ScottK - accept no imitations!
Monday, April 05, 2010
Echo 20100405 - .MSI files, the C:\Windows\Installer directory, and other Windows things – Part 1
(Note: When indicated, this is an ECHO of a blog posting from another blog of mine - I try to keep them separate, but occasionally I feel the need to increase the bandwidth of the message posted - Thanks!)
April 05, 2010
.MSI files, the C:\Windows\Installer directory, and other Windows things – Part 1
I know that I’ve been very dilatory in posting anything on my blog for some time now, but a recent series of events dealing with a few upgrades for Windows software on my main system.
Let me set the scene first: This is a very nice, self-built system comprising the following:
MSI NF750-G55 nForce 750a AMD AM3 Motherboard
AMD Athlon™ II X4 620 Box ADX620WFGIBOX AM3
Patriot G-Series 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Desktop Memory
eVGA GeForce 9800 GT OVERCLOCKED
ViXS PureTV-U 4880 NTSC & ATSC TV Tuner
Sony Multi-Card Reader
80GB Seagate ST380817 SATA
80GB Western Digital WD800JB-00JJA0 PATA
250GB Western Digital WD25 00KS-00MJB0 SATA
(3) 80GB Seagate ST380013AS SATA (RAID-0)
Sony DVD+-RW Burner
VIZIO VMM26 F201 26" LCD HD Display
HP Pavilion f1503 15" LCD Display
Microsoft Natural Wireless Ergonomic Desktop 7000 w/ Mouse
Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
Windows Media Center Remote and IR Receiver
Ergodex DX1 Custom Keypad
It’s running Windows 7 Ultimate 32 (Yes, I know….I’m doing it for hardware & software compatibility reasons), and its running very nicely. It’s also a dual-boot to XP64, so I *do* have some 64-bit OS & Software goodness in it.
In the quest to try and keep my system’s hard drive relatively junk-free, I went on a spring-cleaning rampage and cleaned-out a whole lot of things that I was absolutely certain that I did not need. Suffice it to say that in the course of events, I was somewhat less than careful. I was positive that I didn’t need all of the .MSI files for Windows software that had previously been installed on my system – software that I was positive that it would be easily upgradable at a later date.
Well, today I wanted to take a deeper look at Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope software, but I was running an older version and was informed to upgrade to the latest version. “Oh, cool!”, I thought; a newer version of WWT!!. So, I went to download and install it; lo and behold, it wouldn’t install…well, it was more like the previous version would not uninstall itself:
Product: Microsoft WorldWide Telescope -- Error 1714. The older version of Microsoft WorldWide Telescope cannot be removed. Contact your technical support group. System Error 1612.
Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: Microsoft WorldWide Telescope. Product Version: 2.5.32. Product Language: 1033. Manufacturer: Microsoft Research. Installation success or error status: 1603.
Why? Well, apparently one of the directories and files I removed in my zealous attempt at reducing hard-drive bloat was…you guessed it…the install directory for WWT!!
I was (fortunately) able to find a previous version, run the install to remove it, and that fixed that problem…but it wouldn’t be the last!
Another prefacing: I have a *very* customized desktop for Windows 7. A total of 25 Gadgets, following everything from my system’s stats (CPU load, memory, disk space, networking, etc) to Weather, local traffic, earthquake & tsunami warnings, and time & weather for 9 time zones! Thankfully, I have two monitors on this system. I also have two programs that can bring to my desktop a selection of applications that I frequently use: one is a sidebar-like Windows application that was designed to run on Sony VAIO computers sold only in Japan (The VAIO Launcher from Sony). It contains individual tiles for applications to be dropped-on, and comes to focus when I move my mouse pointer to the left-edge of the screen. The other is a very cool application called “Circle Dock”. It presents a rotatable, circular program manager in the middle of your screen, and can be programmed to pop-up and have focus via keyboard key combinations, or any of the buttons on your mouse. I’ll post some desktop snapshots in the next couple of days or so.
