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Category: Software (page 1 of 3)

How to…Stop install wizard running every time the AppSense Management Console is opened

If you’re using a mandatory or local profile (that’s deleted at logoff) you’ve probably noticed that the AppSense Management Console always runs through the install wizard when you open it whereas if you leave your local profile on the server or use a roaming profile this wouldn’t happen.

AMC wizard

This happens when a couple of related keys don’t exist in the users registry:

HKCU\Software\AppSense Ltd\AppSense Management Console (64 Bit) n.n.n.n
HCKU\Software\AppSense Technologies\Deployment

AMC registry 8.3  AMC registry 8.4

To stop the install wizard running every time you open the Management Console add these keys to your Default profile or ntuser.man mandatory profile. (check your registry to ensure you use the appropriate version number).


How to…Updating AppSense Environment Manager configuration during active user sessions

A former colleague directed me to this blog posting which explains the use of AppSense Environment Manager engineering key ‘PreventUnapplyOnConfigChange’

I’d never heard of it before but soon found it detailed in AppSense Tech-Note TN-150931 (login required).

Adding this registry value solves the problem facing AppSense Administrators when making changes in a busy operational environment as it means that EM configuration files can be updated while a user is logged in with causing any problems – something that’s especially useful in the early stages of a deployment when changes are carried out all the time.

One of the headaches of managing AppSense Environment Manager environments is scheduling the deployment of configuration updates. Generally you’d only update the endpoint at restart so you ensure you don’t effect any active users. However there are a couple of obvious problems with this:

  1. any new computer start up actions added will need a second device restart before they apply
  2. you may not have control of how often endpoints are restarted so changes could take days or weeks to deploy

So if you have an environment that’s subject to constant change you’d have to consider deploying on a schedule and clearly that’s an issue if you’re working with a 24/7 operation.

Changing the EM configuration when the user is logged on can affect their session – settings configured by EM can be removed mid-session causing functional issues for the user and potentially opening security holes.

The ‘PreventUnapplyOnConfigChange’ registry setting prevents this behaviour which means that configuration updates can be applied to an endpoint while the user is logged on not taking effect until next logon.

Create the following registry value appropriate for the version of Environment Manager you have:

Environment Manager Version 8.0.x.x

HKLM\Software\AppSense Technologies\Environment Manager

Environment Manager 8.1.x.x

HKLM\Software\AppSense\Environment Manager
Registry Value Name: PreventUnapplyOnConfigChange
Registry Value Type: REG_DWORD
Registry Value Data: 1

Needless to say adding a Computer Startup  Set Value action is a simple way to get the setting deployed.
A value of 0 is the same as default behaviour if the key is not created i.e. EM actions are unapplied on config change

Note the limitations highlighted by AppSense if you’re using a persistent profile:

“If using a local or roaming profiles, using this Engineering Key would lead to these actions being applied permanently for any users logged on when a new configuration is deployed. In these circumstances, it would be preferable to only deploy configurations at computer startup (if there are actions which need to be unapplied).Self-Heal actions are currently unapplied regardless of this setting”

Thanks to Darren Randall at HP Enterprise Services for bringing Geert De Keyser’s blog entry to my attention which led me to the AppSense Tech-Note.


Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks upgrade fail: OS X can’t be installed on the disk because a recovery system can’t be created.

The Mavericks upgrade didn’t go smoothly for me last week. Instead of an automated download and install I got an installation failure message

“Install Failed: OS X could not be installed on your computer. OS X can’t be installed on the disk because a recovery system can’t be created. Visit www.apple.com/support/no-recovery to learn more”

Looks like it’s to do with how Mavericks deals with Recovery Partition and for whatever reason my MacBook Pro wasn’t configured as the Mavericks installer expected.

Here’s what I had to do to fix it.

Note: If you want to give it a try, ensure that you have everything backed up beforehand – making changes to drive formats and partitions has the potential to go catastrophically wrong and I wouldn’t want you to lose any data.

1) Download Mavericks and make a boot USB.

Not absolutely necessary but considering Mavericks 5.29Gb size you may as well take the opportunity of creating a boot drive in case you need it.

See http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57608836-285/how-to-create-a-bootable-os-x-mavericks-usb-install-drive

i) Download the Mavericks update file – don’t reboot

ii) Format USB drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), leaving name as ‘Untitled’

iii) Open Terminal and enter

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app –nointeraction

2) Remove your systems Recovery Partition and extend the Boot Partition

See http://derflounder.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/removing-and-rebuilding-a-malfunctioning-recover-hd-partition

i) Get the recover partition identifier. Open Terminal and enter:

diskutil list

ii) Remove the recovery partition. In Terminal enter following (using appropriate disk identifier from previous step):

Diskutil eraseVolume HFS+ ErasedDisk /dev/disk0s4

iii) Extend the boot partition. In Terminal enter following (using appropriate identifiers)

diskutil mergePartitions HFS+ MacHD disk0s3 disk0s4

3) Reboot your Mac from the USB drive and carry out the upgrade

Even then it wasn’t 100% flawless. The Mac booted to USB carried out upgrade ok but when complete it didn’t automatically reboot so needed a manual restart.

And when it finished Mavericks went through the process of creating a new user account rather than using what was already there and letting me logon to the saved profile. Fortunately I was able to log off and then on again using the previous account. (From which I could delete the new, unwanted one).


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