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Nickel Elite Contributor
MMcFadden
Posts: 567
Country: USA
Message 11 of 29 (2,545 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

Hello Graeme,

 

I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree.

 

There was no way of knowing that this was an issue prior to release.  We only experienced this issue when hosting XP SP2 as a guest operating system under VMware Workstation.  I personally contacted VMware and they acknowledged this as a defect in their application.  This information was disseminated to the ACT! 2010 beta participants indicating that the resolution was indeed to apply XP SP2, as this (under VMware) was the only place it was encountered.  Because SQL Express 2005 minimum system requirements indicate XP SP2, this is how we proceeded with ACT! 2010.

 

<http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=220549B5-0B07-4448-8848-DCC397514B41&displa...

 

This issue is NOT widespread, else we would have indeed enforced a minimum XP SP3 service pack level.  This issue only manifests itself in XP SP2, as Vista and Server 2003, Server 2008 have not had this issue.  Again, this issue does NOT happen on every installation of XP SP2 when installing ACT! 2010.

 

Microsoft has been pushing Service Pack 3 for XP since July of 2008 via the Critical / Recommended update mechanism.  People choose NOT to take this update and then can experience issues.  We have addressed the issue be indicating that those affected can take 1 of 2 methods to resolve this IF they encounter it to begin with.

 

Since ACT! 2010 is already shipping, you cannot simply change the software check.  Additionally, you cannot enforce something like this in the service pack either as the issue would have already been encountered.  This sort of item is addressed in a major release.

 

I can tell you that future major releases do indeed require XP SP3 as a minimum operating system check as well as other operating system minimum service pack levels.

 

thank you.

 

Matthew McFadden
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Bronze Elite Contributor
gleo
Posts: 2,073
Country: New_Zealand
Message 12 of 29 (2,534 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

Thanks for explaining your experience to date.

If I am reading this correctly, at the time of beta or earlier you/Sage experienced the issue. As it happened it was on a VMware workstation which you say VMware acknowledged as an issue under VMware. That may have led you to assume that the problem was solely on a VMware workstation environment. You don't state that there was any specific testing, by Sage or beta testers, with Windows XP SP2 in a non-VMware environment. Perhaps there was, I don't know. You have stated that "this issue does NOT happen on every installation of XP SP2 when installing ACT! 2010". But there is no emperical evidence of that, you may have some, but once again I don't know. However what appears to be emerging is that the same, or similar issue, occurs in a non-VMware situation. That is my experience and others as well.

 

Unfortunately this discussion here  focused on who should take 'the blame'. That doesn't help.  What I am saying is that it really doesn't matter as to who or why. What does matter is that there is a problem of some unknown magnitude that potentially causes a PC to become unuseable. That problem can be or is initiated by ACT! 2010 software being installed into an environment of XP SP2. Sage is in part recognising the problem as now you have advised that Sage will, in the future, insist on XP SP3 being in place. As to why you didn't state that previously I don't know, however it seems relevant now wheras previously it wasn't raised.

 

I can't argue the point as to what Sage can or cannot do from an install perspective at this time. It seems as if you are ruling out a hotfix to the install process to check for SP3. The bottom line is this and it hasn't changed. There seems to be a problem. People are experiencing the problem. The problem is potentially, if not universally resulting in their PC becoming unuseable. It appears, at this early stage, that the resolution is not trivial. Even if the root cause of the problem is fixed there still remains the part install of SQL Express that has to be be dealt with. This is happening to users installing ACT!, possibly as novices not expecting to have to engage in a process of resuscitating their PC so that they can get back to the status quo before they attempted to install  ACT! 2010 on an XP SP2 machine. To be more succinct and from the uninformed novice's perspective looking to trial ACT!...Was working, now isn't, what was changed? ACT! 2010 was installed

 

   

 

 

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


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Nickel Elite Contributor
MMcFadden
Posts: 567
Country: USA
Message 13 of 29 (2,531 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

Graeme,

 

Please check you private messages.

 

thanks

Matthew McFadden
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Tuned Listener
TrialUser555
Posts: 8
Country: United States
Message 14 of 29 (2,490 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

I did finally manage to get back into my PC, but installing the Act2010 trial ended up costing me several hours of downtime. But I just thought I would check back and see if anyone at Act had updated the system requirements to show that SP3 is required to install this... NOPE. They are going to let people with SP2 drive of the cliff into a BSOD.

 

For what it's worth, I read the Microsoft KB article ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921337 ) provided earlier in this thread, and they indicate that the problem I encountered should occur on any machine running XP SP2:

 

"When you add a manifest that has the Microsoft Windows Vista extension to an .exe file or to a .dll file, the computer may restart. This problem occurs on a Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)-based computer"

 

The Microsft KB article ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921337 ) also indicates that the problem is due to an error on the part of the Sage development team (adding Vista-specific tags to a manifest):

 

"This problem occurs when Csrss.exe is loading an .exe file or a .dll file that contains a manifest that has Windows Vista extensions. When parsing the embedded manifest, its internal memory can be corrupted if it finds a single tag that has two schema properties...Software developers can avoid this problem by making sure that only a single schema exists for all properties in a manifest...Manifests that are created by Visual Studio 2005 can exhibit this behavior. This issue will be addressed by an updated Mt.exe file in Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1."

