Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Monday, 27 July 2009

What's for Dinner 7/19 - 7/25

Sunday
 Steak
 Baked Potatoes
 Broccoli
 Asparagus

Monday
 Roitesserie Chicken
 Basmati Rice
 Peas
 Rolls

Tuesday
 

Wednesday
 

Thursday
 

Friday

 Saturday 
 

Monday, 27 July 2009 05:27:07 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | What's for Dinner#
Friday, 24 July 2009

Just Sold, $600.00, Purchased one year ago, 600.00.  Easy come, Easy go.  Yah I tried to get 800.00 for it, but I took what I could get, heck I got a year out of it.

I know my dad will be sad to see it go, the look on his face when EJ showed him Dad's new car was price less.

The ad as it appeared on Craigs list:


1989 Buick Century - $800 (Grandview)

1989 Buick Century. 140K miles. Runs good. Has good tires.

Runs great. I drove it every day for the last year to work downtown. The paints not pretty on it, but neither am I. The only issue is the transmission fluid needs to be topped up once a month, about 1/2 quart a month depending on how much you drive. 6 cylinder, 3.8, Front wheel drive, heat, a/c, 25/27mpg, Cruise control, No radio. I will get it inspected prior to selling. Has clean title.

 

Friday, 24 July 2009 11:08:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | Cars#
Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Opening Installshield Cab Files / Extract Installshield cab file

Recently I needed to open an Installshield cab file to extract some SQL Server scripts from a failed vendor installation.  I was surprised to find that I was not able to do so.  Installshield does not use the same type of cab file that Microsoft does.

I found a command line utility to view and extract the cab files.  I also found an excellent shareware program, called ZipScan from foobar software. (if your allowed to use these at your company than great !).

In order to extract an installshield cab file I've put this together, you need two files (all listed at the end)

i6comp020.zip and i6comp103b.zip.

1.  Extract i6comp020.zip and put just the .exe in the folder with the cab file resides.
2.  Extract i6comp103b.zip and put only the zd51145.dll in the same folder as well.
3.  To extract the cab file open a command window and execute:

i6comp e file_to_extract.txt some_cab_file.cab

You can also put the file back in the cab file with the same utility

i6comp r file_to_put_back.txt some_cab_file.cab
-----------------------------------------------------------
e_wise.ZIP (97.47 KB)
extr_cab.ZIP (101.93 KB)
exwise05.ZIP (109.66 KB)
i5comp201.ZIP (100.69 KB)
i6comp020.ZIP (121.02 KB)
i6comp103b.ZIP (73.13 KB)
iscab.ZIP (374.39 KB)
isdcc122.ZIP (55.35 KB)
isdcc210.ZIP (96.39 KB)
wisdec100b.ZIP (367.53 KB)
zipscan_eval_setup.ZIP (876.67 KB)


