Why Internet Explorer 8 crashes on Windows XP and …

not Vista or Windows 7.

The customer reported that our version of Internet Explorer 8 would crash when we visited their website.  We support IE8 on Windows XP.  IE8 was working ok for other websites.  So we fired up a “generic” Windows XP, and it’s IE8 crashed as well.
mshtml.dll error

It’s the customer’s website!

So I fired up Wireshark to see where the crash was happening.  The almost last thing received by the Windows XP PC was this:
Wireshark capture showing JQuery activity

JQuery 1.4 was causing Internet Explorer 8 to crash.  Now we know the cause, we can Google for “JQuery crashing IE8.

The solution:
Well we told the customer to fix their website, by updating their rather old JQuery.

It also turns out that the latest (August 2012) IE8 security patch, MS012-052, resolves this issue as well.  (Update: for our particular customer.  The reference site below still crashes IE8)

References:
Crashing IE8 with two lines of code

The joys of DLL hooks and eTrust Antivirus.

This is a guest post by Allan, a bloke I work with.  Allan asked my opinion of what was wrong, and I suggested a DNS server issue.  (Our DNS servers have a habit of not replying on the first query, but I was wrong. )


Recently I have spent a lot of time troubleshooting what appeared to be a DLL conflict issue when a customer installed PowerPivot for Excel 2010.

Without PowerPivot installed, you could happily connect to the SQL Analysis service using the msolap100.dll that gets installed by default (version 10.0.2733.0)

Install PowerPivot, and Microsoft Excel starts throwing you vague error messages, but ONLY the first time you try and connect.
The following system error occurred

And in the eventlog:
PowerPivot error in event log

 

So as usual I ran off and started playing with regsvr32, different DLL files and all that good stuff believing it was a faulty DLL.

The big issue was, there was nothing on Google. Nothing that reflected the error message I was getting, nothing that was really remotely close.

Working for a shared service organisation, I was able to install PowerPivot on another customers SOE that was also Windows XP.

Surprise Surprise… It worked.. No connection issues, no dramas.

So the next thing was to trouble shoot Group Policy, no issues there.. Logon as local admin… Nope, still have the issue. Make sure the security settings in Excel matched between the two environments… Nope….  Same deal, same vague error message.

So I installed Wireshark and noticed I was getting “RST,ACK” on the TCP packets on the initial connection attempts…

So after banging my head against the desk trying to find a solution.. It hit me, it could be the AntiVirus. One environment uses Mcafee, the other Etrust.

Etrust AntiVirus is a wonderful product, and just to be clear… That statement is laced with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

One thing that many people may not be aware of, is that the Hooks that Etrust uses, stay in place even with the services are stopped, you need to disable the services and reboot.

And that is exactly what I did…. A lo and behold…. The connection issue disappeared. And who said AV is never at fault.. Oh wait, that was me and its usually correct.

Luckily it’s a simple matter to disable the hook in to the msolap100.dll file.

  1. Fire up regedit and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\ComputerAssociates\ITMRT
  2. Double click on the HookExclude key and add msolap100.dll at the end of the list.
  3. Hit OK, then reboot your PC.

Problem solved. You should be able to connect to your SQL R2 Cubes with no issues at all.

Shell32 returns Missing Entry OCInstall

OCInstall_ErrorWhich is strange as I was applying Internet Explorer 8 security patch MS11-081, on Windows XP.

Strange because the OCInstall function was first introduced with Windows 2000 SP3/SP4.  Strange also that a Microsoft security patch was triggering it.  But it gets stranger still.

My *guess* is that because the customer wanted to go the cheap route and in-place upgrade Windows 2000 to Windows XP, that it’s caused this strange error.

The extra strangeness?  It fails when we install via SMS 2003, but if I log on as an Admin and manually run it, it works.  No, I don’t know why.

"This advertised application will not be installed because it might be unsafe. Contact your administrator …"

This advertised application will not be installed because it might be unsafe.  Contact your administrator to change the installation user interface option of the package to basic.

Since I am my administrator …  I had to look into why AweSync was not installing on my freshly reimaged work Windows 7 PC.  I’d double click on the installer and it produced the error captured above:
”This advertised application will not be installed because it might be unsafe.  Contact your administrator to change the installation user interface option of the package to basic.”

I consider AweSync a trusted application, and certainly not unsafe.  So a digging we go.  Google wasn’t useful so I ran the install with the following command line:
   msiexec /i "awesync.4.14.0.msi" /lv c:\data\awesync.log
to get a installation log file.

Looking at the log file, the culprit was “ERRCA_UIANDADVERTISED”.  For reasons unknown, the default install settings for AweSync was preventing it from detecting Lotus Notes.  I don’t know why AweSync wasn’t actually installing but I expect that there was some old HKEY Current User registry information hanging around.  Remember how I said I had reimaged my PC?

Running the AweSync with the basic interface option seemed to fix the problem:
   msiexec /i "awesync.4.14.0.msi" /qb /lv c:\data\awesynca2.log

Update:
Since fixing the problem, the best explanation I’ve seen for why running the install with the basic interface option is this:

Running an installer with the basic user interface mode performs only the actions contained in the installer’s Execute sequence and bypasses the error noted above in most cases.
Soumitra Mondal’s WebLog

Slow startup and/or logon times with Windows 7?

