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Showing posts tagged with Best Practice
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WiseUser | 13 May 2008 | 4 comments

A cabinet is a single file, usually with a .cab extension, that stores compressed files in a file library. The cabinet format is an efficient way to package multiple files because compression is performed across file boundaries, which significantly improves the compression ratio.

Read on to learn more about cabinets and why they're a good thing.

Best practice is to compile the package to get an external .cab:

  • It is always better to get an external .cab file for distribution.
  • It's easy to share or distribute .cab files since they are seperate from the MSI database.
  • You can extract files from a .cab as easily as you can extract files from a .zip archive.
  • You can always get the installation files with the help of the .cab file even if the .msi is corrupted.
  • Internal .cab compiling makes the...
WiseUser | 06 May 2008 | 0 comments

Scenario: If D drive is present then the application should install in D drive instead of the primary active drive.

Solution: This can be done using the system search function in Wise Package Studio.

Step 1: We can set a variable VARDIR to Null in properties section.

Step 2: In System Search choose search type : File \ Directory, Property Name as VARDIR, Search Value as D:\.

Step 3: Write a Set directory Custom action that sets the installdir to the install dir, say D:\apps\CATS and set the condition as VARDIR<> NULL.

VARDIR variable gets the value as D:\ when D drive is present and writable, hence the application will install the files to the said drive D:\apps\CATS.

If it returns NULL, meaning the D drive is absent, then the install dir will be the primary drive....

MyersW | 05 May 2008 | 14 comments

So the debate went through our office about what is the best pre-image environment... WinPE, BartPE, Linux or DOS. Consequently, we tried to do a complete analysis of many of the factors and determine what is really the fastest route to take. In the end, it all comes down to how quick we can get our imaging done and move on to other projects.

We took an older Compaq D5M as workstation to image and ran it through some tests. The workstation has a 10/100 MB NIC and was imaged from a server across a LAN link. All networking equipment in the link was at least 10/100 MB. We first pulled down a 4.5 GB image using each of the pre-image environments. What we found was...

Environment Time Approx. Avg. Speed
DOS 20:29 10-15 Megs
BartPE...
WiseUser | 01 May 2008 | 0 comments

Definition: A user profile is a group of settings and files that defines the environment that the system loads when a user logs on.

It includes all the user-specific configuration settings, such as program items, screen colors, network connections, printer connections, mouse settings, and window size and position.

How to copy the files to user profiles using wise script

A Profile can be roaming profile or a local profile.

We have to search for the following registry value to get hold of users My documents or app data folders.

Profile whose user profile is redirected to H :\

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders]
"AppData"="C:\\Documents and Settings\\{USER}\\Application Data"
"Cookies"="C:\\Documents and Settings\\{USER}\\Cookies"
"Desktop"="H:\\...
Kinetic | 24 Apr 2008 | 11 comments

I was setting up an NS server today for the first time and ran into some problems.

Everything installed just fine. Across the board everything looked green, but then I tried to setup up the proxy configuration in the console.

IIS crashes. I reset it and again it crashes.

What in the world did I do wrong?

I didn't RDP into the server using the /console switch:

mstsc /console

After that, I did a complete reinstall and everything went smooth.

This is VERY important when working with servers, especially an Altiris server. In fact, you should probably just set a shortcut to always use the /console switch. Seems like something we all take for granted, until the one time you don't use it and everything gets hosed.

UPDATE - With Vista the switch is mstsc /admin. - Thanks Caleywoods!

PRASANNA KUMAR RAJA | 23 Apr 2008 | 1 comment

Windows Installer can use logging to help assist in troubleshooting issues with installing software packages. This logging is enabled by adding keys and values to the registry. After the entries have been added and enabled, you can retry the problem installation and Windows Installer will track the progress and post it to the Temp folder.

The new log's file name is random, but begins with the letters "MSI" and end with a .log extension.

To find the Temp folder location type the following in the address field of Windows Explorer: %temp%

or

Type the following at a command prompt: cd %temp%

Open the registry with Regedt32.exe and create the following path and keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
Reg_SZ: Logging
Value: voicewarmup 

The letters in the value field...

PRASANNA KUMAR RAJA | 18 Apr 2008 | 5 comments

Per machine advertisement followed by installation by a normal user account is the most comprehensive test for this situation. As an administrator use the following command line to advertise the application to the local machine.

Msiexec.exe /jm package.msi ALLUSERS=1 /qb

Then...

Logon with a normal user account and trigger the installation process by running the shortcut or via a file type association. The application should start and run the with no problems at this point.

Shadrocks | 16 Apr 2008 | 6 comments

A simple tip to track changes is to create a registry key under "HKLM\Software\\". When you run scripts or installations it is simple through almost all languages to add a string value with some information like install time.

By creating these keys, it becomes very simple to create logic in DS deployment scripts to make decision trees for future deployments and upgrades. This is also helpful for future auditing.

REG (REG /? from a DOS prompt to get help) is a magnificent tool to add registry entries with through DOS and it’s built into XP SP2. It can also be used to Query your key. Vbscript uses RegWrite and RegRead to perform the same actions.

Good luck with your new tracking options!

Shadrocks | 16 Apr 2008 | 0 comments

It has been through experience that we learn new ways to solve problems when we are confronted with them. Here are a few tricks that I have used to get around some Altiris DS limitations.

Use Add/Remove Programs to track distributions through Deployment Solution.

For image updates I utilize an Add/Remove Programs entry to track the image version. I can then track how many of each version has been deployed. I can also use this to deploy fixes to specific images if needed.

The entry can be added under “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall”. Just add a new key with the name of your choosing and place a string value called DisplayName in it with the information you want displayed. By doing this, you can use your DS console to filter for information you have deployed using the ‘Application...

TilakGovind | 14 Apr 2008 | 8 comments

There would be some situations where we need to call Batch file from Scripts. Here the script to call INSTALL.bat

  1. Copy the below code to Notepad.
    Function Tilak()
    dim shell
    set shell=createobject("wscript.shell")
    shell.run "INSTALL.bat"
    set shell=nothing
    
    End Function
    
  2. Save the file as .VBS
  3. Then use this VBscript in Wise Package Studio's CustomActions pane.