Windows Vista setup DVD stops during the animated splash screen phase and you are unable to begin the setup process

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista

The Problem:

When you boot from the Vista DVD the boot process begins, however stalls at the animated splash screen which continues to animate indefinitely without any system activity. At this point you are forced to power down the system using the ACAPI switch.

This issue was observed as occurring on a P4 2.5 GHz running on an Asus P4S333 running the latest P4S533 Beta BIOS.

If you attempt to reproduce the boot using Safe Mode, the system loads disk.sys and then fails attempting to load the next driver (believed to be crcdisk.sys), this is constant no matter how you boot the system.

More Info:

Attempts to change the DVD ROM drive and Hard drive due to common troubleshooting material highlighting that this issue is down to a malfunctioning device on the IDE/SATA bus were of no use in this particular case, however may be applicable in your situation. Test your system with all hard drives disconnected to eliminate Hard disk errors. Attempt to replace the DVD drive or use an alternative DVD drive (cycling SATA/IDE channels) to eliminate your optical drives from the issue.

If you are certain that your drives and the IDE/SATA bus’s present in your system are not faulty follow the next steps:

Check your DVD Installation Disc
Try and get a replacement for the Disc if you can. All Vista Disc’s are standardised (finally) apart from the Enterprise edition. The retail and generic OEM disc’s are also the same so you can therefore download a new ISO image of the disc and burn it. I don’t see any issue with doing this, so long as you have your own legal Windows Vista key to use with the disc, and I think Microsoft should be firstly credited with unifying the disc, and secondly should enable all legal key holders to download an integrated ISO version with SP1 anyway!

 

Unload your PSU
I have been made aware of a fix to this issue which was resulting from an overloaded power supply. This wasn’t related to the fix on the system above, however was in the instance reported to me. Unload the PSU of any unecessary devices and case ‘accessories’ – including all but the required fans (run the case open if necessary for testing).

 

Disconnect any redundant internal drives from the Bus
If you have any drives on the system bus that you do not want the Vista installer to see, and have simply disconnected the molex (power) connector from the drive, be aware that this may still be causing the Vista load sequence some grief. Remove both the power and ATA/SATA ribbon/lead from the disk completely and retry the installation.

 

Disconnect any external drives that are surplus to requirements
In the instance above it was necessary to remove an external firewire drive in addition to the step below before the boot sequence would progress correctly into VGA mode.

 

Use VGA Mode to begin the installation process
This was the second required fix on the P4S333 from the documented instance above. The following allowed setup to continue:

  1. Inset the Vista bootable DVD
  2. Power down the system
  3. Boot the system onto the DVD drive
  4. Immediately begin pressing the F8 key – it must have registered before the first loading screen (with the white status bar indicating file extraction) is displayed on the screen
  5. The screen will return to the animated splash screen
  6. After a few moments a boot menu will appear, from the list, select “Enable low-resolution video (640×480)” from the list and hit enter

 

If the above method and troubleshooting steps still fail to enable the system to boot, repeat the last step, but use Safe Mode and allow the system to boot instead of VGA mode.

Error 0x80004005: “Could not use ‘(unknown)’; file already in use” when using Microsoft Access databases in conjunction with IIS, Dreamweaver and others

System Requirements:

  • An Access database
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 4.0, 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 7.0
  • Dreamweaver

The Problem:

This error can arise for a variety of reasons, however the specific one which prompted me to write this was to do with using IIS and Dreamweaver to fiddle with its ‘Application’ management system for connecting to and inserting dynamic information onto web pages.

When you attempt to use the database you receive the following error message in your web browser:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers (0x80004005)
[Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Could not use ‘(unknown)’; file already in use.
/<file>.asp, line #

This occurs despite giving the IUSER_<system_name> account permissions to access the MDB file.

The Fix:

This could be:

  • A bad/corrupt MDAC install
  • An old MDAC install; ensure you are using 2.8
  • An old version of JET – ensure that you have the latest 2000/XP/2003 service pack or have installed Jet 4.0 SP8 on anything else

However is is more likely that you are running into a permissions error (yes, even though you gave the IUSR_<system_name> permissions on the MDB).

