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From Kris Deugau <kdeu...@deepnet.cx>
Subject os-windows/7278: MSI Install chokes when it can't find %systemdrive%\Program Files\Common Files
Date Mon, 19 Feb 2001 21:03:29 GMT

>Number:         7278
>Category:       os-windows
>Synopsis:       MSI Install chokes when it can't find %systemdrive%\Program Files\Common
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       non-critical
>Priority:       medium
>Responsible:    apache
>State:          open
>Class:          change-request
>Submitter-Id:   apache
>Arrival-Date:   Mon Feb 19 13:10:01 PST 2001
>Originator:     kdeugau@deepnet.cx
>Release:        1.3.17
NT4, SP6a, P3-600/128M
When attempting an install of 1.3.17 from either the source-included or
binary-only MSI package, the installer pops up an error message:
"Error 1606. Could not access network location %systemdrive%\Program Files\Common Files"

Setting an environment variable didn't help, and Start->Run
"%systemdrive%\Program Files\Common Files" brought up the proper directory
without trouble.

This is primarily a flaw in the MSI installer, but it causes problems elsewhere.
Further testing showed that the MSI installer depends on having an actual
drive letter to work with.  The system was originally set up to NOT rely
on this sort of thing so as to eliminate problems if and when the OS got
moved, or the HD had to be repartitioned to allow more space for the OS.

The system is a personal machine that I wanted Apache/PHP available on so
as to work on my PHP-based website while away from a *nix-based Apache/PHP
The system was installed with NT on a secondary partition as drive L, which
took heavy manual editing of the registry in order to get the core install
to use the proper directories instead of the d:\??? assumed by the installer.

As far as possible, specific reference to the system drive (as l:) was
replaced with %systemdrive%.  This crashed a few other pieces of software
as well, but not as badly.
A sort of fix was found in replacing all references to %systemdrive% with
l: in the registry by exporting the whole registy, running a global
search-and-replace, and importing the changed registry.  This is the same
procedure used to make the changes in the first place.  This also defeats
the purpose of the original change.

Even on 56K dialup, I would rather spend the time downloading yet another
copy of the install software (which works with %systemdrive% very well- or
at least ignores it) than have to mess about with converting to and from
drive letters.
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