I'm repackaging Chesapeake UPCS Client 6.1.2 using InstallShield to make an MSI. I think the Chsapeake app is built using PowerBuilder and wrapped up in an InstallShield EXE. Manual installation works fine and app launches fine. My MSI from Snapshot capture installs fine.
But after I launch the app I get the error:
“of_86_string_encoding: decoding encountered a string that was not a multiple of 3 bytes, it was 980 bytes!”

I don't know where this "of_86_string_encoding" error message is coming from. I've used ProcMon to try and find the source, but no luck so far. I expect the words "of_" are a prefix of something, but don't know what. Any ideas?
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  • Hi Troy, I am experiencing the same exact error when trying to create an MSI with this package the same way. Did you happen to get this resolved? If so would you mind sharing the fix? thanks!
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First, and obvious question really, when you took the original capture to create the MSI, did you make sure you performed a first launch of the application before you took the 'after' snapshot ?

Secondly If you have not done so already, it would be useful to take a gap capture as follows

Install your MSI on a clean workstation, but dont launch the program just yet.

Run a 'before' snapshot using a lightweight snapshot tool such as InCntrl

Run the original vendors installation setup.exe.

Launch the application at least once and close it down.

Now run the 'after' snaphot and see what additional files or registry entries you have captured, if any. A tool such as InCntrl will also show you whether any files or registry entries have changed between your MSI being installed and the vendors original executable being installed.

Any relevent additional or changed files & registry entries picked during gap capture would need to be added to your MSI.

After amending the MSI do a fresh install of the MSI on a clean machine and see if the errors persist at program launch

Answered 09/18/2011 by: spartacus
Fifth Degree Brown Belt

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Hi Spartacus, I have heard conflicting opinions on whether or not to do a first launch of the app before capturing the After snapshot. Normally I do not do that because it just adds more clutter to the Current User reg key. However, I did try capture both ways; with and without first launch. I also tried captures with and without rebooting. I also tried using InstallShield "Installation Monitor" instead of using Snapshot. They all produced the same error. I really prefer to stay with MSI, but then I gave up and created an .iss response file because the app comes as an InstallShield EXE. I have never heard of a "gap capture" like you have described. I'll put that in my Toolbox along with InCntrl for next time. Thanks for your time and ideas!
Answered 09/20/2011 by: troy_in_wi
Orange Belt

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it just adds more clutter to the Current User reg keyEr...the app's going to clutter it up anyway!

In Control is hard to find (although the ZIP does contain the source code - handy if you're into Pascal!). I use InstallWatch.
Answered 09/20/2011 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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In Control is hard to find

Funny that, I also remember having to search for ages to find InCntrl5 previously, yet today, Google turned up trumps almost straightaway.

It can be downloaded here - in the section marked 'Install Tracer'.


Answered 09/20/2011 by: spartacus
Fifth Degree Brown Belt

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has anyone found a fix for this? I'm experiencing the same issue.



Answered 04/15/2013 by: imbrod00
Senior Yellow Belt

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