Helpful files and utilities when dealing with installations
-----------------------------------------------------------
e_wise.zip        99806 2002/01/09  e_wise.zip - WISE Setup unpacker
                        Long desc:  e_wise.zip - WISE Setup unpacker (c) 2001
                                    Veit Kannegieser The idea for E_WISE comes
                                    from EXWISE from Andrew de Quincey. This
                                    version - reimplemented in Pascal - can
                                    handle more WISE-versions - can retrive
                                    filenames and date/time Use PEC.EXE to run
                                    on OS/2 Repackaged for installing Win32
                                    programs using Odin on OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
extr_cab.zip     104372 2002/01/09  Microsoft CAB file extractors
                        Long desc:  Microsoft CAB file extractors (c) Microsoft
                                    1994 - 1997 DOS and Win32 console mode
                                    versions of Microsoft's Extract tools for
                                    CAB files. Available for download in
                                    multiple other places on the internet,
                                    too. Extract.EXE runs on MDOS,
                                    Extrac32.EXE runs using PEC.EXE on OS/2.
                                    Repackaged for installing Win32
                                    applications using Odin on OS/2 (eCs).
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
exwise05.zip     112292 2002/01/09  exwise v0.5
                        Long desc:  exwise v0.5 - (c) 1998 Andrew de Quincey
                                    http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~adq
                                    adq@tardis.ed.ac.uk This decompresses WISE
                                    install executables Use PEC.EXE to run on
                                    OS/2. Repackaged for installing Win32
                                    programs using Odin on OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
i5comp201.zip    103111 2002/01/09  i5comp v2.01 - InstallShield v5.x
                                    decompressor
                        Long desc:  i5comp v2.01 - InstallShield v5.x
                                    decompressor InstallShield v5.x
                                    Compression and Maintenance utility -]
                                    fOSSiL - Aug-24-1999 [- for Win32. Win32
                                    executable, use PEC.EXE to run it on OS/2.
                                    Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2. Repackaged for
                                    installing Win32 programs using Odin on
                                    OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
i6comp020.zip    123921 2002/01/09  i6comp v0.20 - InstallShield v6.x CAB Tool
                        Long desc:  i6comp v0.20 - InstallShield v6.x CAB Tool
                                    Fully functional now. i6comp v0.20 Release
                                    Notes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    (InstallShield v6.x CAB Util) -] fOSSiL -
                                    Jun-16-2000 [- -] Morlac - Dec-27-2000 [-
                                    This is a more improved package than
                                    i6comp103b!!! Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2
                                    Repackaged for installaing Win32 programs
                                    using Odin on OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
i6comp103b.zip    74884 2002/01/09  i6comp v1.03 beta - InstallShield v6.x CAB
                                    Tool
                        Long desc:  i6comp v1.03 beta - InstallShield v6.x CAB
                                    Tool Release Notes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    (InstallShield v6.x CAB Util) -] fOSSiL -
                                    Jun-16-2000 [- This is a earlier beta than
                                    i6comp020!!! Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2.
                                    Repackaged for installaing Win32 programs
                                    using Odin on OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
iscab.zip        383373 2002/01/09  The InstallShield Cabinet File Viewer for
                                    Win32
                        Long desc:  The InstallShield Cabinet File Viewer for
                                    Win32 (ISCabVu.exe) lets you select an
                                    InstallShield cabinet file and view its
                                    compressed files, file groups, components,
                                    and setup types and the properties of
                                    those items. It also lets you extract
                                    files from the cabinet file. CAB file
                                    editor (iscab.exe) lets you modify cabinet
                                    files. These two programs are extracted
                                    from InstallShield 6.21 package and
                                    "improved" by me so you don't have to know
                                    media password and component passwords.
                                    PS. Run setup.reg first. Runs on Windows
                                    only. Repackaged for installing Win32
                                    programs using Odin on OS/2 (eCs).
                        Runs on:    Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
isdcc122.zip      56677 2002/01/09  isDcc v1.22 - installshield script
                                    decompiler
                        Long desc:  isDcc v1.22 - installshield script
                                    decompiler (c) 1998 Andrew de Quincey
                                    http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~adq
                                    adq@tardis.ed.ac.uk This is an
                                    installshield script decompiler. It
                                    supports all versions of installshield up
                                    to v5.5 (as far as I know). Use PEC.EXE to
                                    run on OS/2. Repackaged for installing
                                    Win32 programs using Odin on OS/2 (eCs).
                                    Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2.
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
isdcc210.zip      98704 2002/01/09  isDcc v2.10 - installshield script
                                    decompiler
                        Long desc:  isDcc v2.10 - installshield script
                                    decompiler (c) 2001 Mr. Smith
                                    MrSmith_@hotmail.com This is a further
                                    modification of Andrew de Quinceys
                                    installshiled decompiler. Bug fixes: 1) I
                                    hope I fixed the problem of isDcc messing
                                    up labels ! 2) Fixed the bug which printed
                                    "string" instead of the modulo sign "%".
                                    Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2. Repackaged for
                                    installing Win32 programs using Odin on
                                    OS/2 (eCs).
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
odinbug030.zip    36087 2001/08/15  Odin Bug Report Generator 0.3.0
                        Long desc:  Odin Bug Report Generator 0.3.0 (c)
                                    copyrighted FREEWARE Tool to generate Odin
                                    Bug Reports that are compatible with the
                                    standards that Team Odin has defined in
                                    the file ReportingBugs.TXT that is
                                    distributed with every Odin build. Bug
                                    reports can be created comfortably and
                                    fast.
                        Runs on:    every OS/2 that runs Odin
                        Requires:   VROBJ.DLL (VX-REXX runtime dll)
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
                                    (herwig.bauernfeind@aon.at)
wisdec100b.zip   376352 2002/01/09  InstallShield Script decompiler
                        Long desc:  InstallShield Script decompiler (c) 1998 by
                                    NaTzGUL Use PEC.EXE to run on OS/2.
                                    Repackaged to install Win32 programs using
                                    Odin on OS/2 (eCs)
                        Runs on:    every version of OS/2 (eCS) that runs Odin,
                                    WinXX
                        Requires:   recent Odin build
                        Contact:    Herwig Bauernfeind
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
Useful links:
--------------------------------------------------------------
http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh...2/i6comp020.zip
http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh.../i6comp103b.zip
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=281349
http://www.datapool.de/Windows/Tools/Decompiler/
Tuesday, 21 July 2009 10:50:16 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | General Technology#
Monday, 20 July 2009

