Author Archives: Fabio.dilorenzo

AdminStudio 2013 now available for immediate download

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of AdminStudio 2013 for customers with an existing maintenance plan.


You can download/request your own copy of AdminStudio here:

Flexera is also providing new serial numbers for “AdminStudio for Symantec'” Customers

Original Quote:

“Special Notice for AdminStudio for Symantec Customers – This is a new Flexera Software serial number and will replace the serial number provided to you by Symantec. Please use this new serial number for fulfillment of AdminStudio 2013.'” 

We offer assistance if you are planning upgrading your AdminStudio Environment or you need any other technical advise.


SPA Team


Quick Tip: Use ProcMon to detect permission issues

Ever wondered how to use procmon to detect permission problems inside an application?

We have created a short youtube tutorial to show you how you can use procmon to pin down the locations which are requiring more permissions.

In fact we are using an old self written demonstration tool for this purpose which tries to write to “C:\Program Files (x86)\VUEE\settings.txt”. However,  we are logged in as unpriviliged user.

PS: ProcMon shows an UAC (Credentials)-Prompt which is not visible on this video.

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Whats new in InstallShield 2013?

Flexera has released its newest version of their Setup Authoring Software called “InstallShield”. As a matter of fact this will be included in the next major release of  the AdminStudio Suite.


Meanwhile Flexera has published the full change/release notes of InstallShield 2013 here:

Q210472: InstallShield 2013 Release Notes

The most interesting finding so far is that you wont be able to create App-V 5.0 packages if your “building”/”development” machine is not yet running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012.

What are your thoughts about the new version? Are you satisfied? Let us know in the comments section!



Java 7 Update 21 Control Panel Applet may crash if installed by MSI file directly


A customer which is using our DPD Version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) came across a few hours ago and reported the following issue:

You may receive the following error message when you try to open the Java Control Panel:


Solution / Workaround

After some investigation with Procmon it looked it turned out that a “vital” registry key/value was missing.

As it looks right now the following key will only be written using the original setup bootstrapper (= e.g jre-7u21-windows-i586.exe).

If you are installing directly using the extracted Windows Installer Database / MSI the key wont be written and this may lead into this error message.

How ever it can be easily fixed by adding the missing registry key to the registry or the installation source (e.g  MSI Transform):

32-Bit/X86 JRE on 32-Bit/X86 Windows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

32-Bit/X86 JRE on 64-Bit/X64 Windows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft\Auto Update]

64-Bit/X64 JRE on 64-Bit/X64 Windows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Our DPD packages will be updated asap to include this workaround until Oracle fixes this in their installation routine.

If you need any further information or support regarding this problem feel free to contact us.


Additional information:


new blog design/layout!

After nearly 4 years with the same blog design (we started this blog back in 2009)  we have decided to  “fresh up” the layout and the design a little. We hope you will enjoy the new design as much as we do!


SPA Team

SHIMs and APP-V 5.0

We are glad to publish our first blog post from our new APP-V 5.0 advanced techniques series. Today we will have a look onto the new possibility to execute programs & scripts and how to implement shims in that case properly.

With APP-V 4.6 you couldnt really benefit from shims because there was no Event Action where you could trigger an elevated process (All actions were in current-user-context).

There was actually an article from microsoft about it here:

However this was limited to environments where user DO have administrative priviliges, however this doesn not apply to most enterprises.

There are of course other solutions like maintaining the shims centrally or deploying them with some classic approach. however most customers really want to keep everything inside the package and prefer to use per user deployment only.

If you dont have a clue what SHIMS or ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit) is all about, stop here and check out this comprehensive article first:

As you maybe already know Microsoft introduced the possibility to execute “actions” under the “System” Account for certain events:



Our example today is a selfmade application called AdminRequired. Yeah, its just an example application which we will use to see our SHIMs working in action!

The application basically just tries to elevate (Vista+, requireAdministrator as requested execution level) and afterwards it runs a deprecated API Call to verify if the current user has administrative priviliges.
In this example application I did actually use the IsUserAnAdmin function from the Shell32.dll (Source: As you can imagine this isn’t really a real world scenario however it will help us to demonstrate the Shim fixes.

We are glade to provide you with this application so you can actually try the tutorial for yourself.

Download: AdminRequired.msi

Lets examine our application!

As always we just start by installing this application without using the sequencer. You are asking why?

