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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Upgrades/UAC Windows 7 in Technical; Hi Guys, What's the best way to deal with SIMS Upgrades/UAC Prompts on Windows 7? When staff launch SIMS the ...
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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    SIMS Upgrades/UAC Windows 7

    Hi Guys,
    What's the best way to deal with SIMS Upgrades/UAC Prompts on Windows 7?
    When staff launch SIMS the first time after an upgrade, they get a UAC prompt appear. The problem with this is that the amount of UAC prompts varies depending on what the upgrade does, i.e this most recent one had it appearing three times.

    Also, as staff aren't admin users it asks them for their password at every UAC prompt, which I can see being really annoying.

    If the staff do do this, SIMS does upgrade perfectly as they do have the required access to the SIMS directory, it's just the level of inconvenience is annoying.

    I'm just wondering if there was a better way to deal with this, except turning UAC off or giving staff admin rights! (Which doesn't stop the prompts anyway, just removes the password entry)

    If not, we'll just have to live with it...

    Thanks

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    GREED's Avatar
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    How do you upgrade SIMS? Is it just done normally, ie when the user opens SIMS it checks for and begins an upgrade?

    I can think of 2 options: 1 - Wait to get SOLUS 3 part 2 where the updates are handled though this, or 2 - in my previous school we built a batch file that opened SIMS application as an administrator, which allowed the application et al to update (getting around UAC).

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    As graham said, Use SOLUS in the long term for auto-updating.

    You could turn UAC off, it certainly helps with issues with other software and seems to be the panacea for many companies.

    Other option is to right click on the icon and there is the option to run as administrator, and to set this for all users, i think if you do this then when they launch the program they get a pop up message if UAC is on, that they have to click continue on, but after that, there shouldn't be anymore, but i haven't tried it.

    Two updates ago, i went around and upgraded manually, and i'm thinking with the new win7 setup i may have to allow time for that at the weekend, just in case.

    If you need to, you can just script simsload to run remotely, so long as the PCs are on, and reachable remotely, not sure what would happen with the prompts, or if they are suppressed. There are a few threads on doing remote upgrades, but i don't think one based on windows 7 yet.

    You could suppress UAC or elevate privileges temporarily by GPO for a few days until everyone has used it. which hopefully is a day if they do attendance...

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    Zenden's Avatar
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    I have a GPO setup which assigns our Staff Group the needed permissions to the Sims folders and Regkeys and also turns UAC off via Registry. Probably not the safest way to do it but it gets the job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    You could turn UAC off, it certainly helps with issues with other software and seems to be the panacea for many companies.
    Turning off UAC also disables file-system and registry virtualization. Considering how bad some educational apps are at writing to places they shouldn't be, this is quite a useful thing to leave on.

    The most common application compatibility issue when running legacy applications as a standard user is that they require unrestricted access to areas of the filesystem or registry that standard users have limited rights to. Windows XP includes an application compatibility engine that allows system administrators to deploy application compatibility shims that can redirect or 'virtualize' writes directed to protected file and registry locations to a specially designated writeable area of the user's profile. User Account Control in Vista takes this concept one step further by detecting when an application is trying to write to protected locations, and automatically redirects writes and subsequent reads to a virtualized area of the user's profile. This enables legacy applications that wouldn't have worked on Windows XP as a standard user without an application compatibility shim to run on Vista and Windows 7 without errors and with no intervention from system administrators. (Source)

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    Would creating an MSI wrapper using WIWW for the EXEs below work?

    Code:
    "\\Server\SIMS\Setups\SIMSApplicationSetup.exe" /S {QuietMode} [SIMSDotNetDirectory]="C:\Program Files\SIMs\SIMs .net"
    "\\Server\SIMS\Setups\SIMSManualSetup.exe" /S {QuietMode} [SIMSDotNetDirectory]="C:\Program Files\SIMs\SIMs .net"

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    @arthur - agreed turning it off, loses lots of security features, but i've heard many companies quote that as the simple solution to issues with Windows 7.

