Fix: Setup cannot copy the file winhlp32.exe when installing Windows XP SP3

Our desktop team has finally started deploying Windows XP Service Pack 3 to corporate computers.  Their silent installation package kept failing on my laptop.  I finally ran the installer manually, and found it was failing with the following error:

Setup cannot copy the file winhlp32.exe

I checked the NTFS permissions, and found that Everyone was denied access to the C:\Windows\Winhlp32.exe file.  I logged in with administrative access, removed the deny permission, and SP3 installed successfully.

Turns out that I had implemented this change in file permissions as a workaround to the Help Keypress Vulnerability in VBScript enabling Remote Code Execution, detailed in this Technet Blog post.  It’s funny, the things I forget I do to my system to try to deal with security vulnerabilities because I can’t update patches on my own machine.

FIX for SQL cluster instance install error: “There was an unexpected failure during the setup wizard. The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled, or because it has no enabled devices associated with it”

I received the following generic popup message when installing a new instance on SQL 2005 SP3 cluster running on Windows Server 2003 R2: 

There was an unexpected failure during the setup wizard.  The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled, or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.
The active node’s system and application event logs didn’t even show any services trying to start.  The SQL setup log wasn’t terribly helpful either.  The error was:
Error: Action “OpenPipeAction” failed during execution.

I found that after I canceled the failed installation, more information was written to the setup log.  That’s when I found these messages:

Error: Action “RunRemoteSetupAction” failed during execution.  Error information reported during run:

Attempting to determine log files for remote install.

Connection to remote computer’s scheduler service.

Error: SetTargetComputer on \\NODE2 failed with

Unable to start service (1058)

WinException while starting remote setup.

        Error Code: 0x80070422 (1058)

Windows Error Text: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

I saw that the Task Scheduler was disabled on NODE2 (per our build standard).  I started the service, and the SQL instance installation completed successfully.

Workaround for Dell OpenManage Server Administrator installation fails prerequisite checks

When trying to install Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) on a PowerEdge R610 server running Windows Server 2003 R2,  I received the following error from the prerequisite checker:

 “This is not a supported server. Server Administrator software can only be installed on supported servers.”

I recevied this error when trying to install OMSA 5.4, 5.5, and 6.0.1. To get around the error you can run the installer with the option to bypass the prerequsite checker. To do so, from command prompt, run the following:

C:\OpenManage\windows\SystemsManagement\msiexec /i SysMgmt.msi SYSTEMCHECK=NO

Dell’s official documentation says version 5.4 and 5.5 of OMSA are not supported on the R610, but it runs great on many systems in my environment.

Fix: Groupwise won’t install on Windows Server 2003

Groupwise typically will not install on Windows Server 2003 due to DEP incompatibilities.  Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is a set of hardware and software technologies that perform additional checks on memory to help prevent malicious code from running on a system.

To resolve this issue:

1) Right click on My Computer > Properties

2) Select Advanced > Performance Settings > Data Execution Prevention

3) Select Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only  > OK > OK

4) Reboot the Windows 2003 Server

See TID 3131386 for details on the Groupwise client crashing, TID 3564700 for details about not being able to install the Groupwise agents or administration files on Windows Server 2003.

For more details on DEP, see MS KB 875352.

Sonicwall Viewpoint 4.1 Installation Error: SQL Server does not exist or access denied

At one of my client locations we use Sonicwall’s Viewpoint reporting system to gather usage data from the Sonicwall firewall and content filter.  Viewpoint is a pita to upgrade or move to a new machine, and I treat the program with care, since it’s very easy to unintentionally break. I was upgrading from an old version (2.9) only because I could no longer access the administrative interface through a web browser to run reports.

One very important thing to know about Viewpoint is it will not install properly on a machine that had any previous instances of SQL Server or MSDE on it.  Plus, if you want to use SQL Server instead of MSDE for the Viewpoint database, Sonicwall will not provide you technical support.

After much trial and error I found that just removing prior SQL/MSDE instances was not enough to make the installation a success.  I would complete phase 1 of the installation, only to have phase 2 fail with the following error:

SQL Server does not exist or access denied

I searched the Sonicwall tech support web site and forums, but could only find one document that addressed this error, and of course it didn’t work (not a big suprise, if you’ve ever dealt with Sonicwall tech support you know what I mean)

In order to complete the Viewpoint 4.1 Installation I had to:

1) Uninstall the SQL/MSDE from Add/Remove Programs and any other software that used SQL/MSDE.  In my case, I had a copy of Dell’s IT Assistant, a part of the OpenManage Management Station.  Reboot.

2) Use MyUninstaller to remove Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005, even though the uninstallation process in step 1 had removed it from Add/Remove Programs.

3) Delete the sgmsconfig.xml from the root of the installation drive (C:\ in my case)

4) Rename all of the remaining Viewpoint and SQL/MSDE directories on the hard drive

5) Reboot, then run the Viewpoint installer.  I was able install without problems, but phase 2 takes a looooong time, and I thought the machine was locked up.  Be patient.

I did find one glitch during the installation – even though I was asked what password I wanted to use for the Viewpoint login, it was not applied.  I had to use the default login and password, which you can find in the Viewpoint 4.1 Administrator’s Guide.

You may find Some of the Microsoft Knowledge Base articles I found helpful if you are having SQL/MSDE uninstallation problems:

KB 311762 – How to identify which MSI file was used for an existing MSDE installation

KB 823467 – BUG: You cannot start the SQL Server Agent Service for an instance of SQL Server or the SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine that has the same instance name as a previously uninstalled instance of the SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows)

KB 317619 – FIX: Cannot Remove Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine After You Upgrade to MSDE 2000 SP2

KB 320873 – How to manually remove a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) instance

KB 909967 – How to uninstall an instance of SQL Server 2005 manually

Aaron also has a detailed procedure for removing SQL Express manually.  It also seems that the SQL Express uninstaller requires the .NET framework 2.0, so if you don’t have the .NET 2.0 framework, you may need to install it prior to uninstalling SQL Express.