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Vista Repackaing Best Practices with Wise Package Studio 1/4

Created: 14 Jan 2008 • Updated: 21 May 2009 | 2 comments
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hotans's picture
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Beginning with this article, that is the first part of four documents, I will show the current Vista Repackaging Best Practices.

It's useful documentation for those of you who are currently repackaging on Windows XP and are planning to move to Windows Vista.

I have decided to split the article up into four parts:

Part 1: Preparing Wise Package Studio Part 2: Vista Features that Impact Repackaging Part 3: Managing Application Compatibility Part 4: Update to the Windows Installer 4 and 4.5 Features

Preparing Wise Package Studio

Preparing Wise Package Studio is the very beginning for repackaging on Windows Vista. The current release of Wise Package Studio is version 7 SP2. Make sure that your SP2 has the latest hot fixes installed Altiris KB25971. WPS 7 SP2 does not include an exclusion list for Vista, therefore a snapshot will contain duplicate resources that could confuse the packager. Simply exclude the following resources and the setup-capture inclusion will show up as usual.

The Exclusion List
C:\Users\All Users\*
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\RegMuiCache
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

Of course this is a small exclusion list for Vista and you truly have to add additional keys and files to the exclusion list.

Wise Package Studio 7 SP3 will have full Vista support that should make it obsolete to modify the exclusion list.

The most confusing part are the files because Vista has a new special folder structure for the user files as well virtual directories that simulates the W2K and XP folder layout (that's the reason why files could be added twice into the snap-shot). In a CMD windows use dir /a and it will show you all the junctions and symlinks.

Here is an overview of the most important folders:

Windows Installer Windows XP Windows Vista
  %userprofile%\Application Data %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming
  %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data %userprofile%\AppData\Local
  n/a %userprofile%\AppData\LocalLow
  %userprofile%\My Documents %userprofile%\Documents
  %profilefolder%\AllUsers\Application Data %SystemDrive%\ProgramData

Remember that the MSI template is using the NT4 file structure and it will still show a file that needs to be installed to C:\ProgramData as Windows\Profiles\All Users\Application Data as example.

The User Account Control (UAC)

The new UAC Feature of Vista contains a lot of sub features that have the most impact into repackaging in Vista environments. Part 2 of this article will cover them.

In general the UAC will not be disabled on the end-users machines (however UAC sub features can be disabled depending on the business of a company).

Well the best practice for repackaging an application is to disable the UAC. The setup-capture will capture the installation in a clean environment. This helps to improve the ROI of a package. If an UAC feature will not be available in future Windows releases, the created package will still install normally.

Of course the package testing and UAC has to be done in the same environment as a standard user. That means for the most Vista environments with standard user rights and enabled UAC.

If UAC is enabled on the packaging machine, you will be prompted to run WPS. This can be suppressed by using a manifest:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0">
  <v3:trustInfo xmlns:v3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">
        <v3:requestedExecutionLevel level="highestAvailable" />

With these details you should be able to repackage applications as usual. In the next part I will have a closer look on the new Vista Features especially on the UAC sub features.

Vista Repackaging Best Practices with Wise Package Studio - index of articles

Vista Repackaging Best Practices with Wise Package Studio: Part 2

Comments 2 CommentsJump to latest comment

R-Vijay's picture

hi buddy...,

We are expecting the next part of this series.. :)
When can we expect the same??


Microsoft MVP [Setup-Deploy]

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CableGuy41's picture

nice article


Do not forget to mark a SOLUTION

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