Sequencing RealPlayer 14

December 15, 2010 by Ramesh

It is quite easy to overlook this application as you may not face any challenges while sequencing RealPlayer 14.0

Nonetheless the challenge is File Associations don't get into the bubble.

I used the following environment
Sequencer: 4.6 x64
OS: Win7 64

1. Finish the sequencing process. Save the virtual App.
2. Open the package for upgrade
3. Add the missing file associations
4. Finish the package

      DO NOT add the file associations while sequencing the application. They overwrite the default associations made by the application, effectively resulting in loss of data.

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Sequencing SharePoint Designer 2007

November 23, 2010 by Ramesh

Issue Upon launching the sequenced version of Microsoft SharePoint Designer on Win7, the application repairs upon every launch

Eventviewer doesn't report back with any useful information for troubleshooting as well.


After the initial monitoring Phase, Install the SharePoint Designer to Q:\MSPD.2K7 (say)

While the monitoring phase still runs in the background,

Goto C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Office12\Office Setup Controller

Rename the existing "Setup.exe" to say "backup.setup.exe"

Copy "C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe" to "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Office12\Office Setup Controller" and rename "rundll32.exe" to "Setup.exe"

Delete the below registry hive as well


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Sequencing Neovest 5.5

August 11, 2010 by Ramesh

The application Neovest 5.5 has multiple issues when we virtualize it for Win7.

Issue After physically installing the app, shortcut prompts for elevation when launched. This translates into an error while launching the virtualized shortcut which is "Requested Operation Requires Elevation"

Solution set the Environment variable as follows 

Issue Java is required for successful launch. Launching the shortcut on Win7 throws the following error.

Solution <WORKINGDIR> should be set to the location of the java (i.e <WORKINGDIR>T:\8.3\</WORKINGDIR>)

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Requested Operation Requires Elevation

August 8, 2010 by Ramesh

If you are new to AppV, Errors which show up might sound greek and latin to you. A point in case is 

After virtualizing applications, and launching them on Win7 might cause an "Requested operation requires elevation" error

Visually this is what they translate into

To solve the above problem, Add the below to the OSD File

              The same is applicable for any application which throws the above error. For Instance, Dreamweaver 2004 
iPatch Manager 6.0 and 
Omnipeek 5.0

shows up the same error as well.

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Sequencing Evidence Manager Investigator 5.0

August 4, 2010 by Ramesh

Issue Be it physical installation or virtual application, The shortcut fails to kick in on Win7. This doesn't mean the application can't be sequenced.

Solution During Sequencing process, an INI file named "Evidence.ini" ought to be located. Below shown is the content of the file

RegistryRoot="Software\\MarchNetworks\\Evidence Manager\\Version 2.0"

In the above file
StartupFile and ConfigFile should be updated with appropriate value for successful launch of the application

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Sequencing VoloView Express 2.0

July 31, 2010 by Ramesh

While Sequencing VoloView Express 2.0 you might encounter an issue which would crash the sequencer.

Details of the error are as follows. 

After the monitoring process, when we click the next button, above error shows up indicating that Sequencer has crashed. Subsequently, following error message pops up as well

The Sequencer goes back to the initial phase of sequencing process upon clicking OK there by not allowing us to sequence the application successfully

       The MSI(mostly) contains "RunOnce" key (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce) and registers lot of application related files. 
       This ought to be deleted either from the MSI before sequencing or from the registry in between the sequencing process.

       These files should be manually registered for proper functionality.

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Sequencing Reuters Messaging 8.0

July 21, 2010 by Ramesh

Reuters Messaging 8.0 has multiple issues after virtualizing.

Issue 1: Upon launching the shortcut, the below errors are seen. 

Upon selecting OK, the following screen shows up

Upon clicking "OK", the above messages disappear and the application launches.

Issue 2: After sequencing and launching the application on Windows7, The above errors are seen when you launch the options tab from the Menu.
NOTE: The virtualized application's look and feel would be radically different from that of a physical install.

