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Educational Software Thread, Testbase in Technical; Just thought I would start a topic on this as there doesn't appear to be one already. According to the ...
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    Testbase

    Just thought I would start a topic on this as there doesn't appear to be one already. According to the instructions for this, I am required to visit every machine that it needs to be installed on, simply to install an activex control. The rest can be done by a mixture of potentially a batch script and running the bulk of the program directly off the server.

    Surely there has to be a better way then this... I wouldn't mind visiting that many workstations if it was the entire program that -needed- installing directly onto the workstation, but simply to install an activex control is taking the micky a little bit.

    Has anyone used this at their schools and if so, how did they get around this problem?

    Cheers

    James

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    Hi James. We've got this for Science and Maths, and we just do a 'standalone' installation for each machine that needs it at the moment. It doesn't take that long to do, and it only needs doing on 10 machines in total.

    We've looked briefly at the ActiveX registering thing, but ... never got round to running a test for it Creating a batch file that you run on each machine to copy a shortcut and register the file shouldn't be that difficult and will be quicker than running through an installation.

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    jumpinjamez's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    I am with webman on this - i attempted to package it up as an .msi but it was a knightmare.

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    Re: Testbase

    Not sure it's exactly the same version but I created an MSI a few years back and it worked fine.

    Apart from...

    Occassionally testbase would stop working completly on a workstation and the only fix for this was to remove testbase and reinstall. Simply reinstalling wouldn't work.

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    Re: Testbase

    I didn't have a problem making a package for this. The only snag I had was I was sent the wrong code !!

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    Re: Testbase

    Just thought I would start a topic on this as there doesn't appear to be one already. According to the instructions for this, I am required to visit every machine that it needs to be installed on, simply to install an activex control. The rest can be done by a mixture of potentially a batch script and running the bulk of the program directly off the server.

    Surely there has to be a better way then this... I wouldn't mind visiting that many workstations if it was the entire program that -needed- installing directly onto the workstation, but simply to install an activex control is taking the micky a little bit.

    Has anyone used this at their schools and if so, how did they get around this problem?

    Cheers

    James
    After months and months of thinking the exact same thing, I finally managed to get in touch with the developers at Doublestruck Ltd (Tel: 020 8374 4990) Basically, he sent me a zip file that contains all the DLL files and OCX files that you need to register for the program to run.

    Firstly you need to install Testbase on a standalone machine. Also, make a note to install any other Testbase related software you may have (ExamWizard and Exampro are some examples) install all the products with Licence details. You will then find a file call exampro32.ini somewhere in your Windows directory. Copy this file to your share.

    Copy all the shortcuts to your share.

    Thereafter, browse over to C:\Program Files\ and you will find a folder called Testbase32. Also copy this over to your share. (Also copy over any folders for ExamWizard or Exampro etc)

    I like to disable Windows File Protection so that I don't run into any problems when replacing dlls. This can be done by merging the following into the registry:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
    "SfcDisable"=dword:ffffff9d
    To deploy to workstations, copy exampro32.ini to C:\Windows\, copy the dlls and ocx files to C:\Windows\System32\, copy the Testbase32 folder and any other folders to C:\Program Files\, and copy the necessary shortcuts to the Start Menu or Desktop.

    I've created a simple batch script to do this.

    xcopy \\Server\Share\exampro32.ini C:\Windows /y
    regedit /s \\Server\Share\DisableWFP.reg
    xcopy \\Server\Share\ic32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\ic32.ini C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\Tx32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\txobj32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\txtls32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_bmp32.flt C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_css.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_htm32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_jpg32.flt C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_pdf.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_png32.flt C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_rtf32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_tif32.flt C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_wmf32.flt C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_word.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\tx_xml.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\wndtls32.dll C:\Windows\System32 /y
    xcopy \\Server\Share\Tx4ole.ocx C:\Windows\System32 /y
    REGSVR32 /s TX4OLE.OCX
    mkdir "C:\Program Files\Testbase32"
    xcopy \\Server\Share\Testbase32\*.* "C:\Program Files\Testbase32" /e /y
    mkdir "C:\Program Files\ExamWizard32"
    xcopy \\Server\Share\ExamWizard32\*.* "C:\Program Files\ExamWizard32" /e /y
    mkdir "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Testbase"
    xcopy "\\Server\Share\Testbase\Shortcuts\*.*" "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Testbase" /y
    This probably isn't the best way to do it, but it doesn't require having to repackage or create an MSI.

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    Re: Testbase

    Blimey !!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    I'm sure the network install instructions were shorter than that :shock:

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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    Like I said, it's probably not the best way, if you can create msi's it'll probably be a lot easier, but I dunno how to create msi's.

    Either way, I just deploy that script using SMS and I now don't have to perform manual installs on all the computers that need it!

    As for the network installation instructions, you still have to run the Active X installer on every machine, manually and well, I personally think that defies the point. You might as well do a standalone installation.

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    Heebeejeebee's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    Quote Originally Posted by jumpinjamez
    I am with webman on this - i attempted to package it up as an .msi but it was a knightmare.
    I had no problems creating an MSI for it. Works a treat.

    HBJB

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    eean's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    If you look on the instructions it tells you all the files you need to install, I just manually made a msi. You also need the exampro.ini file. I can post the msi if you like, but you'll need to open it and change the ini settings.

    It was a real pain in the arse for some reason, but I can't remember why. I think it was because I wanted to do a local install for staff pcs and network install for the rest. If you want the KS1 whiteboard editions, it gets slightly more complicated again. It's lazy programming, the "It wasn't orignially intended to be run on a network" line they have in the admin guide doesn't cut it for me!

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    I've found that certain versions of this software install easily (notably the KS3 and KS5 science stuff) but others are a PITA (currently struggling with KS3 English).

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    I did have the problem mentioned by cheesedog where the application would ocassionally stop working. I think this was probably because my original MSI was created with Wininstall LE 2000 which put the registration in the selfreg table. Since recreating the MSI with WPS, which has put registration in the correct tables, the MSI should repair if the files are mysteriously unregistered.

    I think the worst thing about the software, if memory serves, is that for each title you add, you have to update the ini file on the clients, and not a more sensible place (ie the server).

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    jumpinjamez's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    Quote Originally Posted by Heebeejeebee
    Quote Originally Posted by jumpinjamez
    I am with webman on this - i attempted to package it up as an .msi but it was a knightmare.
    I had no problems creating an MSI for it. Works a treat.

    HBJB


    What are you using to create .MSI`s?

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    eean's Avatar
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    Re: Testbase

    I used MaSaI editor. I didn't repackage it, i just added the files it said in the guide, then added the ini file.

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