Not so quiet installers


#1

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in a truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs because it can’t run without user input but it needs a GUI based session! I have looked at some tools that can convert old installers to MSIs but with little success. If it was just the question of manually converting one installer I would just bite the bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that delivers such crap!

Cheers,
Flo.

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This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from your system.


#2

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in a
truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs because it
can’t run without user input but it needs a GUI based session! I have looked
at some tools that can convert old installers to MSIs but with little
success. If it was just the question of manually converting one installer I
would just bite the bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that
delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone
who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic
communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this
electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and
delete this communication from your system.


#3

Hi,

I do not see how autohotkey can help. It seems to only provide ‘macro’ recording features. My installer requires no intervention… I just need it to not hang because no graphical mode is available

Anyway. This is going beyond the scope of this group. I was just hoping that there was someone who had resolved this same issue.

Cheers,
Florian

-----Original Message-----
From: Nathaniel Eliot [mailto:temujin9@t9productions.com]
Sent: 15 July 2013 15:34
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: not so quiet installers

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in
a truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs
because it can’t run without user input but it needs a GUI based
session! I have looked at some tools that can convert old installers
to MSIs but with little success. If it was just the question of
manually converting one installer I would just bite the bullet and do
it. But we still have a vendor that delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly
confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or
disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have
received this electronic communication in error please notify the
sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word
"misdirected" as the subject and delete this communication from your system.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from your system.


#4

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send customizable
window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I can’t remember the
product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then use
"sendkeys" from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers you
get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in a
truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs because
it
can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based session! I have
looked
at some tools that can convert old installers to MSIs but with little
success. If it was just the question of manually converting one
installer I
would just bite the bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that
delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by
someone
who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic
communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this
electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the
subject and
delete this communication from your system.


#5

Does “SendKeys” require an interactive logon? If so then you need to be
careful how you set up your scheduled task or service. We run our
chef-client as Local System so interactive logon becomes difficult to
nonexistent.

On 7/15/13 8:56 AM, “Adam Edwards” adamed@opscode.com wrote:

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send customizable
window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I can’t remember the
product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then use
"sendkeys" from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers you
get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in a
truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs because
it
can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based session! I have
looked
at some tools that can convert old installers to MSIs but with little
success. If it was just the question of manually converting one
installer I
would just bite the bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that
delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by
someone
who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic
communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this
electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the
subject and
delete this communication from your system.


#6

Good question. Docs on sendkeys are below – their examples use it in
conjunction with appactivate. At least in Win2k8 and above which has real
session isolation, I would expect this should work fine without
interactive logon, but I’ve never tested it:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8c6yea83(v=VS.84).aspx

Worst case you could use something else to talk to the win api’s that can
identify the main window given a process id and then send window messages
such as keystrokes to that window. WMI may actually have methods for some
of these things, otherwise using PowerShell and talking to .net api’s
would get you there.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 10:23 AM, “Moser, Kevin” Kevin.Moser@nordstrom.com wrote:

Does “SendKeys” require an interactive logon? If so then you need to be
careful how you set up your scheduled task or service. We run our
chef-client as Local System so interactive logon becomes difficult to
nonexistent.

On 7/15/13 8:56 AM, “Adam Edwards” adamed@opscode.com wrote:

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send
customizable
window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I can’t remember
the
product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then use
"sendkeys" from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers you
get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run in
a
truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs because
it
can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based session! I have
looked
at some tools that can convert old installers to MSIs but with little
success. If it was just the question of manually converting one
installer I
would just bite the bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that
delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly
confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by
someone
who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic
communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this
electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the
subject and
delete this communication from your system.


#7

All,

I think I didn’t explain my problem very well. My fault.

I do not need to be able to automate user key strokes. The install runs without user input but still wants to take over the screen and display all sorts of dialogs. My belief is that this requirement for an interactive session is the problem.

I believe that what Kevin outlines below is exactly our problem, although we are not running our chef client with the Local System account. We are running it through knife winrm (remote invocation).