Add the below environment variable in the OSD

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Sequencing Adobe CS4

July 7, 2010 by Ramesh

Issue: On Win7 64 bit OS, while launching one of the products like Photoshop CS4 or Illustrator CS4 etc, the application loads for few seconds before License fails. There after the application never works

Below error message seen

“Licensing for this product has stopped working.
You cannot use this product at this time. You must repair the problem by uninstalling and then reinstalling this product or contacting your IT administrator or Adobe customer support for help.”

Solution: Sequence the application on Win7

Reason: The Creative Suite has 2 versions of service (32 & 64 bit). 32 bit service gets installed when sequenced on a 32 bit OS. And hence fails to kick in on a 64 bit OS.

Note:  The application CANNOT be opened for upgrade albeit you need to upgrade the sequenced application. The service fails to kick in after performing an upgrade thereby showing up the above error once again.

As the sequenced application(Full Suite) runs into 4+GB in size, it is always a better idea to break them into independent products like Illustrator CS4, InDesign CS4 for sequencing

The same is applicable for Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) products as well

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Sequencing IBM Eclipse 2.31

July 2, 2010 by Ramesh

Issue After Sequencing Eclipse 2.13, the below error might be seen upon launching the shortcut. It is imperative to remember that the error shows up even when you install JRE before sequencing the application.

Upon launching the application on Win7, we might see the below error as well
Solution The change required to get Eclipse working is as follows
                 Install JRE 1.6 to T:\

For Instance,
            If you sequence Eclipse to T:\ECLIPSE.231, you will have to install JRE 1.6 to T:\ECLIPSE.231\JRE as well as the application expects JRE to be installed in this location

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Dynamic Suiting

July 1, 2010 by Ramesh

When you dynamic suite virtual applications, Environment variables need special care as they are never shared among virtual applications. Meaning, a variable defined as "INCLUDE" in the dependency application doesn't mean the primary application has a knowledge about this variable.

After dynamic suiting, value of "INCLUDE" variable of the dependency application ought to included in the OSD's of the primary application. Failing to do this operation would result in inconsistent behavior when an operation based on this environment variable (INCLUDE) is triggered.

Most importantly, if your primary application also includes a definition for the same variable, you ought to append the value of the "INCLUDE" variable with the primary application's "INCLUDE". Effectively, there CANNOT be multiple environment variables with same name. Having such variables would result in loss of data. Meaning, The last value of the "INCLUDE" variable overrides the previous entries.

For Instance

                                The OSD named "ASIA-Ex - Incorrect.OSD" has Environment variables "INCLUDE" & "LIB" which repeats itself after dynamic suiting. This results in loss of data of the previously defined "INCLUDE" and "LIB" variables thereby breaking the functionality of the applications.

Content of ASIA-Ex – Incorrect.OSD


                 To overcome this issue append the values of the "INCLUDE" & "LIB" from the dependency application with that of the primary application.

Content of ASIA-Ex – correct.OSD

<ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE="INCLUDE">%SFT_MNT%\Sybase.12\OCS-12_0\include;%SFT_MNT%\MQCLINTC.6\tools\c\include;%SFT_MNT%\MQCLINTC.6\tools\cplus\include</ENVIRONMENT>

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Troubleshooting Virtualized Application

June 13, 2010 by Ramesh

Troubleshooting virtualized application could be a nightmarish experience if we don’t understand the usage of sfttray.exe

sfttray.exe comes in very handy to access the access the asset directory (Q Drive) in fact, that is the only way to get access into Q:

The below command is the way we do it
Sfttray /exe cmd “OSD"

Upon executing the above command, a new command (cmd) window opens which has access to the bubble (asset directory)

In the new command window, type
Explorer Q:

You will see a folder with a lock symbol on it meaning you can open it for troubleshooting purpose.

