June 28 2010

App-V sequenced applications not keeping settings / preferences

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I’ve recently been using the Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer 4.6 (aka App-V 4.6) and come across an interesting default setting that ended up being the reason for many of our sequencing problems. The symptom was that sequenced applications run in the virtual ‘bubble’ would not save preference settings or maintain any type of settings from the previous session (eg if the application was open, a few settings changed, closed and then reopened, all settings would be back to default).

The culprit ending up being the ‘Enforce Security Descriptors’ checkbox on the Deployment tab during sequencing – this is turned on by default.

The solution was to UNTICK this box before saving your project (aka compiling). In effect, this is actually giving the security object ‘Everyone’ NTFS ‘Full Control’ on the Q:%APPDIR% directory (with Q:%APPDIR% being the sequencing directory you are using based on a name that meets the 8.3 Naming Convention) inside your virtual ‘bubble’. This is enough to allow the user privledge to save application settings into the virtual application path and therefore the settings are maintained when the application is closed and re-opened.

For a more detailed article on ‘Using the “Security Descriptors” within the App-V 4.5 Sequencer’, see http://www.softgridblog.com/?p=105

While on the topic of App-V and since there have been many new terms introduced, there is an excellent Application Virtualization Glossary located on Technet here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc843850.aspx

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June 23 2010

Great tool to install multiple applications at once

I’ve recently come across a nifty tool that will automate the installation of popular software. It automatically says No to toolbars, detects either 32 or 64 bit versions and generally saves you a heap of time. The application is called Ninite Easy PC Setup and is available here –> http://ninite.com/ 

It is similar to the Google Updater software but covers many more applications and saves a bunch of time.

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June 3 2010

Windows 7 enable Recent Items via group policy

There is a confirmed bug with Windows 7 / group policy around this setting. The scenario is as follows:

  • Windows 7 disables Recent Items in the Start Menu by default
  • You want to enable Recent Items via group policy
  • You configure ‘User configurationPoliciesAdministrative templatesStart menu and taskbarRemove recent items menu from start menu’  and set this to ‘disabled’
  • Even though you have implemented the above setting, Recent Items still doesn’t show up

This is a bug and the workaround is to add a registry entry HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvancedStart_ShowRecentDocs and set this REG_DWORD value to 1.

I choose to use Group Policy Preference to replace this registry value on our Windows 7 machines: