The Burton Tech Journal

Tag: windows xp

Workaround for Errors When Opening Microsoft Office Files on WebDAV Drives

by on Dec.18, 2008, under JungleDisk, Microsoft Office 2003, Windows Vista

JungleDisk is a WebDAV file sharing service running on the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).  It appears when users are using Office 2003 SP3 on a Vista Business SP1 based system, they may not be able to open Microsoft Word and Excel files.  The users experience an error similar to:

Could not open ‘http://2667/somebucket/some file.doc’

The JungleDisk Support site (KBID#: 300065) indicates installing the Windows Software Update for Web Folders (KB907306) and rebooting will fix the problem.  Unfortunately the reported fix does not appear to work for numerous users.  Additionally, connecting to the JungleDisk “bucket” using the naive Windows WebDAV client does not allow saving due to the “read-only” bug.

We discovered the easiest way to work around the Vista/Office 2003 WebDAV limitations was to use a substitute drive.  Once the JungleDisk client loads and you can access the JungleDisk network drives, the following command can be use to connect:

subst NewDriveLetter: JungleDiskDriveLetter:\

For example, if the JungleDisk drive letter is “J:\”, you will run the following command to access the share:

subst k: j:\

You should then be able to open files from and save files to the “k:” drive directly.

When your system reboots, you will need to run the subst command again. For our users, we have created a batch file that deletes the virtual drive (subst k: /d) then re-creates it (subst k: j:\). After the user’s system has completely loaded, they double-click on the batch files to create accessible virtual drives.

Incidentally, upgrading to Office 2007 on Vista or running Office 2003 from Windows XP does not appear to have any issues.

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Simulate a Windows Application Deployment Lifecycle

by on Sep.21, 2008, under Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Application Deployment, Windows Vista

If a domain test bed is not avaiable, either real or virtualized, it is best to use a single workstation to test an unproven MSI based package. Frequently the deployment process is hung up when the MSI performs a custom action that requires some form of user interaction. It is important to not only look for this behavior in new installations, but also MSI’s used to upgrade long functioning deployed applications, before introducing either to your GPO.

This is the recommended test procedure:

A) Perform an installation and look for dialogues that require user intervention:

  1. MSIEXEC /i “\\path_to_msi” /qb
  2. The /i switch tells MSIEXEC to install or configure a product
  3. The /qb switch tells MSIEXEC to use a basic UI

B) If the application does not install correctly, check the MSI log file for errors. Otherwise confirm the application is functioning correctly.

C) It is critical to test what happens during uninstallation of the application too. Any user interaction requirements could cause a failure when upgrading or removing your application later. Run the following command to observe the uninstall process:

  1. MSIEXEC /x “\\path_to_msi” /qb
  2. The /x switch tells MSIEXEC to uninstall the product

D) If the application installs and uninstalls without requiring user interaction, it will probably work fine deployed. To finalize a simulation, the application should be silently installed remotely using PSEXEC and the following commands:

  1. PSEXEC -u context\username -p password \\target_machine MSIEXEC.EXE /i “\\path_to_msi” /qn

E) Confirm the application functions correctly with an unprivileged user account. Check the MSI log on the target machine for errors if necessary.

F) Once again, test the uninstall process:

  1. PSEXEC -u context\username -p password \\target_machine MSIEXEC.EXE /x “\\path_to_msi” /qn

G) If the application appears to be working, you can proceed with assigning it to your GPO.

H) If application does not deploy, try the following:

  1. Examine the MSI logs on the client computer and make any adjustments necessary.
  2. Confirm Vista’s UAC is not blocking installation.
  3. Check http://www.appdeploy.com for valuable tips and tricks, particularly if you are deploying a popular commerical package. The site has some great resources on how to customize packages so they will install correctly.
Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Cannot Disconnect or Re-Map a Network Drive

by on Sep.17, 2008, under Microsoft Windows Networking, Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista

Occassionally a workstation will show a mapped network drive as “Disconnected” in Windows Explorer.  Double-clicking on the drive does not resume the connection and attempting to unmap the drive will give an error that “The network connection does not exist”.

Additionally you may see your login scripts not mapping other drives.

To correct the problem, download the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service from the Microsoft Downloads site and read the installation/usage instructions:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1b286e6d-8912-4e18-b570-42470e2f3582&displaylang=en

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Blogroll

A few highly recommended websites...