In the new command window, type
to see any services your application has. Needless to say you will have to move to the "services" tab

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Mount Point Installation vs VFS Installation

June 12, 2010 by Ramesh

There are two ways you can sequence an application. They are Mount point installation and VFS Installation. As a sequence engineer it is essential to be aware of the differences between the two types of install.
Mount Point Installation

                Installing an application to a folder in Mount point is considered to be an efficient way of sequencing application. A deeper look at the scanning operation performed during the sequencing operation would help us better comprehend the advantages of mount point installation.
·         More Efficient
As the application is installed to a mount point (Q:\), only required files are monitored by the sequencer. The tax on the sequencer to scan the entire C:\ is hugely removed in this case there by making it easily the efficient way to sequence an application.

VFS Installation

            Nonetheless, there are applications which refuse to install to a location other than C:\ (Virtual File System). Under these circumstances, the entire hard disk is scanned for system changes, making it much slower than mount point installation. Also, scanning the entire hard disk for changes would result in capturing files that are not actually used by the application.

From the above points, it is evidently visible that Mount point installation is the preferred method to sequence an application compared to VFS installation

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Sequencing Avaya Visibility Management Suite

by Ramesh

Upon sequencing “Avaya Visibility Suite Management”, though the OSD would have a definition for the environment variables, the virtualized app fails with a message saying “Unable to find J2RE_BIN”

To overcome this error, define the environment variables through the registry tab in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment

Visually, this is how we do it
Reason for the failure
The specific reason why this application fails narrows down to badly written code which forces the application to look for the environment variables at system level.                                                 

The same issue is seen "Avaya Site Administrator 4.0" and can be fixed using the mechanism described above

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String And Multi String Values in Registry Table

by Ramesh

SequenThere is a stark difference between String and Multi string values in the registry table. Beyond a shadow of doubt it is comprehendible that they cannot be interchanged. To identify the multi string values in registry look out for [~] values. These values cannot be changed under any circumstances as doing so would result in a launch failure or break the functionality of the application.
Lets take a deeper look into this with an example of Business Objects

Business Objects

While sequencing Business Objects applications, it is absolutely essential to retain the registry data as it is for the reason that the application has lots multi string values and the functionality is dependent on these values.

While installing the application to a mount point (Q:) registry references should be updated accordingly. Business Objects, in this case, has registry data reading as “[ProgramFilesFolder]Business Objects[~]Data” so on and so forth. To get your virtual app working find and replace the above value with [INSTALLDIR][~]Data. Failing to do so would result in an incomprehensible error message

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Importance of Exclusion List

June 10, 2010 by Ramesh

Before sequencing any application, it is a very good practice to explore the source (most probably msi) to better comprehend the structure of installation of the files and registries and INI files as well. 

For Instance, by default, “CSIDL_PERSONAL” is excluded during the sequencing phase, meaning files installed to this location are never monitored.

Consider the below scenario, you try to sequence an application and deploy the same to App-V client enabled PC. You realize that shortcut doesn’t launch as it is supposed to (Worst case, you see an App-V related error i.e “Path not Found” etc)

Best Place to start investigating the issue would be
1.    Check the Location of the executable and make sure that it’s not listed in “Exclusion List”. To view the default exclusion list, Goto Tools -> Options -> Exclusion List.
2.    Check if the directory containing the executable is not listed in the exclusion list. If yes, you will have to re-sequence the application after removing the entry from the exclusion list.

Best Practice
Goto Tools -> Options -> Exclusion List,
Remove entries like “CSIDL_PERSONAL”, “CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA” and other pertinent entries and save it as default. Click “Apply” and close the sequencer and Open it again for sequencing. This setting will ensure that files installed to those respective locations would be captured during the sequencing process

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Security Descriptor

June 9, 2010 by Ramesh

By enabling Security Descriptors during sequencing an application, permissions on the windows file system are “pulled into the bubble”. The sequencer always captures security descriptors during sequencing, but only with the Enforce Security Descriptors setting checked, the client enforces them on the file system drive at runtime.

