General
CSI_GetSpecialFolderToCMD Easily Retrieving Windows “Special” Folders in .CMD/.BAT and VBScripts. Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, December 16, 2011 12:00am

In preparation for a Windows 7 migration the folder references in countless scripts used by administrators may need updating due to the changes in the standard Windows folder locations.  With the broad support for 64-bit Windows, there are also some path variances on the 64-bit platform.  If these scripts are updated with new literal location references they won’t work for both OSes during the migration and may not work on 64-bit Windows 7 or later on Windows 8.  Let’s look at how to modify your scripts so they work on all these variations simultaneously and become future proof.  This article also contains a very cool technique and sample code for being able to retrieve any special folder location in a shell script (.cmd or .bat) using a small VBScript.

 
VMware Workstation 8 Auto-shutdown Script for Shared VMs Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, November 18, 2011 2:16am

VMware Workstation 8 added the ability to auto-start virtual machines in the background.  This excellent piece of functionality taken from the server product makes workstation like a mini-VM Server.  Except that auto-shutdown has not been provided.  This post tell you how to configure auto-start VMs and gives you a Windows Shutdown script that will auto-shutdown any shared vms that are running.

 
Print Drivers - Verifying Them and Isolating Them In Memory Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, October 17, 2011 12:48pm

We recently ran an article about compatibility problems with Windows 32 to 64-bit thunking layer (splwow64.exe).  There is actually a testing tool to verify whether print drivers follow development best practices and some group policy settings to control whether print drivers are run in their own isolated process.  Both of these can be handy when working with printing on 64-bit Windows.

 
Packaging Skills for 2012 and Beyond Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Sunday, October 16, 2011 4:58pm

I had the privilege of speaking at the PDS Packaging Event 2011 in Amsterdam.  I have posted the presentation to this article.

 
64-bit Has Two System Profile Folders Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, October 14, 2011 7:29am

64-bit Windows redirects the "System32" folder for 32-bit processes.  On Windows 7 the system account's profile folder lives in "..\System32\config\systemprofile".  It is also redirected when accessed from a 32-bit process.  This has a direct affect on packages that are run under the system account (many software distribution systems), but perform operations on the user profile.

 
Wise Folds Into to InstallShield Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, October 8, 2011 9:45am

Although there have been rumblings for quite some time, the beloved Wise Package Studio is bowing out with a tip of the hat to Installsheild.  I still remember conversations with the folks at wise when they were first hatching the idea to create an administrator's tool...

 
Best Practice: Use GPO to Disable PCA and UAC Virtualization for Testing Software Developed for Windows 7 Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 4:23pm

For software developers on Windows 7, Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) and UAC Virtualization may mask application problems that should be fixed in the source code.  IT professionals supporting software developers should consider disabling these settings for computers and user ids that are used to test software.

 
Alumni Only Event: CSI-330 Provisioning and Supporting Applications on 64-bit Windows Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 9:52am

If you haven't heard, we've added a new 64-bit course day to the schedule.   Some of our alumni accounts are not active, so I wanted to get this message out on our general blog and mailing list as well.  

All CSI-Windows.com and DesktopEngineer.com training alumni can take a special stand alone verison of the class with the special pricing of $250. You may also invite one non-alumni guest at this price provided that you do a group registration with both of you and that materials are shipped to the same address.

 
FastCopy - Super Fast and Much More! Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, May 16, 2011 3:42pm

Recently I needed to copy files from a failing drive.  With Windows Copy this is a pain because if reads bad data it chokes and I am left trying to figure what was copied and what was not and what more can be salvaged.  Fast copy to the rescue - but first, let's talk about the FAST part...

 
Using MSI 5 Fully Cached Packages On the Sourcelist Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, May 9, 2011 9:49am

Windows Installer on Windows 7 has a nasty little secret!  It caches the ENTIRE MSI file.  Surely it must then use it as the source location right?  Nope!  But where there is a will, there is a way (sometimes the wrong way, but that's for another time ;)

 
Windows 7: New Properties in Win32_Product Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, April 11, 2011 1:54pm

Although these new properties were available as of Vista, you may not be aware of them due to skipping Vista.

 
Library of App-V Package Acclerators Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, April 4, 2011 12:25pm

Microsoft is providing a bunch of freely downloadable App-V Package Accelerators (recipies feature added the recent SP1) for their own software and select free software applications.  They are up to 17 as of this writing.

 
Use VMWare Workstation 7.1.4 for Windows 7 SP1 Host Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, April 1, 2011 10:55am

Previously we reported that applying SP1 to a computer that was running VMWare Workstation could cause VMs to be very slow and in some cases cause them to crash.  Workstation 7.1.4 has been released and addresses this problem.

 
Frustrations with Printing and Creating PDFs from 32-bit PDF Applications and PDF Viewers on Win7 64-bit (splwow64.exe) Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:21am

When a 32-bit program need to print, it uses a special program called splwow64.exe (print thunking layer) to talk to 64-bit printer drivers.  PDF printers and some viewers seem to have quite a few challenges with this approach.  Here's how I solved my challenges with free alternatives.  Also have a few observations about the HP Unversal driver and splwow64.exe.

 
How Windows Installer Processes Packages on 64-bit Windows Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:00am

Any given .MSI package is processed as either 32-bit or 64-bit.  Depending on the bitness of the process that starts msiexec.exe, the 32 or 64-bit client process may process the user interface of the package, but in the end it is always handed over to the 64-bit Windows Installer Service.  Let's unravel some of the mysteries of how this all works and any implications for your packages and processes.

 
New Schedule Additions Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:06am
The schedule contains new offerings for App-V Sequencing Engineer (ENG-70), Win7 LUA/Non-Admin Application Integration Engineer (ENG-60) and Windows 7 Packaging Engineer (ENG-51) (with the new 64-bit day!).  Check the schedule here.
 
App-V 4.6 SP1 Is Released Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, March 14, 2011 2:52pm

Microsoft has release App-V 4.6 SP1.  There are some very cool sequencer upgrades in this release.  Here are the details on the upgrade and the easiest way to get the upgrade (some public downloads).

 
Scripting, Migrating and Managing Registry Data In 64-bit Windows Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, March 3, 2011 2:33pm

Working in an environment of mixed 32-bit and 64-bit Windows can mean some frustration when managing registry settings for 32-bit software.  In this article we give a description of the challenges, tips and and techniques and a very handy .REG file to ease your frustration!

 
Go Slow: VMware Workstation 7 and Win7 SP1 Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:57pm

Installing SP1 on a Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 machine that runs VMWare Workstation may cause serious problems with your VMs.  This article contains the documented workaround.

 
Windows 7 and Server 2008 SP1 Has Been Released: 800 Hotfixes Rollup. Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:42am

Windows 7 SP1 has been released by Microsoft.  Although notable new functionality for Windows 7 is a short list, the service pack rolls up almost 800 hotfixes.

 
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