Now, as I continued to check on some other things, I examined the icons on the Launcher bar, and noticed that the icon for Microsoft Intellipoint was missing. I checked the location of the app, and all seemed to be ok, so I removed it and replaced it with a copy of the actual shortcut. I then tried to launch it, and it failed with a Compatibility message from Windows:
The application (IntelliType / IntelliPoint, from vendor Microsoft) was hard-blocked and raised the following: IntelliType / IntelliPoint has a known compatibility issue with this version of Windows.
Fault bucket 568586630, type 5
Event Name: ApphelpHardBlock
Cab Id: 0
These files may be available here:
Rechecking for solution: 0
Report Id: 2a0b9e71-4111-11df-b7a0-001915673101
Report Status: 16
With that, I downloaded the latest version of Intellipoint to install it – you can guess the rest…FAIL!! Again, bitten by the error-bug I created by removing all of those .MSI files!
Product: Microsoft IntelliPoint 7.1 -- Error 1714. The older version of Microsoft IntelliPoint 7.1 cannot be removed. Contact your technical support group. System Error 1612.
Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: Microsoft IntelliPoint 7.1. Product Version: 7.10.344.0. Product Language: 1033. Manufacturer: Microsoft. Installation success or error status: 1603.
By this time, I was really getting frustrated with myself, and wanted to get this resolved. Again, I was able to download the previous version, but this time around I was blocked by the fact that the version I was wanting to install threw the same Compatibility error as before. What to do, what to do!
Here is where the files were being unpacked from the MSI file:
Beginning a Windows Installer transaction: G:\266748f04fc9156dec93c19c79c2ff\ipoint\setup\IP.msi. Client Process Id: 7908.
Well, I got sneaky; I found the directory that was built by the IP32Eng126.96.36.199 installer as the Install started to unpack the files for the actual install, and copy all of them to another directory on that hard drive, and then let the Compatibility Error message go and cancel the install.
This is where I copied the entire install tree from:
Beginning a Windows Installer transaction: G:\Intellipoint 6.3\ipoint\setup\ip63.msi. Client Process Id: 7616.
After that, I dug into the new directory, and was able to run the SETUP.EXE binary (not the MSI file) and BADA-BOOM, Intellipoint 6.3 graciously and somewhat-surprisingly un-installed itself without any intervention on my part. I was then able to install Intellipoint 7.10 with no troubles.
The moral to this story is this: DON’T TOUCH THOSE INSTALLER DIRECTORIES WITH .MSI FILES!!! Make room from some other place on your hard drive before you removed them! My little escapade may give you some ideas to get around similar troubles with install & un-install troubles, especially with Compatibility Errors with Windows 7. It just takes a little ingenuity, patience and the now-common “Thinking-outside-the-box” approach to get around these issues, but the easier path is not to get yourself into these spots of trouble by planning ahead and being very careful with your Windows Installation. If you do end-up in a similar scenario, your Event Viewer under Control Panel>Administrative
Finally, about the C:\windows\installer directory. I have been experiencing some odd behavior with this directory on my system recently, specifically with permissions being changed or reverted to prevent access to the directory from the “SYSTEM” Account during installs. The error is asserted as follows:
Error 1603: A fatal error occurred during installation.
it usually means that something has happened to the permissions for C:\Windows\Installer directory to prevent access to that directory for the “SYSTEM” Account – which is crucial for .MSI and other Installer scripts.
Now, I know that you’re going to say “Scott – I don’t see that directory on my system…why?” Well, it’s an intentionally-hidden directory. To see these directories, open up a Windows Explorer window, and on the menu bar click on Tools>Folder Options – this will bring-up the Folder Options property sheet. Click on the “View” tab, and in the list below UNCHECK “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” and click “OK”. Now, if you go into the C:Windows folder, you will now see the “Installer” folder.
To fix this error and get your Installs (or un-installs) working properly again, do the following:
To grant Full Control permissions to the SYSTEM account, follow these steps:
1. On the Windows desktop, double-click My Computer. The My Computer window appears.
2. Right-click the drive that you want to install the Windows Installer package to, and then click Properties.
3. Click the Security tab.
4. On the Security tab, do the following:If you are using Microsoft Windows 2000, verify that the Name box contains the SYSTEM user account.