So if a users group on the Sequencer had read rights on the T:\APP-X folder, these rights are stored in the Virtual Environment. Once streamed and run on the client, the user cannot edit in this specific folder. In this manner you can set permissions on parts of the Virtual Environment and secure parts of being modified by a user
On the contrary, I would check this option ONLY when it is absolutely essential. Meaning, only for badly written software which expects specific security settings for proper functionality would precisely be the circumstances under which I would keep the option checked. When the security descriptors are turned off, the user is considered to have full rights on the asset directory which would be the ideal case.
USEFUL TIP you can turn off “Enforce Security Descriptor” by default by editing the “Default.sprj” file.

Open the “Default.sprj” file with notepad, search for “UseSecurityDescriptors” and set the value to “NO” and save the file.

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Sequencing Toad 10

June 8, 2010 by Ramesh

After sequencing “Toad 10” to asset directory, you might see the below errors while launching the application on Win7.

After clicking OK, the application shuts down.

In between the sequencing process, open the following files and update the hard coded paths in the file.

CSIDL_APPDATA\Quest Software\Toad for Oracle\SettingsLocation.ini
CSIDL_APPDATA\Quest Software\QSR\QSR.ini

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Sequencing Attachmate Extra X-treme 9.0

by Ramesh

Sequencing "Attachmate Extra X-treme 9.0" for Windows 7 could be highly annoying without the below tip.
The Sequenced application launches with a "Server busy/retry" message every time the Extra session based application shortcut is launched.

Issue: issue is with the Vendor code which is the causative factor for the error.

Solution: Installing the service pack which is available from the vendor at the time of sequencing would fix the error.
"Attachmate Extra X-treme 9.0" is on the certified list of applications that run on Windows 7 32 as well as 64 bit OS. The earlier versions of the application DOES NOT run on Windows 7.
NOTE: Windows Compatibility list doesn't talk about requirement of the service pack. The list of Windows 7 compatible applications can be found using the below link

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Environment Variables in Virtual App

by Ramesh

As we all know that Environment variables play a vital role in many applications, the way they are handled in a virtual app is radically different from that of a physically installed application.
   Below mentioned points discriminates behavior of virtually defined environment variables from that of physical ones.

• The Environment Variable defined exists ONLY when the application is active. The variables are cleared once the application is closed.

• The environment variable inside the virtual app will override the values defined by the Operating system.

• All the variables are treated as User variable even if gets captured as a variable defined at system level.

This is how an environment variable is defined inside OSD
                  <[ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE="TEMP"]>Value<[/ENVIRONMENT]>

Multiple environment variables can be defined within the tag using the above syntax. Needless to say that above XML content will return a parser error because of "[". Removing this would get the us the job done

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Virtualized App - Feature Block

June 2, 2010 by Ramesh

Any virtualized application is divided into two blocks namely “Feature Block 1” and “Feature Block 2”.

What data goes into Feature block 1 is defined by the operations performed by the user during the launch phase of the sequencing process. It is a wise idea to launch as much functionality as possible within the application which would ensure a bigger FB1 (Feature Block 1) size. Rest of the application would go into FB2 (Feature Block 2). FB1 is the minimum necessary block of data required for successful launch and FB2 is streamed to the client PC as the user starts using the application

There are circumstances where you might not want to launch the shortcut during the launch phase which would set the size of FB1 to “0” (Zero). Under these circumstances, entire application is streamed to the user upon first launch, thereby making it evidently slower than having a non-zero sized FB1.

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Block Size, Compression Algorithm

June 1, 2010 by Ramesh

Below mentioned are the major changes in AppV 4.6
• Disappearance of the option to select the block size.
After an in-depth analysis, Microsoft decided to set “64kb” as the default block size for the applications sequenced using AppV 4.6 “Which CANNOT be changed”
Block Size internally defines the amount of the data that is transmitted in out-of sequence packets when a user accesses the part of the program which was not part of the initial launch. This means less number of blocks will be requested by the user as the block size is more.