When you are using an Access database, of course the IIS service account IUSR_<system_name> needs to have correct permissions on the .MDB file that you are using. This goes without saying.
If you haven’t got that far, ensure that you have disabled simple file and folder sharing (on XP Pro) and offer up modify permissions or higher (do so with care) on the .mdb, however this will not solve the error!

When you use an Access database, during that fleeting second when the database is being structurally polled, Access will lock the database to prevent concurrent activity from taking place, however it does this in a relatively unsophisticated manner using a file-system flag.

By default Access will attempt to create the file system flag, a .LDB file named in an identical fashion to that of your database next to the .MDB. The problem is that the LDB is being written using the IUSR_<system_name> account which under Windows 2000 will be part of the everyone group, and has more secure default permissions under later version.

What is happening is that your system is either unable to create the LDB because of a permissions conflict, or more likely in the case of you receiving the error listed at the beginning of this article it is creating the LDB file, but is unable to clear the file-system flag.

In other words: Access is locking the database, but in its crudeness is unable to unlock it!

You must ensure that you have set the necessary permissions on the database folder/directory with the permissions on the folder inheriting down to the files contained within it.

 

Now that you have a folder with write/modify (or worse) permissions for the IIS process/guest account, you need to think about security. Never, ever put the database folder beneath the public wwwroot of the site. Always place the database directory at the bottom of a folder hierarchy and always keep your permissions as tight as possible.

Citrix / Terminal Server initial user program error on user logon

System Requirements:

  • Citrix
  • Windows Server 2003 / Windows Server 2003 R2

The Problem:

When logging onto the Citrix server, the student/staff user receives the following error dialogue.

You are connected to the remote computer. However, an error occurred while an initial user
program was starting, so you are being logged off. Contact the system administrator for
assistance.

Logon Error

The logon attempt then exists and returns to the thin client shell.

The Fix:

The problem is due to a permissions error in the Citrix server.

In the instance observed the permissions error was due to a restricted (through being missing rather than denied) permission flag on explorer.exe as a file, the error is not inherited from the %SYSTEMROOT% folder (c:\windows\). It is possible that any other user experiencing this error could be experiencing it based upon a bad permission set on another file.

If this proves to be the case, I suggest that you perform a permissions reset on the Windows folder at first, and if that doesn’t fix it, System32 and finally the entire Windows folder and all sub-folders.

Permissions Fix


To correct the fault:

Set the file security permissions on explorer.exe as “Read & Execute” and “Read” for both of the following accounts.

  • %LocalServer%\Users
  • %LocalServer%\Power Users

Please note: These accounts are Local Server accounts and NOT domain accounts and must be sourced from %servername%\%account% instead of %domain%\%account%.

No restart is required to complete the reconfiguration.

SAGE Accounting Line 10 (and others) cannot run in a non-Administrative account under Windows 2000 / XP

System Requirements:

  • SAGE Line 10
  • Windows 2000

The Problem:

If you are attempting (or have) rolled out SAGE 10 onto your system, then you will have had the misfortune to find that if you attempt to run it in an account below that of Power User on the local system, it will not work.

SAGE either locks up at the application initialisation, flashes up and crashes or if you have by some fluke got a semi-valid set of system privileges it will refuse to let you log-in under any user account, including the ‘manager’.

The Fix:

It seems absurd that this application even shipped, and yet it did. The problem will only happen on NTFS volumes, if you have any FAT32 systems you’ll have found out by now that they work. Sage installs into the Administrative account, and as such it creates its folder set using Administrative permissions.

The problem is in effect very simple, but is completely undocumented anywhere and required some good old fashioned forensic work to suss!

In order to get it to work you need to re-jig the NTFS permissions. Please note that I have used “Advanced” permission terminology in an attempt to lock the process down as much as possible.

C:\Program Files\Sage\Accounts\
Effective Permissions: Write/Create/Delete

C:\Program Files\Sage\Accounts\ACCDATA\
Effective Permissions: Modify

C:\Program Files\Sage\Accounts\TaskOpt\
Effective Permissions: Modify

C:\Windows\Sage.ini
Effective Permissions: Write
Note: If it doesn’t exist, create it using notepad

C:\Windows\System32\sglch32.usr
Effective Permissions: Create

C:\Windows\System32\sageinformer50.ssf
Effective Permissions: Create