Cheers,
Florian

-----Original Message-----
From: Moser, Kevin [mailto:Kevin.Moser@nordstrom.com]
Sent: 15 July 2013 19:23
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: Re: Re: not so quiet installers

Does “SendKeys” require an interactive logon? If so then you need to be careful how you set up your scheduled task or service. We run our chef-client as Local System so interactive logon becomes difficult to nonexistent.

On 7/15/13 8:56 AM, “Adam Edwards” adamed@opscode.com wrote:

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send
customizable window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I
can’t remember the product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then
use “sendkeys” from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers
you get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run
in a truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs
because it can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based
session! I have looked at some tools that can convert old installers
to MSIs but with little success. If it was just the question of
manually converting one installer I would just bite the bullet and
do it. But we still have a vendor that delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly
confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or
disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have
received this electronic communication in error please notify the
sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the
word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from
your system.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from your system.


#8

If this is win7/2008/2012 over WinRM and the installer is opening windows
into an interactive shell then I think unfortunately from what I can
tell/know you are not going to like the answer. The WinRM service is
running without the ability to interact with the desktop meaning no GUI
windows… I suppose you could probably change the WinRM service to let it
interact with the desktop but that sounds pretty wonky/dangerous and would
require you to log in to the box to fix. Boo, no knife winrm.

The other issue you would run in to even if you could get the interactive
desktop is when/how/what pops up, how do you respond, is it the same
windows, same order, etc every time? Sounds like it would be a pretty
fragile implementation.

I’m not sure I have a good answer for you, I have all sorts of
ideas/theories running in my head but not sure if any of them would work
and they’d all be ridiculously complicated.

Any leverage to be able to go back to the vendor and push on them a little
to make it right? Perhaps find a competitor that has a good installer and
suggest that they do it like them. :slight_smile:

Kevin

On 7/16/13 1:27 AM, “Florian Hehlen” Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

All,

I think I didn’t explain my problem very well. My fault.

I do not need to be able to automate user key strokes. The install runs
without user input but still wants to take over the screen and display
all sorts of dialogs. My belief is that this requirement for an
interactive session is the problem.

I believe that what Kevin outlines below is exactly our problem, although
we are not running our chef client with the Local System account. We are
running it through knife winrm (remote invocation).

Cheers,
Florian

-----Original Message-----
From: Moser, Kevin [mailto:Kevin.Moser@nordstrom.com]
Sent: 15 July 2013 19:23
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: Re: Re: not so quiet installers

Does “SendKeys” require an interactive logon? If so then you need to be
careful how you set up your scheduled task or service. We run our
chef-client as Local System so interactive logon becomes difficult to
nonexistent.

On 7/15/13 8:56 AM, “Adam Edwards” adamed@opscode.com wrote:

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send
customizable window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I
can’t remember the product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then
use “sendkeys” from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers
you get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run
in a truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs
because it can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based
session! I have looked at some tools that can convert old installers
to MSIs but with little success. If it was just the question of
manually converting one installer I would just bite the bullet and
do it. But we still have a vendor that delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly
confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or
disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have
received this electronic communication in error please notify the
sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the
word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from
your system.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by
someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this
electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to
this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the
subject and delete this communication from your system.


#9

Kevin,

Thanks for the detailed response. I have asked them if they can update their packaging… I am still waiting for an answer.

The install requires no interaction at all(no clicking, no typing)… it’s just a bloody old installer that thinks the whole world wants to look at it installing a few files!

Cheers,
Florian

-----Original Message-----
From: Moser, Kevin [mailto:Kevin.Moser@nordstrom.com]
Sent: 16 July 2013 17:50
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: RE: Re: Re: Re: not so quiet installers

If this is win7/2008/2012 over WinRM and the installer is opening windows into an interactive shell then I think unfortunately from what I can tell/know you are not going to like the answer. The WinRM service is running without the ability to interact with the desktop meaning no GUI windows… I suppose you could probably change the WinRM service to let it interact with the desktop but that sounds pretty wonky/dangerous and would require you to log in to the box to fix. Boo, no knife winrm.