App-V is not a application compatibility framework or something similiar!

As we already know that our program will produce trouble we should fix those issues first!

I recommend to use a Windows Vista+ Machine with UAC for our demonstrating purpose. After the installation login with an unprivilged (non-admin) User and try to start the application.

The following screen will appear:


The application is requesting elevation, and because the current user does not have administrative privileges it actually proposed the local admin account.

This however can be easily fixed. To proceed with our application we simply open up a new cmd window and set the __COMPAT_LAYER Environment Variable to “RunAsInvoker” to override the original executionlevel request:



The program starts now without any UAC prompt however our API call still fails:



Lets shim it!

The only way to implement a workaround for this is now using the Application Compatibility Toolkit (Short ACT). The newest version can be obtained from the Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit (ADK).

Install this Tool (only the Application Compatibility Toolkit Feature is required) now on your Workstation or the virtual machine and run the Compatibility administrator, in our case 32-bit variant because our executable is a 32-bit executable.


Then we need to create our “Application Fix”. Rightclick onto “New Database” -> “Create New” -> “Application Fix…”



Fill in the information as shown on the screenshot. Lets proceed with “Next > “.


The first fix (no UAC Prompt) is applied by enabling the predefined compatbility mode “RunAsInvoker”. However for our deprecated API we still need another fix. “Next > “.


“ForceAdminAccess” shims various API Calls which are checking whetever the current user has somehow administrative priviliges. By enabling it for our application it will catch our API Call and always return true. More Information: Lets continue!



The proposed Matching information should usually be suitable your needs. Click “Finish”.

Our “Shim DB” is now finished and should look now like this:




Save this Database now with the name “AdminRequired.sdb”.

Include into our App-V Package

Now we can start with sequencing our application. This however should be easy and you may follow “common sequencing best practices” to create your package.

Open the package in the sequencer (Editing-Mode) and add your created shim database into the scripts folder:






Save the package. We are now ready to adjust the deployment config file to implement the SHIM Installation/Uninstallation upon package import.

Implement the Action

In our example we implement the required action into the deployment XML File (appvname_DeploymentConfig.xml)

Adjust the file as following:


I recommend to use an editor with XML syntax highlighting, otherwise the risk may be very high to include some typos or to miss some other vital elements. If the xml is malformed somehow it will simply fail and have no effect on the client machine.

Test / Run it App-V Streaming Server

Import the package into the console and ensure that your are overwritting the default configuration with your adjusted deployment_config.xml (this wont happen automatically).

Edit the default configuration…


and Import your customized XML File:



Test / Run it PowerShell CMDlets

Import and activate the package. Dont forget to specify the _DeploymentConfig.xml otherwise the information wont be applied!

Add-AppVClientPackage –Path c:PathToMyApp.appv -DynamicDeploymentConfiguration c:PathTo_DeploymentConfig.xml | Publish-AppVClientPackage

 You should be able to test the result for your own now 🙂

Its NOT working!

It is! Did you miss to enable script execution in/for App-V 5.0? (PackageScripts)

PowerShell CMDlet:

Set-AppVClientConfiguration –EnablePackageScripts 1


SPA Team

New DPD Package: Putty Suite

We are proud to announce the newest software package in our “Direct Package Download” portfolio.



Putty is a free and open source lightweight SSH and Telnet Client and currently our customers favorite choice for terminal emulation.

You should be able to order your DPD package from your personal SPA Portal Account as from now!

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.


SPA Team

App-V 5.0 Service Pack 1 is available

Microsoft has released, somehow very quietly, the first service pack for App-V 5.0.

The newest version can be obtained from the recently released “Microsoft Desktop Optimization 2013” DVD which is now available from different sources (PartnerNet, MSDN, Technet)


Change & Release notes:



SPA Team


Hotfix Package 1 for Microsoft App-V 5.0


Microsoft has released its first hotfix for their Application Virtualization Technology.

The hotfix package addresses several issues and can be obtained directly from microsoft here:

The patch must be applied to the client installation or can be slipstreamed into the original installation.

we will be happy to assist you in any matters if you need technical advises or any support regarding this information.


SPA Team

Ontrex User Group Meeting – Software Packaging für Windows 8 Presentation


for those who have missed the Ontrex user group meeting we are able to provide you with the slides of our presentation about windows 8 (however only available in german slides):

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