Our users were complaining of slow startup and logon performance with our Windows 7 fleet.  We got Microsoft in.  One of the things they recommended was deploying two hotfixes:

An update that improves the startup performance of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2 is available
Svchost.exe holds a lock on a service when the libraries for the service are loaded. This behavior prevents other services in the same Svchost.exe instance from starting until the call to the LoadLibrary function is returned.

and

You experience a long domain logon time in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 after you deploy Group Policy preferences to the computer
Issue 1
Assume that you have a client computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 in a domain environment. You deploy Group Policy preferences (GPP) to the client computer by using item-level targeting using security groups. In this situation, a user of the client computer experiences a long domain logon time. This issue becomes more noticeable if the domain controller is only reachable over a slow link.
Issue 2
When you apply GPP by using item level targeting for security groups, local ports are leaked in an OPEN_WAIT state. After some time, the nonpaged pool is depleted and the computer stops responding.

They both worked very well in our environment.

400 Bad Request and Internet Explorer.

Bad RequestThe customer reported that they were unable to access our company intranet site.  They were getting an "400 Bad Request" error from Internet Explorer.

So what did I do?  I picked up the phone and asked our "Web Admin" chap,
"What have you done to our poor customer".

‘Nothing Wisefaq, but here’s the answer to the problem:
The customer is a member of 140+ Active Directory Groups, and this is causing the Kerberos token to be far too long for our Apache Web Server to authenticate.’

Once I knew that, I was able to find lots of answers to the problem.  Here are some of them:

  1. 400 Bad Request (Header Field Too Long) when using Kerberos authentication
  2. Apache Bad Request “Size of a request header field exceeds server limit” with Kerberos SSO
  3. New resolution for problems with Kerberos authentication when users belong to many groups
    Number 3 was the crux of the problem, “when users belong to many groups”.  We took the easy way out, and reduced the number of AD Groups the customer was a member of.

Bonus information
Not only was Internet Explorer broken, but any system which used Kerberos, such as our email and document management system.
140+ Active Directory Groups, which were direct membership.  I suspect there are some additional nested group memberships in there too.

WSUS DownloadFileInteral failed when trying to get wuredir.cab

wsusOn a newly imaged Windows XP client, I decided to activate “Automatic Updates” via a newly installed WSUS 3.0SP2 server.

But I was seeing this error on my Windows XP client:
2011-11-14    10:31:58:524    1788    2a0    Misc    WARNING: DownloadFileInternal failed for http://download.microsoft.com/v7/windowsupdate/redir/wuredir.cab: error 0x80072f78

What the WinXP client is trying to do, is Selfupdate the Windows Update Agent.  For some reason, the existing (older) agent wasn’t looking at my new WSUS server.  After some Googling, the suggested solution was to run the proxycfg –u command, to import the user’s proxy exclusions into the PC’s WinHTTP settings.

And it worked, but I wasn’t comfortable with the solution.  Because it’s changing the machine’s proxy setting, and since I’m going to be doing this to 2500+ desktops …  who knows what problems it would cause.

So I gave it some thought, and wondered what would happen if I MANUALLY updated the WinXP client with the new Windows Update Agent, before trying to speak to the WSUS server.

It worked!  So what I plan to do next is:

* For Windows SP3 and WSUS, Microsoft KB898461 (Package Installer for Windows) is a mandatory patch, so I’ll applying/deploying it as well.

What happens when you uninstall Internet Explorer 8?

It makes itself hard to reinstall itself.  The install program looks at registry and decides, “heck, I’m already installed.”

At least that’s happened when I had to reinstall it via Microsoft SMS.  Perhaps it’s a feature of using a Corporate IE8 install (via IEAK).

Here are the registry keys it leaves behind:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\8A653C7C0B669A246B8B25E4B1444325

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\UpgradeCodes\8988913259C9CB34697403EA2CD10D97

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\
S-1-5-18\Products\8A653C7C0B669A246B8B25E4B1444325

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UpgradeCodes\
84AAB8E17B4FE3244884F5CFCD1110B9

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UpgradeCodes\
8988913259C9CB34697403EA2CD10D97

And the GUID of this key may/will change:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{C7C356A8-66B0-42A9-B6B8-524E1B443452}

So you’re missing the MSI source package

It is one of the great annoyances with Roaming Profiles and MSI-based installs, that if you reformat your PC, you can lose the link to your MSI package.  Here’s today’s example:
Missing MSI Source

I got the above dialog box when I tried to install the latest version of AWESync.  Not that it’s an AWESync caused problem, but the lack of the original AWESync 4.9.1 install file.

Now I could grovel around in the registry and manually fix the problem, or I could cheat and fix the problem quickly.

Let’s cheat; and use the Microsoft Windows Installer Cleanup Utility.

But do note the following from Microsoft:

“While the Windows Installer Cleanup utility resolved some installation problems, it sometimes damaged other components installed on the computer. Because of this, the tool has been removed from the Microsoft Download Center.”

We’re all adults here, and since we’re obtained a copy of MSICUU2.exe from elsewhere, let’s continue:

Windows Installer Clean Up

It’s as simple as selecting the package you want to “clean up”, and then clicking Remove.

Windows Installer Clean Up - Warning

Read the warning, and then click OK.

After a minute, the selected program MSI registry keys will be removed, and you’ll be able to install the MSI package you want.

References:
More on Haack’s Troubleshooting Windows MSI Installers
Uninstall without the MSI file