The other issue you would run in to even if you could get the interactive desktop is when/how/what pops up, how do you respond, is it the same windows, same order, etc every time? Sounds like it would be a pretty fragile implementation.

I’m not sure I have a good answer for you, I have all sorts of ideas/theories running in my head but not sure if any of them would work and they’d all be ridiculously complicated.

Any leverage to be able to go back to the vendor and push on them a little to make it right? Perhaps find a competitor that has a good installer and suggest that they do it like them. :slight_smile:

Kevin

On 7/16/13 1:27 AM, “Florian Hehlen” Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

All,

I think I didn’t explain my problem very well. My fault.

I do not need to be able to automate user key strokes. The install runs
without user input but still wants to take over the screen and display
all sorts of dialogs. My belief is that this requirement for an
interactive session is the problem.

I believe that what Kevin outlines below is exactly our problem,
although we are not running our chef client with the Local System
account. We are running it through knife winrm (remote invocation).

Cheers,
Florian

-----Original Message-----
From: Moser, Kevin [mailto:Kevin.Moser@nordstrom.com]
Sent: 15 July 2013 19:23
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: Re: Re: not so quiet installers

Does “SendKeys” require an interactive logon? If so then you need to
be careful how you set up your scheduled task or service. We run our
chef-client as Local System so interactive logon becomes difficult to
nonexistent.

On 7/15/13 8:56 AM, “Adam Edwards” adamed@opscode.com wrote:

Nathaniel, I’ve heard about a product that allows you to send
customizable window messages to installers as a way to “fix” this. I
can’t remember the product name though.

You could probably implement such a solution by hand if needed – just
launch the installer from a vbscript / jscript using wshell and then
use “sendkeys” from wscript/wshell to send input to the installer.

It’s very sad, but if you can’t control the quality of the installers
you get, this is the best solution that I can think of.

-Adam

On 7/15/13 6:34 AM, “Nathaniel Eliot” temujin9@t9productions.com wrote:

http://www.autohotkey.com/ might fit your need.

Cheers,


Nathaniel Eliot
T9 Productions

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM, Florian Hehlen
Florian.Hehlen@mri-group.com wrote:

Hi,

Has anyone struggled with windows based installers that cannot run
in a truly quiet mode. I have one old vb6 installer that just hangs
because it can¹t run without user input but it needs a GUI based
session! I have looked at some tools that can convert old
installers to MSIs but with little success. If it was just the
question of manually converting one installer I would just bite the
bullet and do it. But we still have a vendor that delivers such crap!

Cheers,

Flo.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly
confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or
disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have
received this electronic communication in error please notify the
sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the
word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication
from your system.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential
and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by
someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this
electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying
to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as
the subject and delete this communication from your system.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from your system.


#10

Is it worth using something like process monitor from pstools to figure out
what registry settings its writing as well as copy all the files on disk
and create your own poor mans version of their installer? Even a zip file
and registry entries in a recipe might be able to replicate what the
installer does.


#11

Nate,

It looks like we are going to have to do something like that :frowning:

The only issue is that we will get new versions of this client app in the near future and I would like to avoid doing this every time.

Cheers,
Florian

From: Nate Fox [mailto:nfox@neogov.com]
Sent: 16 July 2013 18:46
To: chef@lists.opscode.com
Subject: [chef] Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Re: Re: not so quiet installers

Is it worth using something like process monitor from pstools to figure out what registry settings its writing as well as copy all the files on disk and create your own poor mans version of their installer? Even a zip file and registry entries in a recipe might be able to replicate what the installer does.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
This communication and any attached documents are strictly confidential and/or legally privileged and they may not be used or disclosed by someone who is not a named recipient. If you have received this electronic communication in error please notify the sender by replying to this electronic communication inserting the word “misdirected” as the subject and delete this communication from your system.