• Monitoring page is redesigned
There is a new progress bar in the background during the sequencing phase. The presence of a progress bar indicates that the system changes are being captured. This gives a better understanding to the sequence engineer as against the minimized sequencing window in App-V 4.5

Compression algorithm allows us to compress the size of the SFT file. An uncompressed SFT file would take relatively longer time to stream over the network as against a compressed SFT. When you compress the SFT, though the streaming would be much faster, the data requires a decompression algorithm at the client which is CPU intensive. The default option is “Not Compressed

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"Local”, “LocalLow” and “Roaming”

May 30, 2010 by Ramesh

Windows Vista and Windows 7 ships with three new folders namely “Local”, “LocalLow” and “Roaming” which has been created by Microsoft intentionally for the following reasons

• Better performance during logon
• Segregation of application’s data based on the usage level

The folder “Roaming” by design ensures that ONLY absolutely essential data like “Favorites” “Desktop” and “Documents” travel with the user thereby making it as a roaming profile. Data stored inside this folder would be user’s preference for a particular application. For instance, Adobe products stores user’s settings in this folder. It is worth to remember that “Roaming” folder is synchronized with the server meaning bigger the size of roaming folder longer the time required to logon to a PC.

The folder “Local” is designed to store any machine specific information which wouldn’t be synchronized with the server at logon time. Usually, this data is machine specific. This folder is equivalent to C:\Documents and Settings\Local Settings\Application Data on Windows XP.

This folder stores what Microsoft calls as “Low Integrity” data. IE8, for example, can only write to the locallow folder (when protected mode is on).

The data that would go into any of the above three folders would be a vendor specific design. For instance, Adobe products install the custom dictionaries to “LocalLow” whereas Microsoft products install the same to “Roaming”

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32-bit and 64-bit Windows

May 29, 2010 by Ramesh

I have people frequenting to me with at least one question after buying a 64 bit computer (mostly inadvertently). “Hey .. i see two program files folder on my PC .... can i delete one of those? (mostly Program Files (x86)) as it is something new on my box”. This is when it occurred to me that both are radically different and the difference had to be educated to the users.

On a 64bit PC, We find two folder namely “Program Files” and “Program Files (x86)”. There is an astute difference between the two folders which is definitely worth discriminating. Simply put, “Program Files” folder is designed for 64 bit applications and “Program Files (x86)” for well known and more prevalently in use 32 bit applications. This precisely is what defines the installation directory for an application.

Windows 7 is designed to detect the architecture of an application which helps it decide the installation location. Needless to say that, the application should be 64 bit designed to be installed to “Program Files” folder.

These two types of application might leave us with a question like would a 64 bit application work on a 32 bit processor and 32 bit application on 64 bit processor? Well ... the answer is.... If an application is specifically designed for a 64bit processor, they wouldn’t run on a 32 bit processor. Whereas most of the 32 bit applications will work on 64 bit OS.

I believe, The above differentiation provides a holistic view on the two types of windows and I found the below link to be very useful

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Windows 7 Compatibility Check

by Ramesh

The below mentioned site shows up a list of software’s that are compatible with Win7 32 and 64 bit inclusive.

The URL provides ONLY the information about the compatibility of the software on Win7 platform.

A WORD OF CAUTION: This, by no means indicates whether the application can be successfully virtualized or not

For Instance, the application "Workshare Professional 5" shows a matching entry in both the categories of Win7 (32 and 64 bit). But Sequencing this application with complete functionality is next to impossible as the application has a printer driver

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App-V Management Console Crash

by Ramesh

Off-late, i ran into a strange problem which would crash my "App-V Management console" while importing virtual applications into the console with a stereotyped Microsoft message Management console encountered a problem and needs to close down as shown below

To Fix the above problem, create the below mentioned registry key

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SoftGrid\4.5\Management Console\
DWORD: LoadConsoleIcons
Value: 0 (zero)

Close your console and open again. The annoying error wouldn't show up again :-)

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May 28, 2010 by Ramesh

Primary Objective of the blogs posted in this site would be to

  • To share new findings in Microsoft App-V
  • Challenges faced while sequencing applications
  • Trouble shoot sequenced applications and
  • Known issues and resolution techniques
I would also share my experience while sequencing complex applications and learnings and new take aways

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