Preparing for Vista RTM - backing up your profile folder

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

I'm preparing to re-install my workstation and go from Vista RC2 to the RTM version, now that we've got access to the volume license versions. As they are only "Upgrade" versions, I'm planning to try this workaround to achieve a clean install without having to install XP first.

When I installed RC2, I didn't re-partition the disk - I just left it as one big C: drive. This has now come back to haunt me, as it means in order to to a clean install of the new OS, I've got to move everything that I want to keep onto an external disk, and then copy it all back when the new OS is up and running. Previous machines have always had two drives, so didn't used to be such a problem.

I've created a batch file to run robocopy.exe (which is actually included in Vista now), so I can select which folders I want to backup to the external disk.

That all worked fine until I pointed robocopy at my profile folder.

Your profile is located in %USERPROFILE% in case you were wondering - on a clean install of Vista, that maps to a folder under C:\Users. The old "C:\Documents and Settings" as used by XP is still there, but it redirects to the new folder.

This is related to where things went wrong. The way Vista does the redirect is by using Junction Points - they're kind of like symbolic links in Unix. The trouble is that Junction Points are also used inside your profile folder to redirect from the old name (eg. "Application Data" to the new name "AppData").

I wondered why robocopy was taking so long, and then looked at what it was doing - it seemed to be copying the same files over and over again - and then I realised that's exactly what it was doing - it was stuck in a recursive loop because it kept hitting a junction point that took it one directory deeper each time. Eek!

So I stopped the batch file, but now I needed to remove the mess on the external disk. This handy batch file did the trick - curiously it also relies on robocopy to remove a directory heirarchy that suffers from "the path is too long" errors.

I'm now using an extra argument "/xj" with robocopy to tell it to ignore junction points and it should all be fine.

robocopy c:\users\username e:\users\username /mir /r:0 /xj

Listing installed applications on Vista 64-bit with WMI

Monday, 5 March 2007

There's a few sample scripts around to list the installed applications using WMI. The trap on 64-bit platforms is that the 32-bit and 64-bit installation information is stored in different places in the registry, and you need to be clever about telling WMI that you want the 32-bit data instead of the 64-bit.

Here's some VBScript that will list first the 32-bit and then 64-bit installed applications:

strComputer = "."
Const HKLM = &h80000002
Set objCtx = CreateObject("WbemScripting.SWbemNamedValueSet")
objCtx.Add "__ProviderArchitecture", 32
objCtx.Add "__RequiredArchitecture", TRUE
Set objLocator = CreateObject("Wbemscripting.SWbemLocator")
Set objServices = objLocator.ConnectServer("","root\default","","",,,,objCtx)
Set objStdRegProv = objServices.Get("StdRegProv")

WScript.Echo "32-bit Applications"
WScript.echo "-------------------"

Call GetApplications

objCtx.Add "__ProviderArchitecture", 64
objCtx.Add "__RequiredArchitecture", TRUE
Set objLocator = CreateObject("Wbemscripting.SWbemLocator")
Set objServices = objLocator.ConnectServer("","root\default","","",,,,objCtx)
Set objStdRegProv = objServices.Get("StdRegProv")

WScript.Echo "64-bit Applications"
WScript.echo "-------------------"

Call GetApplications

Sub GetApplications

' Use ExecMethod to call the GetStringValue method
Set Inparams = objStdRegProv.Methods_("EnumKey").Inparameters
Inparams.Hdefkey = HKLM
Inparams.Ssubkeyname = "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\"

set Outparams = objStdRegProv.ExecMethod_("EnumKey", Inparams,,objCtx)

For Each strSubKey In Outparams.snames

Set Inparams = objStdRegProv.Methods_("GetStringValue").Inparameters
Inparams.Hdefkey = HKLM
Inparams.Ssubkeyname = "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\" & strSubKey
Inparams.Svaluename = "DisplayName"
set Outparams = objStdRegProv.ExecMethod_("GetStringValue", Inparams,,objCtx)

if ("" & Outparams.sValue) = "" then
'wscript.echo strSubKey
Else
wscript.echo Outparams.SValue
End iF

'Inparams.Svaluename = "QuietDisplayName"
'set Outparams = objStdRegProv.ExecMethod_("GetStringValue", Inparams,,objCtx)
'wscript.echo Outparams.SValue

Next

End Sub

Oracle Databases on Windows Vista

Monday, 5 March 2007

Vista got released in November last year, and I've now come across the first "big" application that doesn't currently run on Vista.

Oracle will support Windows Vista but most likely not completely until the second half of 2007!

I would have thought a company the size of Oracle could dedicate a few resources to running their stuff on the beta releases of Vista, so that it wouldn't be such a big step to get it all working.

At least I don't do much Oracle stuff, but it does happen occasionally (like today), where it is a problem.

Windows Vista on ABC Adelaide Weekends

Monday, 5 March 2007

Who was that "David from Aberfoyle Park" who rang in last weekend to talk about his experiences using Windows Vista? 

How do I run FxCop during a post-build event?

Monday, 5 March 2007

Ha! Not only did my post to the FxCop forum turn out to reveal a bug in MsBuild, but David M. Kean referenced my fix in a posting to the The Visual Studio Code Analysis Team Blog