If you are using Microsoft Windows XP, verify that the Group or user names box contains the SYSTEM user account.
If the SYSTEM user account does not appear in the box, follow these steps to add the SYSTEM account to the box:Click Add. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.
In the Name field, click SYSTEM, and then click Add.
5. In the Permissions section, click to select the Full Control check box under Allow, and then click Advanced.
6. Do the following:If you are using Windows XP, in the dialog box that appears, click to select the Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects check box for the SYSTEM account, and then click OK.
If you are not using Windows XP, in the dialog box that appears, click to select the Reset permissions on all child objects and enable propagation of inheritable permissions check box for the SYSTEM account, and then click OK.
Note If you receive a security message, click Yes.
7. Wait for the operating system to apply the permissions that you have selected to all child
8. Run the Windows Installer package.
For more info on this sometimes-mysterious problem, please go to the following Microsoft KB Article:
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at scott-at-kindorf-dot-net.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Blog-Echo: The Utter Stupidity of Comcast
(Note: This is an Blog-Echo from my Live Spaces blog shown in the "Link:" above)
Well, the genius-pool at Comcast has decided to prove, yet again, to the world that monkeys with typewriters can make better business decisions than their senior management. Comcast, in ther utterly poor use of brain-cells has decided to block ALL customers of NameZero, The Well (one of the oldest ISPs in existence), and (even stranger) alum.mit.edu. For your edification, here is my email that was just sent to Comcast's blacklist folks:
Pretty smart of you to blacklist ANY domain addresses forwarded from customers of NameZero.
Do you IDIOTS know that this talk is already all over the Internet and Comcast is being FRIED OVER AN OPEN PIT on websites like Slashdot.org?
How many customers does Comcast want to lose? 100? 1,000? If this is not remedied in 48 hours, I’ll be cancelling my Comcast Broadband service AND filing for injunctive relief under claims of Restriction of Trade. Everyone who wants to do business with me using my non-spam generating domain (Kindorf.net) is unable to reach me via email.
Fix it, or you’ll be losing yet another Comcast customer due to your company’s asinine decision to block all NameZero customers from legally & legitimately forwarding their doman-specific email to their Comcast account.
The ball is in your court – don’t drop it, or it WILL be blogged!
A (possibly former) Comcast customer!
For more info on this mental gaff of Comcast's, visit this article at the San Jose Mercury News and this article at my old friend and enemy, Slashdot.org
I'll be updating as soon as possible. Who knows, maybe I'll get my outbound data rate boosted a bit. ;)
Friday, October 21, 2005
The Long Wait is over - Part Deux
Well, it finally came - the long-anticipated Microsoft Permatemps Settlement Check - but WHAT A LET-DOWN!
It wasn't as much as I had hoped for, but enough to at least get our bills current. To be honest, it was a little bit of a let-down to get alot less than what we were hoping for, but we're thankful for what we did get and that it will keep us from having to file for bankruptcy while the doctors start to check me for Fibromyalgia and while we start the process for filing for SSI Disability for the 3rd time; however, since we don't know how long that is going to take, we're still frantically grasping at straws. What I believe is Fibromyalgia, along with the Radiculopathy of my left leg, is making it even more difficult for me to find work and have any hope of even being able to have a reliable-enough body to hold-down a job at this time. Imagine having the worst flu you've ever had, and then doubling it. My body feels like a steel rod that's been hit against steel - that continuous vibrating feeling, on top of the pain in every part of my body, the lack of energy and difficulty sleeping.
Consequently - and I hate to do this, but - I'm sending out the call for assistance and/or help again...I really hate to ask for help from anyone, especially total strangers, but we are in very dire & desparate straights right now, even after selling the house and moving.
So, if you have it in your heart to help a family in need, please go here. If you're an employer who is looking for a seasoned IT professional with over 25 years of experience in nearly all phases of IT, IS, MIS, DP & Networking, please feel free to download my Resume`
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Level3's new funding program: STRONG-ARM YOUR PEERS!
