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Distributing IE 5.5

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Posted: 4 Oct 2000
 

Current version: ZENworks for Desktops 3

Okay, you guys are the best. Just last week (Sept. 27, 2000) we posted an Open Call for ideas about distributing Internet Explorer using ZENworks, and we couldn't believe how many top-notch solutions came in. Thanks for taking time to share your ideas. If you think of anything that hasn't been covered, send it along and we'll add it to the list.

For more information about Internet Explorer 5.5, check out this site.
Note: the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), referred to in many of these solutions, is available for free download from here.

Solutions

Additional Questions

Karl Allen Swelling

How to solve TID 10019287: Using the IEAK to deliver IE5.x via ZENworks while NAL 3 (ZENworks 2) is the Windows 95 shell

The following is from TID 10019287:

Symptom

Internet Explorer 5 fails after reboot when SETUP is executed as a NAL application object. NAL 3.0 set as the workstation shell on a WIN95 workstation.

Cause

Internet Explorer depends upon Explorer being the workstation shell.

Fix

Windows Explorer needs to be the shell in order for Internet Explorer's SETUP to run properly. This is as designed by Microsoft.

Well, this is not exactly true. The problem is that only Windows Explorer processes what is in the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce registry keys. When NAL is the shell, these keys are never processed, so the after-reboot part of the Internet Explorer installation (and other application installations that use the RunOnce key, like MDAC) is never performed.

First, let's take a look at part of my first application object:

AXT_FILE 3.0

[Application Name]
Value=MSINTERNETEXPLORER55-APP5

[Application Caption]
Value=Internet Explorer 5.5

[Registry Value Create]
Type=String
Flag=Write Always
Key=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Swelling
Name=AppMSIE
Value=5.5

[Registry Key Delete]
Key=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Swelling\AppMSIEPlugins

[Filter Disk]
Drive=C:
Value=100
Flag=Greater Than
Flag=Show Always

[Filter OS Version]
Type=Windows 95
Major Version=-1
Minor Version=-1
Revision Version=-1

[Application PostDistribution Script]
File=PODS.TXT

[Application Association Flags]
Flag=Launcher
Flag=Start Menu
Flag=Desktop

[Application Path]
Value=C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ IEXPLORE.EXE

[Application Platform]
Flag=Windows 95

[Application Flags]
Flag=Always Prompt Reboot

* PODS.TXT contains the following:
#K:\MSIE5\WIN32\EN\IE5SETUP.EXE /R:N
EXIT

This application object installs and then runs Internet Explorer. First it sets the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Swelling\ AppMSIE[5.5] key (which will be important later), runs "K:\MSIE5\WIN32\EN\ IE5SETUP.EXE /R:N" without rebooting, and then allows NAL to prompt for a reboot. If this was really everything that had to be installed, then you could just click on the icon again after the reboot and Internet Explorer would start. That takes us to my next application object:

AXT_FILE 3.0

[Application Name]
Value=HKLMSMWCVRO-CFG2

[Macro]
Name=SOURCE_PATH
Value=Z:\PUBLIC

[Macro]
Name=TARGET_PATH
Value=C:\NOVELL\SWELLING

[Application Caption]
Value=HKLM S M W CV RO

[Directory Create]
Flag=Write Always
Directory=%TARGET_PATH%

[File Copy]
Flag=Update Create
Flag=Always Distribute Setting
Source=%SOURCE_PATH%\NALFILES\ZEN\ WINBATCH\SRUNONCE.EXE
Target=%TARGET_PATH%\SRUNONCE.EXE

[File Copy]
Flag=Update Create
Flag=Always Distribute Setting
Source=%SOURCE_PATH%\NALFILES\ZEN\ WINBATCH\WBDBT32I.DLL
Target=%TARGET_PATH%\WBDBT32I.DLL

[Filter OS Version]
Type=Windows 95
Major Version=-1
Minor Version=-1
Revision Version=-1

[Filter Registry Data]
Type=Binary
Key=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Swelling
Value=WSState
Length=4
Data=4C 6F 63 6B
Flag=Equals

