Hi Guys and Gals,

Just wondering what tools we all use to assist us with our packaging ... I'm not referring to Wise or Installshield, or what we actually USE to do the packaging, but troubleshooting tools, testing etc. I have a few, but I'm always keen to pick up more/better ways of doing things. Mine are:

Filemon
Regmon
Process Explorer
VMWare (bochs if you want a free alternative)
Snapshot from Novell (its doesn't miss a thing, I love it)
Resource Hacker has come in handy once or twice
Iexpress.exe - part of the IEAK, it comes in handy once in a while too

If anyone wants to know more about any of these let me know.

Rgds

Paul
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I find MS's ORCA utility indispensable for low level tweaking & validation. I guess it isn't for everyone, being a direct msi table editor, but you can get at the minute details with it and really see how everything fits together. That is, of course, after a couple days of dazed confusion.

It's also the only editor I've found that will permit you to modify the MST created by the Office 2003 CIW without breaking it.
Answered 07/13/2004 by: VikingLoki
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I'll second Orca. I've built an setup captured MSI with Wise that I could not tweak and recompile successfully but go in with Orca and make a few table edits and call it a day. If you are going to mention Snapshot then I would suggest Wise 9. Wise 9 does an excellent setup capture and personally I like the conversion from Wise 9 to MSI better than the Snapshot conversion to MSI in Wise Package Studio. With the Snapshot conversion I do not like the MSI structure that Wise Package Studio will create.
Answered 07/14/2004 by: kkaminsk
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Check out out Empirum package Wizard
it can do printers, MSI and snapshots from one interface.

www.matrix42.com
Answered 07/15/2004 by: aktiveradio
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aktiveradio.....do they have an eval download. I couldnt see any reference to the Package Wizard on the website.
Answered 07/16/2004 by: MSIMaker
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I find Installrite great for finding out if any registry keys etc are removed or added to system folder. Also JSIcon Extractor is handy for finding icons on your machine.
Answered 08/09/2004 by: oreillyr
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Don't forget about RegDacle and XCacls for editing permissions in ways Wise can't...
Answered 08/09/2004 by: sean_c_roberts
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I put a list-o'-links up on my website... Feel free to add yours to the list, if they're really can't-live-without tools.
Answered 08/18/2004 by: ewall
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Heh, eWall I noticed you have Dependency Walker on the list. That was my essential Wise survival tool for bad COM registrations. Unfortunately the output is a little cryptic for a non developer. Still cool to see others that have found that one. Completely invalueable on my last contract.
Answered 08/18/2004 by: kkaminsk
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Thats a good list there ewall, I've used most of those in my time but didn't think of them when I did my initial email.

I also love dependancy walker, very handy. The output isn't too difficult to understand, I'm no developer but I can get my head around it.

Xcacls, regdacle also handy now and then too :)
Answered 08/18/2004 by: plangton
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Let me second this reccomendation as well as adding one for COM Explorer from 4developers.com. It is great for breaking down COM registration issues.
Answered 08/20/2004 by: j0k3r
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Well I found that alot of packagers don't know which dependency walker errors matter and which you can ignore like when it tries to find MFC42LOC.dll. Usually that can be completely ignored.

COM Explorer was a nice one that I forgot about as well. It's good to see other people finding the same tools independantly of each other. Gives me confidence that I am using the right stuff to get the job done.
Answered 08/20/2004 by: kkaminsk
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