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
In a scenario reminiscent of the movie "Wall Stret", Level3 shunted all Internet traffic coming from one of it's peering point peers, Cogent, claiming that the bandwidth that Cogent was using at that peering point was excessive, and that Level3 wanted to charge more for that increase in bandwidth.
Since Level3's stock performance has been sour and their quarterly losses nearly trippled in previous reports, it's no wonder that Level3 is trying any way it can to shore-up it's revenue and make their P & L statement look more appetizing to investors and appear to be good enough-off financially to hold on to it's current shareholders - but using strong-arm tactics to basically extort a peering point for nearly 17% of all Internet traffic in the US is absolutely eggregious.
Instead of working these issues out, Level3 just turns off the Internet spiggot. Cogent, on the other hand, is offering 1 free years worth of service to Level3 customers who switch to an equivalent service with Cogent.
Welcome Level3 as the Internet's new bully.
See MSNBC's article below:
Internet traffic disrupted as providers feud - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com
See Cogent's explanation below:
Cogent Status Page
More hillarity to ensure!
UPDATE: Per Cogent's status page mentioned above, it appears that Level3 got smart and didn't want any more negative press to affect it's stock price and restored the BGP Peering sessions with Cogent. Three cheers for Cogent sticking in there!!
The Long wait is over!!!
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
Well, the word came down a few days ago, but the long wait is finally over...
I'M GETTING MY MONEY FROM THE MICROSOFT CLASS-ACTION SUIT!!!
Microsoft Permatemps payout
In case you weren't aware, there was a class-action suit against Microsoft that was filed in 1993 in behalf of those of us who worked at Microsoft as contractors (aka "perma-temps") through temp agencies and as stand-alone contractors. Microsoft settled to the tune of US$97million in 2000, and those of us in that class-action suit have been waiting almost 5 years for our settlement...well, according to the above link, and the page at Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong (the attorneys who handled the case), the checks will be sent-out on October 17 of this year!
This couldn't have come at a better time for us, and I'm sure for the rest of the class as well. It won't be a huge check, but it will be enough to pay some bills off, and take care of some important necessities.
BTW - if you want to see what my son, Daniel is writing about in his blog, go over and check http://spaces.msn.com/members/dariuscole/ - and please don't laugh too much at the topic of his blog - he had done it in "leet-speak" (where letters are exchanged for numbers and punctuation that approximate the appearance of words). I'm trying to direct him into the correct way of doing things and to stay clear of the "black hat" mentality...we could use a few more "White Hats" in the world.
Current Events - Issue #1
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
Well, this week there was a slight rumbling on the Internet - thousands of users unable to connect-up to the popular p2p network known as "WinMX" ( http://www.winmx.com - DEAD LINK). The RIAA fired off what is probably not the last in a salvo of "Cease-and-desist" letters to a number of p2p networks requesting that they shut-down their operations due to rampant trading of copyrighted material. eDonkey (http://www.edonkey.com) reportedly moved their offices from New York to New Jersey (as if that would help ), and WinMX is totally offline.
For me, I'm torn on this whole p2p issue - you see, I'm a musician and I have 15 songs that are actually registered with BMI & ASCAP...so, as an artist & songwriter I have somewhat of a vested interest in the protection of Artists Rights in regards to having unauthorized digital copies of their hard-wrought works shuffled about like so many trading cards. On the flip-side of that argument, there are some legitimate uses for p2p networks and the whole "filesharing" pheomenon; take, for example, the person trying to find a rare recording of a song that one would be hard-pressed to find in even the most well-stocked music store...or the even more rare bootleg recording that no one has ever paid a single thin dime for, and one where the artist or artists fully support the FREE distribution of such works?
The whole DRM issue is getting crazy - we have the RIAA suing a 13-year-old and her Mom for priated music (and losing the case in court), the RIAA (basically) blackmailing p2p networks to get them turned-off. The RIAA is, basically, nullifying the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (for more info and a very concise analysis of the DRM issues, see http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/articles/2002dltr0023.html )...this has got to end somewhere, so I'm offering my DRM-free suggestion to the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and everyone else interested:
1) All new works are placed in the DRM "holding tank" for 7 years. After that time, the sales of such works would be so negligible that the artists or artists wouldn't be making anything off of the sales of such works
2) After the 7-year term, all DRM rights are relinquished or expired. Copyrights would not be reliquished, but DRM enforcement would be removed.
