How-to Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Free eBook on Essential Guidance for Deploying Windows 7

Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and Microsoft TechNet Magazine is a useful resource if you are looking for guidance specific to Windows 7 deployment. Check out what the industry’s leading experts have to say in this free Microsoft Press eBook with selected chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit on Deployment Platforms, Planning, Testing Application Compatibility. Here is the Table of Contents for this book,



The 6.5 MB eBook is available as a PDF download here.

The selected chapters are written by industry experts Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team with select Windows 7 articles from TechNet Magazine. Sample topics include: Deployment Platform, Planning Deployment, Testing Application Compatibility, and 8 Common Issues in Windows 7 Migrations.

How-to Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

How to manage reboots when installing multiple versions of the .NET Framework

This is one information, which I was looking for since many days.  I just found it on Aaron Stebner’s blog now. Aaron replies to this below question in his blog.

“I am planning a network deployment of the .NET Framework, and I need to deploy all versions from 1.0 through 3.5 SP1 if any are missing on each of the computers on the network.  I have 2 questions related to reboots:

  1. Is it possible to install all versions of the .NET Framework without any reboot being required?
  2. If it is not possible, can I ignore all reboot prompts and only reboot once after installing all versions of the .NET Framework? “

Read the solution and the entire article  here –

General Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download Article – Configuring High Availability for Windows Server 2008

Configuring High Availability for Windows Server 2008 Environments

System downtime can be very expensive in terms of lost revenue and reputation. Today’s global markets mean we need our systems to be available at the times our customers want to use them. The Realtime Nexus Publishers announce the release of The Essentials Series: Configuring High Availability for Windows Server 2008 Environments, authored by industry expert Richard Siddaway. In this excellent new series, you will learn what is meant by high availability, why it is needed, and its relationship to disaster recovery. 

In this series, you will  learn about advances in the failover clustering included with Windows Server 2008, as well as the latest non-native technologies used for Windows Server high availability, such as data replication, virtualization, application-controlled high availability, and synchronized systems.

This complete series is available for download and includes the following articles:

  1. The Art of High Availability
  2. Windows Server 2008 Native Technologies
  3. Non-Native Options for High Availability

You can download the Complete Series here – Click Here

(Courtesy: Realtime Nexus Windows Administration Alerts)

Best Practices Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Importance of a RunOnce Key in Device Driver Installation

Well, The Run and RunOnce registry entries help programs to be run automatically. In device driver installations,  A RunOnce entry is executed immediately after the driver is installed; These entries are not executed until the user logs on.

For a Client-side installation, all RunOnce entries are executed. No Run, RunEx, or RunOnceEx entries are executed.
For a Server-side installation, Setup looks for RunOnce entries in the INF in the format described on the DDK. The DLLs specified are run in the system context with no UI. Any RunOnce entries that do not follow this format are deferred to a client-side installation and are run in administrator context with UI.

This is the primary reason for special requirements on RunOnce entries.

Addition Information: Run, RunEx, or RunOnceEx entries are executed only in the context of a logged-on user, and are not executed immediately after device is installed. A Service entry can immediately provide functionality for multiple logged-on users, whereas Run entries provide service to them only when the user next logs on, and also run one instance for each user.

For more information on RunOnce and Run Keys, Check these links –

Community Activities General Microsoft

MVP Award in Setup and Deployment

Hi Folks, I got my MVP award (again) this year in the stream of Setup and Deployment. Last weekend, I got my award Kit and trust me the memento is just funntastic..!!

Thanks to all my blog readers & for the lovely ears who hav been hearing to me in the UG(Bdotnet and BITpro) meets 🙂

I just love this lady in blue !!!

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

DISM – Deployment Image Servicing and Management Guide

Deployment has a new tool in Windows 7: DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management). DISM is a command line tool which can be used to service a Windows® image or to prepare a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image. It replaces Package Manager (pkgmgr.exe), PEimg, and Intlcfg that were included in Windows Vista®.

Hence, Now one tool does it all ! ! !

DISM can be used to service Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server® 2008 and provides the same functionality that Package Manager provided. DISM provides additional functionality when used with Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2.

In addition to replacing three previously released tools, DISM also supports more features and functionality than the other tools (most notably Package Manager) supported in Windows Vista, including logging, inventory commands with parse-able output, detailed help, offline INF driver package installation, direct application of MS update packages, and integration of international settings.

DISM tool is also part of the Windows Automation Installation Kit(AIK) 2.0, which you can freely download and use!

DISM can be used to..,
1. Add, remove, and enumerate packages.
2. Add, remove, and enumerate drivers.
3. Enable or disable Windows features.
4. Apply changes based on the offline servicing section of an unattend.xml answer file.
5. Configure international settings.
6. Upgrade a Windows image to a different edition.
7. Prepare a Windows PE image.
8. Take advantage of better logging.
9. Service down-level operating systems like Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows Server 2008 (
Supports only Vista SP1 and later images)
10. Service all platforms (32-bit, 64-bit and Itanium).
11. Service a 32-bit image from a 64-bit host and service a 64-bit image from a 32-bit host.
12. Make use of old Package Manager scripts.

Running DISM Tool

Run a Command Window with Elevated ContextDISM is a command line utility. To launch this program, run a Command Window in an elevated context (Run As Administrator) and type dism /? This will give you the help file (without image context – The commands which you can perform without loading or mounting an image)

Windows 7: DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management)

Now you type, dism online /? This will give you the help file (with image context – The commands which you can perform an Wim image or a VHD is mounted) – As you see in this below snapshot, you can do a lot of options like, Setting the edition of the image, UI Lang packs, Time Zones, Apps, Drivers etc..