[Application Association Flags]
Flag=Force Run

[Application Icon Order]
Value=11

[Application Path]
Value=%TARGET_PATH%\SRUNONCE.EXE

[Application Platform]
Flag=Windows 95

[Application Flags]
Flag=Do not Cleanup Resources
Flag=Never Prompt Reboot
Flag=No Distribution Window
Flag=Launch Hidden
Flag=Force Run Wait

This is the application object at the heart of the solution. Essentially, this application object Force Runs the following compiled SRUNONCE.WBT WinBatch script that gives NAL the ability to process the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce registry key:

if WinVersion(1) == 4

RunOnceList = RegQueryItem (@REGMACHINE,
"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\RunOnce")
RunOnceCount = ItemCount (RunOnceList, @TAB)

for LoopControlVariable = 1 to RunOnceCount

RunOnceItem = ItemExtract (LoopControlVariable, RunOnceList, @TAB)
RunOnceItemValue = RegQueryValue(@REGMACHINE,
"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\RunOnce[%RunOnceItem%]")

RunOnceItemValueCount = ItemCount (RunOnceItemValue, " ")
RunOnceItemValueCommand = ItemExtract (1, RunOnceItemValue, " ")
RunOnceItemValueParameter = ""
if RunOnceItemValueCount > 1 then RunOnceItemValueParameter =
ItemRemove (1, RunOnceItemValue, " ")

RunWait (RunOnceItemValueCommand, RunOnceItemValueParameter)
RegDelValue(@REGMACHINE,
"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\RunOnce[%RunOnceItem%]")

next

endif

If you didn't want to use WinBatch, you could just identify everything that Internet Explorer puts under the RunOnce key and just run them individually via ZENworks. Also note that I am only running this application object for users who are locked down via the NAL shell (see HKLM\SOFTWARE\Swelling\WSState[Lock]). I will explain how the shell is changed based upon membership/non-membership in a single group without rebooting in a future article.

But there is one last problem: processing the Run key. I didn't want to open up the Run key so that anything placed under it would automatically be run, so I identified the only line that Internet Explorer adds. This third and final application object appears below:

AXT_FILE 3.0

[Application Name]
Value=MSIE55LOADWC-CFG2

[Application Caption]
Value=Internet Explorer LoadWC

[Filter OS Version]
Type=Windows 95
Major Version=-1
Minor Version=-1
Revision Version=-1

[Filter Registry Data]
Type=Binary
Key=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Swelling
Value=AppMSIE
Length=3
Data=35 2E 35
Flag=Equals

[Application Association Flags]
Flag=Force Run

[Application Path]
Value=%*WINSYSDIR%\LOADWC.EXE

[Application Flags]
Flag=Do not Cleanup Resources
Flag=Never Prompt Reboot
Flag=No Distribution Window
Flag=Launch Hidden
Flag=Force Run Wait

[Application Icon Order]
Value=12

[Application Platform]
Flag=Windows 95

This application object Force Runs the LOADWC.EXE that is installed with Internet Explorer, and it runs it only after Internet Explorer has been installed (see HKLM\SOFTWARE\Swelling\AppMSIE[5.5]).

Now that Internet Explorer has been successfully installed, a user can now double-click on the MSINTERNETEXPLORER55-APP5 icon to start Internet Explorer.

Also note that MSINTERNETEXPLORER55-APP5 and MSIE55LOADWC-CFG2 should be GUID synced so that Internet Explorer does not have to be re-installed for each user who logs in to a PC.

The above will not currently work under Windows NT, mainly because the distribution scripts only run in the system context (see TID 2953773). If you do not care that the user cannot see the unattended installation of IE, then you could change the MSINTERNETEXPLORER55-APP5 to copy the installation files down to the local hard drive first and run the installation from there. Also, REGINI.EXE from the NT Resource Kit can be scripted to change the security on the RunOnce key via an application object run as a System user.