Patching SQL Server still has a long way to go !


Patching SQL Server still has many necessary improvements.  It's an endless cycle.  Service Packs and Cumulative Updates.  The release process of the patches is much better, but the technical windows installer portion of the process is painful.  Ever look at a machine that has 4 SQL Server instances?  Take a close look at your c:\windows\, C:\windows\installer, c:\Prog...\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Setup Bootstrap\LOG\Hotfix.  Where I come from we call that a cluster f***!

If you have 20-50 SQL Instances, it's a manageable process, when your dealing with 100's and 1000's it's a nightmare.

Troubleshooting the process is a kin to the "needle in the haystack" analogy.  Recently while applying SP3 to a SQL Server I received the following error:

...
Error Number              : 11032
Error Description         : Unable to install Windows Installer MSP file
------------------------------------------------------

Fortunately I've seen so many errors applying SQL Server service packs and patches (remember we patch 100's to 1000's so I'm not saying these errors are common place, but even 5% can generate a huge volume of work).   Service pack Errors I've Seen.
 http://www.lifeasbob.com/2008/01/29/CumulativeHotfix53215InstallIssues.aspx

When searching for the 11032 error cause, the summary.log leads to another file, some sqlrun_sql.msp.log.  Always search for “return value 3” in any MSI logs to quickly find the error.  I found the following in the log file:

MSI (s) (9C:78) [20:33:17:978]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:\WINDOWS\Installer\MSI7F3.tmp, Entrypoint: InstallFTERef
FTECa.DLL: INFO: FTE: InstallFTERef(), Entering...
FTECa.DLL: INFO: FTE: GetFTERefInstallParams: FTERef : ?*
FTECa.DLL: ERROR: FTE: InstallFTERef: Fail to create FTERef file: D:\data\FTData\noiseCHS.txt,Err=3
MSI (s) (9C:FC) [20:33:18:322]: User policy value 'DisableRollback' is 0
MSI (s) (9C:FC) [20:33:18:322]: Machine policy value 'DisableRollback' is 0
Action ended 20:33:18: InstallFinalize. Return value 3.

Sure enough the path d:\data was wrong, it should be d:\mssql.1\data,  I copied the FTData directory to a new one I created called d:\mssql.1\data and it completed successfully.  It's not even worth the effort to think how this got screwed up, the ftdata directory is picked up in the registry, so someone moved the directory or hacked the registry.