This is very similar to patents and patent expirations, but only with a much shorter timespan. It's a sensible and pragmatic trade-off - especially since royalties are already paid-out for every single MP3 recording device and soundcard AND every CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW disc manufactured to the RIAA and other Artists Rights organizations and royalty collectors.
There *is* a way out of this conundrum - it won't be easy, but it may be worth it.
Plazes is HOT!
--man-synched from Alter-Blog--
Wow - yet another cool web app recommended by Mr. Scoble at this link
It's called Plazes - and it's yet another entry into a new facet of the Internet & The Web called "location awareness". Microsoft has their "Microsoft Locator", and that's kinda nice and has some possibilities.
Go check it out - I already have and will start experimenting with this shortly.
Well, I've been reminded by "davidz" on WebChat that my blogs are out-of-sync...so...
Please forgive me - and please ignore the man behind the curtain!
Updates from The Alter-Blog coming soon!
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Well, I'm still alive - if you wondered where I had gone to or if we had slipped-off the face of the world, we haven't...yet.
When I tried to start my consulting business down in the Vancouver, WA area I had no idea that my physical maladies would rear their ugly heads in such a violent fashion:
1) The radiculopathy / neuropathy in my leg does not seem to be getting any better and in fact seems to be worsening, with the muscle twitches, ticks and spasms getting stronger and higher up into my thigh
2) The TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit - which blocks pain by flooding the affected nerves via electrodes placed on the skin ontop of nerve-root paths and sending electric current through the skin (that's the "Transcutaneous" part) into the nerve-path (with the idea that nerves can only carry one specific kind of impulse at any given moment, and if just raw signal/voltage/current is put into the nerves the pain is masked) - has been working marginally, and per the instructions from both the manufacturer and my doctors that I'm only supposed to use it no more than 1 hour per every 4 to 6 hours of non-use does absolutely nothing for me in the times when I'm not using it. Wouldn't one say that such a therapy is "counterproductive"?
3) I'm now experiencing pain and numbness in my left shoulder and triceps - I'm not sure if this is connected, but I think I might have injured a disc in the Thoraxic or Cervical vertebrae - I'll find out more on that after my first visit with my new doctors...and more on that later!
4) I've been doing some research on all of the maladies I've been experiencing over the last 3 years, like sleep disorders (my circadian clock is all messed-up and I end up sleeping during the day and being up and active at night), constant pain throughout my body but at low & manageable levels, severe migraine headaches, fatigue without exertion and a host of other issues have lead me down the path to learn more about Fibromyalgia ( http://www.fmnetnews.com/pages/basics.html ) and to consider being tested for it.
The Vancouver, WA area used to be a very high-tech place, with new Technology companies popping-up all over the place. Vancouver & Portland is the home to many Telecom companies, one of which I used to work for; unfortunately, due to the "Dot-Com Bust", many people in that area lost jobs - it has ceased to be a "high-tech hub" and is now a former shell of it's possibilities.
Needless to say, I decided to shutter the business and move to an area that was more active in the high-tech sector. The problem I face now is that I've been out-of-the-loop in the Computing and IT industry as I was focusing on the Telecom side of things: so, I now head-off into the unknown.
We sold our house in Woodland after it being on the market and the MRLS for only 2 days, packed-up our lives as quickly as possible and moved from Woodland on July 30th, to re-settle in the Seattle Area. Most of my "networking" contacts have since gone their own ways, so it's almost as perilous where we are now as it was in Woodland. The prospects seem to be better, but I guess it's just the time spent waiting for responses from prospective employers.
We're experiencing the joy of having to try to fit a 4-bedroom / 1600 sq. ft. home that barely fit a family of 6 into a 4-bedroom /1200 sq. ft. appartment - the upside to this is that you have to carefully and seriously consider what you really need and don't need; I miss my recliner, but not as much as I would have missed the couch or the dining room/kitchen table.