If you have any questions you may contact Karl Allen Swelling, MCNE, MCSE at zenworks@swelling.net

Tropper Shmuel

Delivering IE5 is much simpler than anyone may think.

  1. FIRST, YOU MUST PREPARE A MACHINE WITH WINDOWS 95/98 OR WINDOWS NT AND NOTHING ELSE.
  2. START SNAPPSHOT AND "TAKE A PICTURE" OF YOUR "NAKED" MACHINE.
  3. INSTALL IE5 AND CONFIGURE IT TO YOUR NEEDS.
  4. RESTART YOUR MACHINE AS THE INSTALLATION PROGRAM NEEDS. DON'T BE AFRAID.
  5. AFTER FINISHING INSTALLATION, ADJUST THE HOMEPAGE YOU WANT EVERY USER TO HAVE AND ANY PREFERANCES.
  6. START SNAPPSHOT AGAIN AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TILL YOU FINISH TAKING THE CHANGES.
  7. FROM NWADMIN MAKE AN APPLICATION BUT DON'T FORCE THE USER TO RESTART THE MACHINE. LET HIM DECIDE IF HE WANT THE CHANGES TO TAKE PLACE NOW (MUST RESTART) OR LATER.

THIS PROCEDURE WAS TESTED AND USED BY ME FOR OVER 500 USERS.

Ryan Flud

You could go about this a couple different ways, either use snAppShot or the IE5 admin kit. The IE5 admin kit will let you easily apply policies (restrictions) to the install. Of course, you could use the IE5 admin kit to make the install the way you want it and the run snapshot while the custom IE5 install is running. The admin kit works very well and the install is fairly quick. The simplest way would be to just make an app object to run the setup.exe from the custom install you made from the admin kit.

Dave Czapenski

You were asking for tips to distribute IE5.x, well here is my success story.

I deployed IE5 with a combination of IEAK and ZEN. I used the Internet Explorer Admin Kit to create my install point with the custom configuration we wanted throughout the network. This configuration included custom buttons, graphics, proxy settings with exclusions, and other custom desktop settings.

I then created a NAL shortcut object to run the IE5SETUP.EXE from the install point. The object checked for the necessary disk space and OS versions. I was able to distribute by location using force run and had nearly a 100% success rate. Then with the use of the GUID I was able to tell when the app had installed on a machine or not.

I felt that by using IEAK to control how the application was to install it gave we the high success rate. I like the ability to use ZEN to control who gets the install and to check that the desktop had the necessary disk space.

I'm currently using the same method for Office 2000 with the same results.

If you have any questions you may contact Dave at Dave.Czapenski@bannerhealth.com

Leif Widmark

We tried this, and had more or less given up. IE 5.x is a beast, it replaces almost everything in its way..... :-)

So, looking at the alternative of manual install on several hundred workstations I requested "IEAK" (internet explorer administration kit) from our friends in Redmond, and this is the (only?) way to go!

I have made an distribution that is customized in almost every way and it runs totally hands off, then it reboots. We have had no problems at all pushing it out this way.

Of course, we distribute the ie5setup.exe with ZEN.

Simon Medrano

I downloaded the IEAK5.exe from Microsoft, Created my customized IE 5.5 Program and used ZEN/NAL to distribute the product from a Flat Directory on the Novell Server. Real easy to do and effective. You'll have to get a certificate from Microsoft (free) in order to create your IE 5 build. Be sure to read the documentation before you do this. Also use a test environment first.

Richard Gilligan

I'm assuming we are talking about more than just installing IE5.x to a workstation. This can be done with patience using the correct IEAK kit.

To modify/control browser settings try this.

  1. Create a custom cab file using IEAK.
  2. Extract this to a directory.
  3. Use ZENWORKS to send the files to c:\program files\internet explorer\custom. The custom directory may need to be created first.

These files control everything relating to IE5.x and associated Apps.

Or an even better approach to it but a lot more work:

There are some .adm files around for IE4.x but they are incomplete. The best plan would be to create IE 5.x ADM files to import into ZENworks workstation policy packages. The only IE5 type ADM files around that I've seen are the Windows 2000 Group Policy versions that only import into ZENworks 3 (as per the Zfd3 documentation).