    The solution i suggested of run as administrator, we had to use because normal users couldn't create the local connect.ini file on first startup. Even an account that was in the local admins group, it was the domain administrator account or not at all. We've had lots of strange permissions issues with windows 7, and i'm not involved in that networking side of things anymore, so haven't had much time to look into the underlying issues, just finding work arounds to get going. I'm finding roaming profiles a big pain at the moment, and not sure why, possible redirection of my documents or some such. Anything that needs to write locally, seems to throw up an issue. Even running certain reports that use temporary files cause problems, so i think that aside from the upgrade problem there will be more to come.

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    HullFC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenden View Post
    I have a GPO setup which assigns our Staff Group the needed permissions to the Sims folders and Regkeys and also turns UAC off via Registry. Probably not the safest way to do it but it gets the job done.
    As Zenden, we do this. This is the list of folders/regkey from our GPO (mainly translated from simsperm.bat) which we grant rights for the sims user security group(s)

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\SIMS Applications
    %ProgramFiles%\SIMS
    %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SIMS Applications
    %SystemDrive%\PDOXUSRS.NET
    %SystemRoot%\OMRConfig.ini
    %SystemRoot%\sims.ini

    MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes

    We also had to modify the borland configuration and we use group policy preferences to overwrite the local idadi.cfg and idapi32.cfg files. They now point to a shared lock directory s:\sims\lockdir which the users have modify permisions to.

    Hope this makes sense and is useful.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Apart from Turning off UAC has anybody found a way of stopping this happening?

    Toby

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    Heres what we did to update our locked down PCs with the latest version of SIMS using SCCM:

    1) Copied updated SIMSAMPARKSetup, SIMSManualSetup, SIMSApplicationSetup out from SIMS into another folder.
    2) Created a new SCCM package called SIMS 7.136 and copied the files into the SCCM package, updated the DP.
    3) Created the programs for each of these with the /s command.
    4) Created a TaskSequence that referenced these programs in order.
    5) Created a SIMS 7.136 collection with teacher laptops and desktops in.
    6) Advertised SIMS 7.136 task sequence to the SIMS 7.136 collection.
    7) Wait till install finishes.
    8) Run SIMS.

    As the package automatically runs as admin it runs and updates the files for you as it mimics the update process but without the UAC/admin annoyance. UAC is still on the teacher laptops (on domain, non admins), they are just users with permissions over the SIMS folder.

    We dont like turning off UAC, nor should we have to. Programs should be finally updated to not dump stuff in program files invoking reg virtualization a practice that Microsoft have discouraged for years and implemented UAC to stop.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 12th January 2011 at 10:11 AM.

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    Ahh - well i don't have SCCM (and no plans to get it) So that rules that way out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Apart from Turning off UAC has anybody found a way of stopping this happening?

    Toby
    Not as far as I know. Someone may want to confirm this but as I understand it, the installation procedure for a SIMS client update invokes an application installation routine which requires elevation of privileges to complete. You can only automate elevation for administrators through group policy and not normal users. Unfortunately as theblacksheep states, your alternatives are to wait for Capita to recode SIMS properly to enable UAC or manually update the SIMS clients instead of using pulsar.exe.

    Shaun

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Ahh - well i don't have SCCM (and no plans to get it) So that rules that way out!
    Essentially SCCM is just a fancy way of running the files from a mapped network share as a user with admin rights on the laptop, you could do this via a script or commandline.... a bit like Arthers commands for wrapping up those exes in an MSI.

    Different updates update different files. SIMSAMPARK, SIMSMANUALSETUP and SIMSAPPLICATIONSETUP are required for 7.132 to 7.36 update.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 12th January 2011 at 10:27 AM.

  14. Thanks to Theblacksheep from:

    HullFC (12th January 2011)

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