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MIS Systems Thread, Exams Organiser - "Automation Error" in Technical; Morning guys, We've had a few issues recently with the Exams Officier not being able to access Exams Organiser. She ...
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    Sam_Brown's Avatar
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    Exams Organiser - "Automation Error"

    Morning guys,

    We've had a few issues recently with the Exams Officier not being able to access Exams Organiser. She can use it on their computer just fine but when they try and access it from home through the Terminal Servers it throws an error stating "Automation Error".

    Few threads talk about permissions but I've given the user full permissions on the exams folder. No luck. Others say reinstall SIMS but not too keen to do that if I don't have to.

    Any ideas?

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    @Sam_Brown:

    You might want to follow this:

    Examinations Organiser
    Notes
    Automation Error when accessing Exams Organiser
    Unable to log into Exams Organiser

    Validation error

    Happening on one workstation
    Additional Notes
    This happens when Microsoft Updates have not been run on the affected workstation.
    We recommend that the Windows Updates are run regularly.
    Advice

    1. Run a Windows Update on the affected machine via Internet Explorer - Tools | Windows Update

    2. Uninstall SIMS Infrastructure via Add/Remove Programs

    3. Install SIMS Infrastructure by running e.g. S:\SIMS\SETUPS\SimsInfrastructureSetup.exe

    4. Locate the SIMS .net folder and rename this to SIMSold.

    5. Run SIMSApplicationSetup.exe

    To the letter and all will be well my friend

  3. 3 Thanks to bossman:

    haylehairband (3rd January 2012), mattgrimley (19th April 2013), simpsonj (20th August 2013)

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    +bossman's comment - this is the only way I've found to recover this
    Usually happens after every SIMS update....

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    That's basically reinstalling SIMS though!
    I think this is related to an older problem whereby the Exams machine can't be updated by the end user, and it needs to be an administrator account. That then sorts out all the issues.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    That's basically reinstalling SIMS though!
    I think this is related to an older problem whereby the Exams machine can't be updated by the end user, and it needs to be an administrator account. That then sorts out all the issues.
    Unfortunately, I have found this error to re-occur even if SIMS is updated as a Domain Administrator or if Staff are given Full Control access to the %ProgramFiles%\SIMS\* and %WINDIR%\SIMS.ini

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    'Fix' for Automation Error

    Just read this thread, as I'm usually perusing Capita Forums.

    I spent about 6 months (not continously of course) trying to figure out this exams problem and eventually came across this Microsoft White Paper

    Microsoft Download Center - Default Access Control Settings in Windows Server 2003

    This forum won't allow me to post links yet as I've not posted enough, so you'll have to Google the document.

    After reading page 12, I gave the secedit command a try (under test conditions) and it 'fixed' the problem where Automation Errors appear in Exams after every upgrade.

    Unfortunately our network is not under our control and the security team refused to apply it to our schools. No reason why. just a refusal.

    If you control your own networks, it may do the trick for you.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    @Lakram
    Isn't that document : Download Details - Microsoft Download Center - Default Access Control Settings in Windows Server 2003
    basically saying that users need to be power users. The 'fix' just adds extra permissions to the users group so they don't need to be power users. Plus it's talking about server 2003.
    The upgrade was tried as an administrator, and i think most users are now power users at the least, so i'm not sure if that fix would have any effect. I can see that it looks like a permissions thing though, so maybe they lose some permissions whilst connected via Terminal Servers.

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    Automation Error

    Agreed, it's not an overarching solution to everyone's problem, but there are plenty of LAs who don't have everyone set as power users (alas we are but one) and it may help them a bit. There might be a similar template for server 2008, I just haven't had the time to look for it yet, but no guarantees of that of course.

    Exams 7 for Sims .net would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakram View Post
    Agreed, it's not an overarching solution to everyone's problem, but there are plenty of LAs who don't have everyone set as power users (alas we are but one) and it may help them a bit. There might be a similar template for server 2008, I just haven't had the time to look for it yet, but no guarantees of that of course.

    Exams 7 for Sims .net would be nice.
    You can probably get away with simsperm.bat - there's a thread here for that showing the group policy settings, also, there was another thread, where someone tried to do the same for windows 7, which is more complex.

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    Trust me vikpaw, we've tried every known solution to mankind (womankind too) to no avail. Simsperm didn't help, but thanks anyway. We can avoid it if a Local Admin logs in to sims on the exams PCs before a user, but that's a pain and not always possible.
    We're moving sims onto a different network over the next year or two, so hopefully the problem will go away, but I'll be watching this thread closely.
    Incidentally, can I private message you via this website? Your location is of interest to me and I can't use msn or skype.

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    Believe me too, I've tried every thing to solve this. Always get this after a SIMS Update specifically on the Exams Officers' Workstation. The only way I've found around it is either 1. Login in as a Domain Admin and let the SIMS update as normal or 2. Do what has been specificed above, ie. Uninstall SIMS, Rename Folder and re-install all of SIMS.

    It's a real PITA. I'm more annoyed that SIMS just expects users to be Administrators of their machines on a network. We use simsperm and this does allow updating of SIMS normally, but this problem suggests that it only works on part of SIMS.

    Pete

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    It's a real PITA. I'm more annoyed that SIMS just expects users to be Administrators of their machines on a network. We use simsperm and this does allow updating of SIMS normally, but this problem suggests that it only works on part of SIMS.
    I just apply Full Control permissions to the folder via Group Policy to allow updates, but still need to reinstall SIMS on the Exams workstation...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Brown View Post
    Morning guys,

    We've had a few issues recently with the Exams Officier not being able to access Exams Organiser. She can use it on their computer just fine but when they try and access it from home through the Terminal Servers it throws an error stating "Automation Error".

    Few threads talk about permissions but I've given the user full permissions on the exams folder. No luck. Others say reinstall SIMS but not too keen to do that if I don't have to.

    Any ideas?
    I would logon as administrator, set the environment to install mode, run simsapplicationsetup.exe, set the environment mode back to normal, then try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    It's a real PITA. I'm more annoyed that SIMS just expects users to be Administrators of their machines on a network. We use simsperm and this does allow updating of SIMS normally, but this problem suggests that it only works on part of SIMS.

    Pete
    We had a SIMS engineer in yesterday to upgrade our FMS databases. We had an issue with some users not being able to use the FMS Database Selector and his recomendation was to just let those users be local administrators which personally I don't want to do. I don't know what it is about SIMS but I can't think of any other piece of software we run where the recommended course of action to fix an issue is to make the affected users local administrators...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Brown View Post
    We had a SIMS engineer in yesterday to upgrade our FMS databases. We had an issue with some users not being able to use the FMS Database Selector and his recomendation was to just let those users be local administrators which personally I don't want to do. I don't know what it is about SIMS but I can't think of any other piece of software we run where the recommended course of action to fix an issue is to make the affected users local administrators...
    I had to tweak the Borland thingie in the control panel as it was placing a file in the root of the C: Drive
    I created a Borland folder and gave full control rights to a FMS Security group, then editted the Borland applet thingie to the new location, this then solved that error

    I avoid giving anyone Local or Domain rights wherever possible...

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