If you have any questions you may contact Richard at GILLIGANR@rbnz.govt.nz

Brendan Kirk

This is actually pretty easy. Simply download the IE5 network install(comes with cab files instead of online update), and snAppShot an install just like you would any other application.

Isak Rytz Zadik

After creating a few AOT-templates with MSIE, I felt that I had to find another solutions. MSIE is too depending on the OS to make a good snAppShot out of it. It would work if making snapshot for one particular Configuration. The best solution would of course be if Microsoft made an MSI-installation of MSIE5, but until then the best deployment solution is using Microsoft IEAK. This deployment tool works fine, you can, using one configuration distribute MSIE5.5 to Win95/98/ME/NT4/W2k. At one of my customer sites I distributed MSIE55 with IEAK, by Force Run in the NAL, during user login.

Jeff Sawdy

As far as distibuting Internet Explorer 5, I don't see a lot of reason to reinvent the wheel on this one. This application is just not a good candidate for snAppShots.

With a combination of the IEAK (Internet Explorer Administration Kit) and ZENworks, you can easily deploy IE5 to your environment (much like with the Office2000 installer and ZENworks). Microsoft did a good job on the IEAK (I think it is better than the MSOffice2000 installer and it's free unlike Netscape management solution). Invest a little time in learning how to build custom distributions of IE5 with the IEAK and then use the robust System Requirements of ZENworks to determine when and if the new version of IE5 should be installed.

I have been using an IEAK build of IE5 for nearly twelve months now with no big issues. I'll probably look at it again after I am comfortable with IE5.5 and build a new distribution within the next month or so. For newer PCs that already had IE5 installed, installing my IE5 build only updated the portions of the current version that were not present (such as the 128-bit encryption) and made the necessary tweaking of the application without any further work beyond running the IE5 setup.

Jason Goelzer

I used the IEAK setup program to create an unattended install of IE5.5. I then set it up as a run once application. The catch is any and all virus scanners must be turned off. I did this with a pre launch script. It works great! I am willing to distribute the aot file and the ie5 setup I created. Another option if the disk space is there is to copy all of the ie5 disk install to the workstation and add ie5setup to the run once key in the registry. I have much experience on this, I installed to over 1000 machines this way on 95,98 and NT.

Here is a zip file containing my aot and axt.

Important: It has some customizations you might want to remove. It has some system requirements that through trial and error seem to work even though they do not match Microsoft specs. All of the registry and file distributions can be deleted. Those were added to delete a previous install of Netscape 3.01 Gold. It also has logging turned on and runs some custom batch files to stop McAfee virus scan. I had to place the McAfee stop commands in a batch file in case the vshield.exe file was not on the machine. In that case the application would fail with a script execution error. The batch file tests for the presence of vshield.exe on the disk, if present it will stop McAfee, if not it simply stops.

Run after distribution has the command that actually runs the ie5setup. I also chose to use this method so that I did not need Run Once checked. That way if I need to reinstall I can bump the version number or verify the app. The ie5setup was generated using the Internet Explorer administration kit (IEAK). It is set for a full unattended install with no prompts and automatic reboot is on. It also has our custom proxy settings added. The aot for NT is the same except run as secure system user must be on and the batch file stops a service instead of running an exe. Also attached is the vstop.bat file. Any questions please feel free to ask. I think anything and I mean anything is possible with ZEN Works, but sometimes it takes a little imagination to distribute the correct way.

If you have any questions you may contact Jason at JGoelzer@mail.ci.lubbock.tx.us

Joe User

I don't necessarily have a complete answer on this one, but I am in the process of deploying IE5.5 to a NetWare 4.11 environment of about 10,000 workstations running Windows NT4 (sp 6a and client 4.71 in most cases).

