, if you were to repair this package, the condition on the component is not evaluated and the file mytest.txt is not...

cnpalmer75 | 21 Sep 2007 | 18 comments

Remember that {choke}cute{cough} owl that the sales guys used to hand out on their visits to coerce, I mean, to propose your purchase of an Altiris product?

Well that guy used to be called Solution Sam, now he has gone into hibernation somewhere, or was killed when they cut down his giant redwood tree to print up more Altiris manuals.

Either way, his legacy lives on as a website, and now you can go right there to get all of the latest and greatest binaries for each Altiris solution.

This gets updated all the time. Sometimes without ever changing the actual version of a solution, just the size of the files change for some reason. But the XML file's date will tell you when it was last updated. Sneaky, sneaky.

Here's the site: