Thinapp: VirtualComputerName

I have been creating a new Thinapp in which I am trying to trick the application into thinking it is running on the same computer each time it is executed. Little did I know, this was soo easy to do. I had been using ProcMon to find out which registry the software called to get the ComputerName from and then tried to add in a custom registry entry into the Thinapp virtual registry.

As it turns out VMware have given us an entry in the package.ini that we can use instead: VirtualComputerName. So in the package.ini this is what the entry now looks like:

VirtualComputerName=VIEW-PC

Now every time this Thinapp is run it will think it's running on a computer named VIEW-PC.

Thinapp: Files Being Created In The BIN Directory

Whilst testing a Thinapp today I noticed that every time I ran the Thinapp a file related to that software package was being created in the Thinapp bin directory. This isn't something that I want to happen. The file created was named the same as the ComputerName of the vm it was being excecuted on. So as you can imagine, if you have desktop estate of 10,000 desks, it could get quite missy.

With the help of Peter Bjork one of the VMware Thinapp specialists we worked out that the Entry Point that we were using to excecute the Thinapp didn't have a WorkingDirectory defined in the package.ini. This is what the entry point in the package.ini looked like:

[Application.exe]
Source=%ProgramFilesDir%\ApplicationDir\Application.exe
Shortcuts=Application.dat

As you can see, there is no WorkingDirectory defined. If a WorkingDirectory is not specified on an Entry Point the location of the Entry Point will be the working directory, in my case the bin directory. I edited the package.ini to read the following:

[Application.exe]
Source=%ProgramFilesDir%\ApplicationDir\Application.exe 
WorkingDirectory=%ProgramFilesDir%\ApplicationDir\
Shortcuts=Application.dat

I rebuilt the Thinapp and now the application creates this application file in the application directory. Sweet.

Thinapp: Log Monitor Trace Error

Just a quick post about an error I just got when I was trying to generate a text trace report using the Thinapp Log Monitor. The error I received was:

<UNC path to Thinapp Bin>\<trace unique identifier>.trace: Error
– – – – – – – – end of file – – – – – – – – –  

If I then looked at the trace text file it only had a small amount of information, most of the trace information you would expect to see was missing.

The reason for this error was because I was running Thinapp Log Monitor from a network share. 

To fix this problem I copied to a local drive;

  • log_monitor.exe
  • logging.dll
  • setup capture.exe

The trace text report generation now runs as expected.

VMware ThinApp Bootcamp Series

Guys, don't miss out on the free VMware Thinapp Bootcamp Series. The content below are taken from: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/thinapp/bootcamp

Get ready for application virtualization with VMware ThinApp!

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In this six-part bootcamp,  we show you how to use, deploy, and optimize VMware ThinApp. The  session will include everything from deployment best practices, tips & tricks for performance enhancement, and improving application  compatibility.

We will be releasing one on demand session each day starting October 31st.  At the end of this bootcamp, you’ll understand how to use VMware ThinApp. Register to get a free e-book of all the presentations included in this bootcamp series.

 

Receive a FREE copy of all of the presentations covered in this video bootcamp: Sign up today

VMware ThinApp Bootcamp Series – Videos released daily, starting 31st October, 2011

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Thinapp Best Practices: Keep It Clean

Thinapp: Keep it cleanI've been working a lot with Thinapp lately and one thing I keep noticing when users are creating their Thinapp's is; they are neglecting to use a clean capture machine.

Definition of a Clean Machine

So what exactly is a clean machine? A clean machine is a “vanilla” Windows OS and its essential drivers with no other software installed. This also includes updates Microsoft updates. I can't put it any simpler than that.

Why do I need a Clean Machine?

If you are a Thinapp user you'll probably understand that during the capture process you have two main phases. The Pre-Scan and Post-Scan phases. The Pre-Scan phase is run before installation of the software you are Thinapping. It scans the clean machine and makes a note of everything on it. Files, Software, Services, Registry keys etc. The Post-Scan is run after the software you are trying to Thinapp has been installed. The Post-Scan checks for any changes made to the clean machine since the information gathered by the Pre-Scan phase. These differences are then put into the Thinapp package.

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