We did find one behavior change with SP3, DBCC CheckIdent.  DBCC CheckIdent used to successfully take Null parameter, now it does not, easy enough to correct by testing for Null and replacing with a zero.  We found this through a job that resets the identity value of table, the job began failing when we applied sp3, sure enough testing on sp2 shows it was successful.  Probably this is a good thing that sp3 tightened up the parameter validation on DBCC CheckIdent.  Example below:

Declare @maxId Integer
Select @maxId = Max([Identity_column]) + 1 From [Some Table]
Print '--Resetting seed to' + Convert(varchar(10),@maxId)
DBCC CheckIdent ('Some TABLE',reseed,@maxId)

Monday, 20 July 2009 11:08:34 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | SQL Server#
Sunday, 19 July 2009

What's for Dinner 7/19 - 7/25

Sunday
 Smoked Corn Beef
 Potatoes
 Beans
 Salad

Monday
 Taco's
 Chimichanga

Tuesday
 Jenny-O
 Mashed Potatoes
 Buttered Noodles
 Broccoli
 Corn

Wednesday
 Pirogies
 Kielbasa
 red horseradish (which is blended with beets)
 Salad
 Sliced Tomatoes 

Thursday
 Left-Overs

Friday
 Pizza

Saturday 
 Grilled Chicken

Sunday, 19 July 2009 05:50:46 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | What's for Dinner#
Friday, 17 July 2009

Installing vendor databases on SQL Server is usually pretty straight forward.  Not many DBA's like the process, but the proliferation of 3rd party products that use SQL Server is continuing to grow.

Recently this particular vendor, of course insisting their product was 64 bit and SQL Server 2005 compatible, ran into problems for me.  It's only compatible after you manually add registry entries that make the installshield program think there is a 32 bit instance of MSDE !  Yah, that's compatible (oh by the way, those registry entries also break the sql browser service so you whole instance becomes unavailable unless it is accessed directly through a port number).  NICE !

Getting through the above process was painful enough, than the installshield installer errors out with a SQL Server error on creating a view, indicating that a dependent object is missing.

Technical support, while helpful is clueless.  "Never seen that before!"  After 3 days of issues, i'm basically troubleshooting for them, taking traces from our lab environment and comparing them.  Finally we stumble on to the fact that installshield is creating a _setup directory where it is putting the SQL Server scripts.  This folder (_setup), happens to be under the data directory where the MDF's are being created (NICE).  This data directory happens to be a mount point!

Ahhh, for whatever reason, Installshield runs the scripts differently from a mount point vs. a drive letter.   We think it's either a bug in Installshield or an issue with the permissions on the mount point.  We were not able to find any differences in permissions, but sure enough when we changed the location of the data files (which changes the location of the _setup directory), objects in the database were created in the correct order.   3 days of my life gone.

This vendor could have done many things differently.  Providing some type of manual work around, scripts to create the database (this was not an option so I was screwed), backups to manually restore, something, someway to escape the installshield install (which was like version 5 !).

And this was not a small dippy vendor, this is compliance software used by many of the big banking and financial institutions.  No wonder so many found them selves in danger of collapse !

Watch those mount points. 

Friday, 17 July 2009 08:57:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | Polyserve | SQL Server#
Sunday, 12 July 2009
What's for Dinner 7/12 - 7/18

Sunday
 Smoked Baby back ribs
 Rice
 Broccoli

Monday
 Chicken Strips
 Macaroni and Cheese
 Green Beans

Tuesday
 Spaghetti with Meat balls
 Broccoli
 Spinach-Salad
 Bread

Wednesday
 Meat Loaf
 Mashed Potatoes
 Asparagus
 Peas

Thursday
 Leftovers

Friday
 McDonalds

Saturday 
 Hamburgers and Hotdogs
 Baked Beans

Sunday, 12 July 2009 06:49:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | What's for Dinner#
Sunday, 05 July 2009
What's for Dinner 7/5 - 7/11

Sunday
 BBQ Beef Brisket
 Green Beans
 Corn
 Bread

Monday
 Ham Steak
 Macaroni and Cheese
Carrots
Peas 

Tuesday
 Chicken Paprikash with Egg Noodles
 Steamed Broccoli
 Sliced Tomatoes

Wednesday
 Salisbury Steak
 Mashed Potatoes
 Asparagus
 Left-over vegetables

Thursday
 Left-Overs 

Friday
 Baked Fish with Basmati rice
 Stewed Tomatoes
 Mixed Vegetables
 Rolls

Saturday 
Pizza 

Sunday, 05 July 2009 14:20:15 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | Web_Blog | What's for Dinner#
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