Initially I ran into many problems with the IE5.5 application overwriting system DLLs and causing other programs (such as Office 97, Netscape 4.61, Extra 6.5, VirusScan 4.03 and PcAnywhere 9) problems. In addition, when these programs were re-verified they caused IE to either GPF or just fail to load a page. With a little tweaking I was able to install IE so that it wouldn't kill the other apps. Mostly I removed unnecessary components and got it down to just what we really needed. I also spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the application object registry settings. Removing temp directories and settings (for the user I was logged onto at the time) prevented some Office problems.

Then came the problem of everything else killing IE5.5. This is where I may have some useful info.

I tested IE5.5 with each of the problem apps; I have a list of the DLLs that caused problems. In each case setting the DLL to Copy if Newer ON THE OFFENDING PROGRAM, NOT IE5.5 fixed the problem. You can also copy the newer DLL the IE5.5 installs back into the offending program's .fil file directory. Whichever works best in your environment. We did the second.

Netscape 4.61 - wininet.dll

VirusScan 4.03 - wininet.dll

PcAnywhere 9 - wininet.dll

(noticing a theme)

MS Office 97_SR2 - wininet.dll AND urlmon.dll

Extra 6.5 - comclt32.dll

I am still testing other applications. Any time an app installs an older version of wininet.dll I set it to Copy if Newer and it usually fixes the problem.

The only other issues I still have with my setup are as follows:

For some reason the program tried to create a folder on the desktop called %short_target_path% with a folder with the name custom in it. This happened every time you open IE5.5. Creating a macro with that name and pointing it at the c:\program files\internet explorer (or whatever is your install directory is) fixed the problem.

In cases with the 4.60 client I often had problems with IE5.5 setting its Temporary Internet File directory to the Profiles\Default User. I didn't get this with the 4.71 client.

One last thing. I am taking advantage of the Use Automatic Configuration Script option under LAN Settings... on the Connections tab of internet options. This is an easy way to push minor changes (proxy settings mostly) to a large number of users without creating a new app object.

I hope this helps someone. As I said, I am still testing all of our apps, and this may be more of a pain than it is worth. If someone has a more efficient way of doing this I would love to hear it.

Sven Jaeger NEW

Some of these things can be changed in the registry. After installing IE5 or IE55 open regedit and go to: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Shell Folders] (Favorites, Cookies, Cache, History, ...)

!!! Don't forget to change the same under: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\User Shell Folders]

The name and destination of the address book can be changed under: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name]

After you have changed these keys, export it. Create a force run for the users (import these keys) and that's all.

If you have any questions you may contact Sven at sj1969@web.de

Magnus Ullberg NEW

I used IEAK (Microsoft Internet Explorer Admin Kit) to create a package that installs all the options I wanted. One of the options in IEAK is to create a package and when the user runs the install it automatically reboots when it's done. I saved this package (~70 MB) on g:\ie5setup.

The AppObject is simple, run-path is "g:\ie5setup\ie5setup.exe" and I associated it with everyone. (Launcher only, not forcerun.) I then sent out a e-mail to all the users that at the end of the day they should double click on the "Install Internet Explorer 5.0" icon in their app launcher and explained what would happen.

If you have any questions you may contact Magnus at UllbergM@abcbank.com

Additional Questions

If you have any answers, fire away.

Dave M.

I am using ZENworks and SnAppshot to distribute Internet Explorer 5.5 to win95 workstations in our NetWare 5.1 network. I have no problems until the user logs on and the snAppShot starts to load. It gets through the file transfer and registry setting phase but about 30 seconds into the INI setting phase the computer hangs. When I press ctrl-alt-del to end the task and open the browser I see by the IE logo that the version is still 5 but when I open about Internet Explorer from the help menu, the version is stated as 5.50! Any ideas?? Your input would be appreciated.

Ian Moore NEW

I've been reading the articles about using zen/ieak to install IE. We've been using Netscape exclusively up until now. Much as I hate the idea of running mico$oft's browser, it's getting harder to avoid it. What I'm wondering is, can IE be tweaked to save cookies, settings, bookmarks & address books in the user's home directory, as we currently do with Netscape?

We run Windows 95 on all student machines & have user profiles disabled.


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