I also get to work with a whole new set of doctors & medical professionals concerning my maladies - I'm hoping to get more response from them on my condition than my previous providers.
One huge, nagging problem: my ISP is Comcast and I'm having a heck of a time with them trying to understand why my cablemodem's "Activity" lamp is always lit solid - I'm suspecting that they're sending ARP packets at about 10pps, and I'll verify what's happening when I hook my network sniffer up to it - but it's actually causing packet loss and latency at my end...which is slightly counterproductive (there's that word again!). We'll see how that works out soon.
Anyway - we're here...we're alive...and we're nowhere near New Orleans or Biloxi - which reminds me; If you have *any* kind of resources - money, donatable clothing, hygiene supplies, even blood for the Red Cross, PLEASE donate to your local & favorite charities and specify that these donations are for the Hurricane Relief missions in the Gulf States - regardless of the fact that we may be 1,000 miles away, we're all in this together as Americans.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Turmoil on the Homefront!
When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I decided that I wasn't going to post any "personal" stuff about things going on in my life, but at this time I feel it necessarry to reach-out to the many friends I have on the Net for their help.
We (meaning My Family) are in desperate times - here's a quick synopsis of what is going on:
1) Back and Leg condition not getting any better and slightly worsening; The Sciatica caused by the severe damage to the Sciatic Nerve servicing my left leg is not getting any better, and I'm now getting some pronounced weakness in my left leg...we went shopping for Michelle's Birthday cake, and I actually had to sit down from just walking from the car to the bakery. I'm now using a TENS unit to electrically stimulate the nerve and try to block the persistent pain, and the results are mixed at best.
2) Business has dropped-off significantly, and we are many, many months behind on our mortgage - consequently, we have sold the house and are looking for some kind of rental that will fit all of us and provide a clean-air environment for Grant so that he won't have any more complications for his Cystic Fibrosis.
We have placed a PayPal Donate button on my Web Site - if you feel so inclined to help us with a charitable donation, please do so!
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
The most excellent people at MSDN"s Channel 9 are having a contest: The winner gets a pass and airfare & accomodations at this years Professional Developer's Conference (PDC). Their requirement is that you post the reasons why you want to attent the PDC...so....here we go!
I've been a staunch supporter of Microsoft in a wide variety of forums and ways - from Slashdot to NeoWin. My support of Microsoft runs deep for a variety of reasons, but mainly it's due to the fact that I actually used to work there.
My first exposure to working with Microsoft was a beta tester for Randy Thatcher on the MACH10 Accellerator Card and the first iteration of MS-PAINT, way back in 1983. From there we fast-forward to 1987, where I was a beta tester for MS-Project 1.0 while I was a Project Manager for a company building a Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) plant in Nelson, New Zealand.
Moving even more forward, I actually worked at Microsoft as a Software Test Engineer contractor under Ken Gregg and S. Somasegar in the Kernel, API & Test group of the Windows NT 3.1 DevTeam. From there, I worked as STE Contractor for Microsoft Consulting on the GEC Marconi Information Systems project to put seat-back video systems in the Boeing 777.
Continuing on, I worked under Rob Michnick and Judy Schneider as a member of the Forum & Content Managment Team form MSN 1.0 - and since then have been a vocal supporter of Microsoft products in any way possible that I can. As a thank-you and nod for my support of Microsoft Products I was also invited to attend the Windows XP Professional x64 Launch (as noted in my previous entry) - needless to say that my relationship with Microsoft is a long one, to be sure.
If I were selected to attend the 2005 PDC, I would include as much content as humanly possible, including photos and video as allowed by Microsoft (of course) and specifically the good folks at Channel 9. My focus would be on Longhorn development and feature-set, as well as anything additionally related to Windows x64. My up-and-coming site, http://www.kindorf.net/, would be a prime spot to host this look inside the PCD and get what I believe would be vital info out to the masses concerning the future of Microsoft Products, Developer offerings and critical info concerning the future of Computing.
Although I'm sure that there are others there that are at least as deserving as I am to win this contest, I feel that my experience wth Microsoft and Microsoft products uniquely qualifies me to attend the 2005 PDC.
With that in mind...