DISM Help file - With Image context

How does DISM Work?

How Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) Works

DISM Providers These providers varies on different Operating Systems.  Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 has DISM providers. Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM does not contain any DISM providers.  When servicing these downlevel OS images, DISM loads and invokes the Vista PkgMgr from inside the image to execute the operations.  Windows 7 and Windows PE 3.0 may contain DISM service providers that are specific to the OS image, e.g. Transmog provider operates against full OS image and can only be found in a Windows 7 image, and PE provider operates against WinPE image, so can only be found in a Windows PE 3.0 image. You can find a list of providers in the folder C:\Windows\System32\DISM in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

Dism Providers - Windows 7

I would recommend you read the other DISM articles too!

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta

Are you thinking about deploying these new operating systems? Get a head start with Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta. Over 680,000 Microsoft customers and partners including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg have already downloaded and used this toolkit to date.

Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 is an integrated planning toolkit that makes it easier for Microsoft customers and partners to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in their IT environment. This agentless and scalable toolkit has the ability to discover all computers within Active Directory and workgroup environments. It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies.

What’s New with v4.0?

Version 4.0 of this toolkit has the following new features:
* Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
* Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
* Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V R2 Server Consolidation
* Integration with the Microsoft Integrated Virtualization ROI Calculator
* Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests
* User Interface and Proposal Customization for Partner co-branding
* Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance

Additional Features

Other features from version 3.2 have also been carried over to version 4.0:
* Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation
* Windows Vista Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
* Windows Server 2008 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
* 2007 Microsoft Office Readiness Assessment
* SQL Server Instance Discovery
* Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation
* Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment
* Online Services (Exchange Online) Assessment
* App-V Infrastructure Readiness Assessment
* Power Savings “Green IT” Calculator

Benefits to Customers and Partners

Saves Planning or Pre-Sales Time. For most IT consultants and Microsoft Partners, a detailed network inventory and assessment of servers and desktops often takes days of manual labor. With Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, you can now conduct an environment inventory of up to 100,000 computers in a matter of hours instead of days, giving you extra time to focus on critical planning or pre-sales tasks. For IT professionals, this toolkit can significantly reduce the time it takes to gather the information necessary to make the business case for client, server, and virtualization projects.

Provides Actionable Recommendations and Reporting. This toolkit provides valuable inventory and readiness assessment reports with environment-specific upgrade recommendations and virtualization candidate reports, making it easier for IT migration and deployment projects to get off the ground and running.

Covers Wide Range of Scenarios–from Desktops to Servers. This toolkit offers technology assessments and planning recommendations for many Microsoft desktop and server products including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2, 2007 Microsoft Office, SQL Server 2008, Forefront Client Security, Network Access Protection, Microsoft Online Services, Microsoft Application Virtualization (or App-V), and more.

Next Steps–How can I get Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta?

Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta and give us your feedback (Live ID login and registration required)
Learn more about this toolkit and read case studies on TechNet and Microsoft Partner Porgram Portal
To provide technical feedback on this Beta, please e-mail at
Get the latest news from the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Team Blog

Source- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Team – Solution Accelerators

Best Practices Microsoft

Advantages of ClickOnce Deployment

ClickOnce deployment is a Microsoft .NET installation technology that automatically installs and configures a client-side application when a user clicks on a link, such as a link in a Web site, on a CD, or on a universal naming convention (UNC) path. Usually, the application will copy itself to the Temporary Internet Files folder and run within a restricted environment. ClickOnce was introduced with the .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005.

Advantages of ClickOnce Deployment:

1. Best of a rich Windows-based application user experience and the deployment and maintenance benefits of Web applications.
2. Apps automatically download the latest version of themselves.
3. ClickOnce takes the advantage of the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
4. Trustworthy deployment model for users to be able to download and execute applications from centrally managed servers without requiring administrator privileges on the client machine.
5. Updates are transacted in a single transcation. (See this to understand “Single Transaction”)
6. The application not only can work offline but it has a degree of control over it; APIs exist, so that the application can find out if it’s online or offline; it can also control its own update process;
7. ClickOnce is integrated with Visual Studio .NET, including the ability to generate the appropriate extra files and tools that help to figure out which security privileges your application need in order to run.
8. Application files can be downloaded on demand or in batches.
9. ClickOnce comes with a Win32 “bootstraper” executable that can download necessary components, even the .NET Framework itself.

Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

How to Implement DLL Isolation in Wise Package Studio?

“DLL Isolation” is used when our application needs to have a specific version of a shared DLL for its functionality. This just copies the DLL into the same folder as the EXE that needs it.

Steps to Follow (Wise Package Studio):
1. On the Components tab in Setup Editor, right-click the .DLL you want to isolate.
2. From the right-click menu, select New > Isolated Component. The Isolated Component Details dialog appears where you pick a file for isolation from the feature that contains the component.
a. If the key path for the current component is not an .EXE, then the drop-down list shows all .EXEs in the containing feature that are key paths of .DLL files.
b. If the key path for the current component is an .EXE, then the drop-down list shows all files from the containing feature that are key paths other than the current component.
3. From the Associated File drop-down list, select the .EXE you want to assign to this .DLL.
4. Click OK.

The limitation is that we can only have one version of the DLL loaded in memory at a time. I.e., App A loads DLL version 1 and then App B tries to load DLL version 2 but can’t. App B ends up hanging or blowing up.

Reference: WPS for Newbies

General How-to Microsoft

Packaging and deploying applications for Windows Mobile

Here is a noteworthy blog which explains on Packaging and deploying applications for Windows Mobile..