 

 

 You guys are not gaining anything by sticking your heads in the sand - a lot of potential Act customers (like me) are going to get burned by the trial and may never try Act again. Someone should take responsibility and get the information on the web site changed ASAP.

 

 

 

 

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Nickel Elite Contributor
MMcFadden
Posts: 567
Country: USA
Message 15 of 29 (2,469 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

Hello TrialUser555,

 

I would like to close out this thread with a few comments.

 

1) The error that is encountered is a direct result of the Microsoft SQL Express (4035) VSS Writer Component that installs as a function of the Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 package.  The comment regarding "an error on the part of the Sage development team" is simply false, as this a Microsoft owned and controlled component.  If the blue screen loop is encountered, you can boot into safe mode and disable the VSS Writer component service.  This will return you to a normal boot sequence.  You should however, either apply the Microsoft hotfix files, or apply XP SP3 to prevent the recurrence.

 

2) In the ACT! Installation guide, step #2 under the Preparing to Install ACT! section indicates "Ensure all computers are up-to-date with Microsoft critical and recommended updates".  XP SP3 is pushed via Microsoft Update (for free), so if this was done, this would be a non issue.

 

3) Regarding the system requirements for the product.  XP SP2 is indicated because this is the requirement Microsoft placed for SQL Server Express 2005.

 

4)  ACT! Knowledgebase article 25441 addresses this issue.

 

5) Future product offerings will indeed force XP SP3 as well as other service pack levels of other supported operating systems.  This is primarily due to the Windows Installer service that accompanies each OS and service pack.

 

Thank you.

Matthew McFadden
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TrialUser555
Posts: 8
Country: United States
Message 16 of 29 (2,397 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

The SP2 version of the hotfix referenced in those two KB articles isn't available on the Microsoft website. Unfortunately, upgrading to SP3 is not an option for me at this time - my next upgrade will be to Windows7.

 

Is there an alternate location for that download (the SP2 version of the hotfix for KB943232) ?

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Nickel Elite Contributor
MMcFadden
Posts: 567
Country: USA
Message 17 of 29 (2,385 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

Hello,

 

Doing a web search for the Microsoft KB returns the following URL in which you will need to contact Microsoft for the resolution:

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943232

 

I will have the link within the ACT! Knowledgebase article reviewed.

 

Please keep in mind that Windows 7 is not currently certified for use with ACT! 2010, however it will be within the next few months.

 

thank you.

 

Matthew McFadden
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TrialUser555
Posts: 8
Country: United States
Message 18 of 29 (2,375 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...


MMcFadden wrote:

Hello,

 

Doing a web search for the Microsoft KB returns the following URL in which you will need to contact Microsoft for the resolution:

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943232

 

I will have the link within the ACT! Knowledgebase article reviewed.

 

Please keep in mind that Windows 7 is not currently certified for use with ACT! 2010, however it will be within the next few months.

 

thank you.

 


Hi-

 

Yes, there is no version of the hotfix for XP SP2 at that link (try clicking on the "View and Request Hotfix Downloads" link to see what I mean).

 

There are only versions for SP3 and SP4.

 

Is there another download location for the hotfix for XP SP2?

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Nickel Elite Contributor
MMcFadden
Posts: 567
Country: USA
Message 19 of 29 (2,370 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...

I suspect that the Service Pack 4 marker simply means that the fix will be included in XP Service Pack 4 when it is released.  I also believe this to be true for XP SP3, meaning that the fix is already incorporated in XP SP3.

 

Since this is a Microsoft controled knowledgebase article and download request, you would need to follow up with them to be sure, else have them answer your question concerning XP SP2.

 

thank you.

Matthew McFadden
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Tuned Listener
TrialUser555
Posts: 8
Country: United States
Message 20 of 29 (2,366 Views)

Re: Problems with Act2010 Trial install...


MMcFadden wrote:

I suspect that the Service Pack 4 marker simply means that the fix will be included in XP Service Pack 4 when it is released.  I also believe this to be true for XP SP3, meaning that the fix is already incorporated in XP SP3.

 

Since this is a Microsoft controled knowledgebase article and download request, you would need to follow up with them to be sure, else have them answer your question concerning XP SP2.

 

thank you.


So you can see that there is no "hotfix" download for XP SP2 at that link?

 

Which means that there is no way for XP SP2 users to install the trial without upgrading to SP3. Are you planning to modify the posted system requirements for Act2010 to reflect this?

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