Month: November 2018

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Creating transforms file and using PDQ

The other day I need to “mass deploy” an application to our users at the hotels.  Normally, pushing applications using PDQ is straightforward, however, the installation needed some user inputs such as server name, username and install feature.  Luckily, the installer was an MSI, and was able to create a transforms file to automatically answer those questions.


Found this simple application, Transforms Creator

The application is fairly simple, after installing the Transforms Creator, you would find the MSI in question, right click it and select Create Transforms.  The MSI will then simulate an install, answer all the questions needed, once you’re done, an MST will be generated.

Tested it out, and it worked exactly as I needed.

I did run into some issue using TRANSFORMS in PDQ.  This was merely a user issue and not knowing how to do this rather than technical.  So for future reference, when creating a package in PDQ, you’ll need to the following settings in the Edit Package dialog box:

Parameters: TRANSFORMS=transforms_package.mst

and the ensure that you check “Include Entire Directory” otherwise,  you’ll get an error message saying:

“This installation package could not be opened. Verify that the package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer package.”



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Guest OS reporting error during quiescing

My storage engineer recently approached me about a couple of VMs that were failing to backup because it could not quiesce.  We were seeing:


My storage engineer recently approached me about a couple of VMs that were failing to backup because it could not quiesce.  We were seeing:

“An error occurred while saving the snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.”

An open call to EMC said to run an extended Snapshot, however, that is only available starting with vSphere 6.5.  Despite that, running a manual snapshot using the vCenter MOB was successful.

Running scheduled and unscheduled backups failed with the same message.

However, after digging into the logs, I saw a very specific error message:

The guest OS has reported an error during quiescing. The error code was: 5 The error message was: ‘VssSyncStart’ operation failed: IDispatch error #8472 (0x80042318)

A quick search shows that this can be resolved by a number of ways, re-registering the VSS Components and re-configure VMTools.

for my purposes, re-registering the VSS Components did the trick.  Instead of running each of the following commands separately, I put them into a batch script.

cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
vssvc /register
net start swprv
net start vss

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