Software Deployment Question

Another Oracle Client Package

03/24/2009 7498 views
I repackaged Oracle Client with WPS version 6 and installed on 400 PCs via SMS. The next morning, none of the PCs would boot up and I had to go to each PC and run the "last known good configuration". The Oracle Client was the 1st package I have ever built because I was instructed by my boss to "make it happen". Well i sure did make it happen and I spent close to 7 hours fixing the issue.

I"m not exactly sure what went wrong. What kind of tools should I use to find errors and prevent disasters? I tried Procmon like someone on this board suggested but everything looks like a bunch of jiberish to me. Is there an easier tools that is more user intuitive?

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Community Chosen Answer

What a nightmare! Even the most esperienced packagers on this forum would recommend not repackaging Oracle client it's a complex package. So if you don't know what your doing then it's a massive no no.

There have been lots of threads on the forum about the client package and I've added links to the package KB articles above.

you should use the oracle oui to record a response file and deploy using that:

To create a response file:
setup -record -destinationFile <response_file_name>

to run the oui with a response file
setup.exe -responseFile <filename> <optional_parameters>

add these switches for silent install:
-silent (performs a silent install)
-nowait (removed the need to press enter at the end of the silent install)
Answered 03/25/2009 by: timmsie
Fourth Degree Brown Belt

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All Answers

wtf! thats alot..

hey wisekrispy, had you not test it on one pc before deploying it?.. well its the first thing to do just to make sure it goes well.
Answered 03/25/2009 by: jB!
Senior Yellow Belt

I tried Procmon like someone on this board suggested but everything looks like a bunch of jiberish to me. With the very greatest respect, if ProcMon's output looks like gibberish to you, you're in the wrong career. In the list of "tools which anyone vaguely connected with PC support must have on their USB stick", it is, almost without doubt, in the top...oooh...one.

TBH - and I really don't mean any of this rudely - not to have test-deployed a clunker like Oracle before distributing it to your estate also points to openings other than in IT. Even if you're new to packaging/distribution/deployment, there really is no excuse for that.

And your boss sounds like he/she needs "educating". I hope you kept the email thread where he/she (oh, heck, we know it's a man, let's not pretend...) asked you to do it, you said you have no skills in that area and he said to do it anyway. Because, otherwise, guess where the blame's going to land? No email, eh? Another lesson learned, then. If no-marks like him want their wishes carried out in spite of warnings of the consequences (or at least of the challenges), have them commit it to "paper". Always, always cover your rear wehn dealing with people like him.
Answered 03/25/2009 by: VBScab
Red Belt

I do kinda feel sorry for you having been put in this position, hopefully your boss learned a valuable lesson here.

Visiting 400 machines must have been a nightmare.

Read timmsies post, if you follow that you should be able to create a reliable install for the Oracle client.

As far a repackaging apps goes, you really need to get some training and experience before taking on big packages like this... here are a few pointers to hopefully help you avoid this in the future:

1) Don't repackage vendor MSI's - create a transform (MST) to cutomise them
2) Always capture packages on a clean machine (just the OS and relevant service pack / patches) NO other software. You can use a utility like ghost to restore your clean image for packaging / testing without a complete rebuild.
3) Validate packages in Orca / InstEd and resolve all ICE errors and as many warnings as possible (don't worry too much about ICE errors in vendor MSIs)
4) Document the manual installation steps before you start so that you can prove any problems you encounter do / don't exist with the vendor package
5) Always test the package runs as a locked down user (assuming your users don't have local admin rights)
6) Always test the uninstall doesn't break the machine. You can do this with a free tool called regshot http://sourceforge.net/projects/regshot - follow these steps;
a) clean workstation
b) run regshot 1st scan
c) install your package (don't run the app)
d) uninstall your package
e) run the regshot 2nd scan and compare so see what's been affected. You want to pay particular attention to files and regkeys listed as deleted!!
f) reboot the workstation and login again - check the path statement is still there
7) Have a typical end user acceptance test the package to confirm it's working OK before you deploy it to live workstations

Hope this helps.

Answered 03/25/2009 by: MSIPackager
3rd Degree Black Belt

it's been over 1 year since this post has been opened. Unfortunately, I was let go from my job shortly after this incident. Thank you to all that replied with the advise.
Answered 03/10/2010 by: WiseKrispy
Yellow Belt

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