[wpkg-users] Problems with the WOW64 mess

heiko.helmle at horiba.com heiko.helmle at horiba.com
Tue May 18 11:50:35 CEST 2010

> I agree that folder redirection makes it quite hard to track what is 
> happening on the system. However I am running Windows x64 since 
> years (since my
> first Windows Vista installation) and never had such issues yet.
> In addition I was under the impression that %TEMP% expands to %
> SystemRoot%\temp
> (c:\windows\temp) for the system account. At least I've never seen 
> it expanding
> to systemprofile\AppData\Temp which looks anyway wrong, if at all it 
> expand to "systemprofile\AppData\Local\Temp" but this would also lead to 
> problems you describe. But I am quite sure %TEMP% of the system 
> profile expands
> to "windows\Temp".

Did you test this on 7? As far as i know, this did change on 7 - (And 
you're right, it is \local\Temp, but the base path is still unfortunately 

> Even installers writing temporary data to %AppData% should work because 
> installer/archive will be a 32-bit self-extracting archive writing to 
> redirected SysWOW64 folder. Then it invokes msiexec.exe, in any casethe 
> process cannot open the 64-bit binary from the (real) system32\ folder 
> executes SysWOW64\msiexec.exe which is a 32-bit application as well.

This is true in theory - and the msiexec.exe called by the install.exe 
actually is 32bit, but all msiexec.exe does is call the Windows Installer 
Service via some internal Interface - and that one is 64bit. 

> In any case I don't like boxed installers too much. So I used to extract
> Installers which extract MSI files in advance and then work with 
> pure MSI files.

Which is fine when all the .exe does is unpacking and running the MSI. In 
the case of X-Manager I spent nearly 2 days and finally giving up. This 
Installer is installscript-driven and convincing the MSI to run without 
installscript produces a broken install.
I'm ok with the "boxed" versions if they give all the options I need and 
work reliably. Saves me from much work disecting every version upgrade. 
Java's Installer is okay-ish, except for the 64bit issue.

> In your case you might run your Installshield installer on a test 
system, then
> during the installation do not close the installation window and grab 
the MSI
> files from %TEMP%.

Tried and did for many packages - but some are left, those pesky ones that 
need InstallScript for the install to go right.

But I see light - I looked through some Docs and it seems that (by 
default) the builtin "Administrator" local user on Windows 7 is running 
elevated by default. That would mean no UAC-Prompts for this user - so 
it'd work for silent installs. It just needs to be activated (and 
passworded). I'll try this and report back to the list :)

Best Regards
        Heiko Helmle
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