Posts filed under 'Windows'

Extracting MSI Files (Revisited)

A few years ago, I posted about how to extract the contents of an MSI file without having to go through the process of installing it. The tool used to do this was called Less MSIèrables. This tool does do the job, but the UI is a bit clunky to use, it has a few bugs, and occasionally fails to extract the contents of a file. On top of this, it looks like this tool is not actively developed (it was last updated in 2005), so I recently started to look for an alternative.

It turns out that Microsoft provide this functionality as part of MSIExec that comes as part of the Windows installer. To extract the contents of any MSI file, simply run the following:

msiexec.exe /a installer.msi /qb TARGETDIR=C:\temp

This will extract the complete contents of the MSI file to the specified directory.

Add comment Permalink October 29th, 2009 Adrian Banks
Subscribe to this feed Bookmark this post on del.icio.us Digg this post on digg.com Share this post

Setting A Proxy Server For Windows Updates On Vista

I've recently been trying to get automatic Windows updates working on Vista. Every time it tried to fetch the updates, it reported an error code of 80070057. After getting more detailed information from the WindowsUpdate.log in the Windows directory, the problem turned out to be the proxy server in our office. Whilst my user profile has the correct proxy server settings, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) that is used to download Windows updates doesn't. The solution is to set the proxy server for the system.

To see the current proxy settings, run from the command line:

netsh winhttp show proxy

If it says "direct", there are no proxy settings and Windows update probably will not work.

To set the proxy settings, run from the command line (you will probably need to run this with administrative permissions):

netsh winhttp set proxy proxy-server="yourproxy:port"
bypass-list="<local>"

This will set the proxy server on the system to allow the BITS service to connect to the Windows updates servers.

1 comment Permalink June 25th, 2008 Adrian Banks
Subscribe to this feed Bookmark this post on del.icio.us Digg this post on digg.com Share this post

Windows And .Net Framework Default Versions

Aaron Stebner has compiled a list of which version of the .Net Framework is included in which version of Windows by default:

Operating System Framework Version Included As
Windows XP Home/Professional SP1 .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 MSI Based Installer
Windows XP Home/Professional SP2 .NET Framework 1.1 + SP1 MSI Based Installer
Windows XP Media Center Edition .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 OS Component
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 OS Component
Windows Server 2003 (all editions) .NET Framework 1.1 OS Component
Windows Server 2003 R2 .NET Framework 2.0 MSI Based Installer*
Windows Vista (all editions) .NET Framework 2.0 & 3.0 OS Component

* although it appears as an OS component, it is actually just an MSI based installer.

The MSI based installers can be used to install or uninstall the .Net Framework from the OS, enabling it to be removed completely if needed.

Very useful if you are targeting specific platforms with your .Net applications.

Add comment Permalink April 24th, 2007 Adrian Banks
Subscribe to this feed Bookmark this post on del.icio.us Digg this post on digg.com Share this post

The Difference Between Format And Quick Format

Having done several installations of Windows over the years and always chosen the "quick format" option over the normal format option (mainly due to the time it takes to do a full format compared to a quick format), I finally looked into what the differences between the two are. Microsoft's site has a knowledge base article about this very thing.

A [full] format will wipe the disk, format it and run a check disk to find any bad sectors. A quick format will wipe the disk and format it, but will skip the check disk stage. As it turns out, the check disk stage is the thing that causes a full format to take a lot longer than a quick format.

If formatting a new hard disk, it is probably wise therefore to do a full format to find any sectors that may have been damaged whilst the disk was in transit. If formatting an old disk, it is already in a known state and so a quick format should suffice.

1 comment Permalink March 23rd, 2007 Adrian Banks
Subscribe to this feed Bookmark this post on del.icio.us Digg this post on digg.com Share this post

Accessing Network File Shares From A Command Prompt

If you've ever tried to access a network file share in a command prompt by simply using the cd command, you'll know that it just complains that "CMD does not support UNC paths as current directories". Well, there is a way to do it (two in fact):

net use z: \\machine\share

pushd \\machine\share

Both of these approaches map the network share to a local drive letter that you can change to using the cd command.

The first one can be combined with the /user switch to provide additional user details:

net use z: \\machine\share /user:domain\username

The bonus of using the pushd command over the net use command is that it will automatically change the current directory to the mapped drive (which will be the first unused drive letter available in reverse alphabetical order). Also, when finished with the network share, you can use the popd command to remove the mapped drive.

33 comments Permalink March 8th, 2007 Adrian Banks
Subscribe to this feed Bookmark this post on del.icio.us Digg this post on digg.com Share this post

Previous Posts


Calendar

March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category

RSS Feeds Feeds

Visitors

Visitor Map