A .manifest File Can Be Virtualized Print E-mail
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:54pm

If you include a <trustinfo> section in a .manifest file for an EXE, virtualization is disabled for that EXE.  However, if you are not careful, you can end up creating a virtualized .manifest and it will be …


Notepad will not create a virtualized manifest because it never runs virtualized itself.  However, if you run a different text editor, without elevating, creating or editing a manifest creates a virtualized copy.  Of course when the operating system loads an EXE it is not virtualized and will always see only what is in the actual Program Files folder.


Microsoft blocks .EXEs, .DLLs and .OCXs from being virtualized.  You can test this by creating a text file in a virtualized session of a text editor and then trying to save it in a program files folder with one an EXE or DLL extension.  Its too bad they didn’t also block the .manifest extension as well – it would probably save quite a few hours of collective head banging.  It would have saved me around 20 minutes too ;)

P.S. Remember that the other reason that your manifest may be ignored is that the EXE has an internal manifest.  Internal and external manifests are not overlayed – so if there is no <trustinfo> section in the internal manifest, it still overrides the entire external manifest.


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