Orca MSI Editor Crashes When Deleting Rows from a Transform


Orca is Microsoft's database table editor for directly creating and editing Windows Installer (previously Microsoft Installer) packages and merge modules. You are most likely familiar with these installation packages as MSI files.


You may have noticed, though, that Orca would freeze when you dropped a row at times. This is because the version that comes with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SDK (and Vista Platform SDK as well, I believe) would crash if you deleted some rows from a transform, such as registry entries. The newer versions of Orca seem to fix this, beginning with the version from the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008. Last I checked, there's an even newer version - version 5.0 - included in the Windows 7 SDK.


Well, that's the answer to your crashing issue, but there are more questions that now arise:

  1. The Windows 7 SDK is huge. Where exactly can I find the Orca.exe program in it?
  2. How do I go about downloading just the portion of the SDK that contains Orca?
  3. Are there any good alternatives to using Orca to edit MSI tables directly?

Read on for the answers to these questions!

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20 Apple Snow Leopard Annoyances (and their solutions)


Luis Villazon has submitted an article at TechRadar UK that outlines some of the more annoying issues that people may run across while using Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system (next to the issues with NTLM, of course). It's a nice compilation with some of the solutions being the harder ones to figure out (e.g., tracking down a corruption issue with Smart Groups in Address Book). The annoyances:


  1. Exposé leaves windows in the background
  2. Can I stop the screensaver from closing?
  3. I can't log in as root user when using Terminal
  4. My Time Machine backups are broken
  5. Files don't open in the right application
  6. How can I change the Stacks display?
  7. How do I get a Stack's items to be highlighted on mouseover?
  8. Can keyboard shortcuts open applications?
  9. Address Book and Mail crash at the same time!
  10. Exposé doesn't work on the Dock when I'm using Spaces
  11. Where have some of the preferences gone?
  12. How can I find and open a single hidden file?
  13. How do I get rid of the blue glow in Exposé?
  14. The icons from the menu bar have vanished
  15. Snow Leopard won't install on the hard disk
  16. Can line breaks be added in Text Substitution?
  17. I can't change application icons
  18. QuickTime X won't auto-play
  19. I can't run Windows apps via Parallels
  20. QuickTime videos simply refuse to play

 If you want the solutions, you'll have to head on over to techradar.com and read the article 20 Snow Leopard annoyances solved.

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30 Second Delay During Windows 7 Logon When Using a Solid Color Background


[Update: Microsoft has released a fix in the Windows 7 April 2010 stability/reliability update. Link: KB980408]

Those who prefer performance & productivity over eye candy will often eliminate anything that could distract them or take up [what used to be] precious RAM. If you're one of these enthusiasts you may even choose not load a desktop wallpaper and have only a solid color as your background. No one could have guessed, though, that if you are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, by doing so you would be reducing your performance by introducing a 30-second delay to your logon time.


Read more to get the details and resolution...

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Easy Custom Address Lists in Exchange 2003


So, you need to make a custom address list (address book) for your Microsoft Outlook users with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This is one of those things where it's pretty easy to get what you want until you need a list with more than just one object type (users, contacts, groups, etc.). If you want an address list to include more than just one type, you'll have to do a custom LDAP query. Another reason you may have to do a custom LDAP query is if you want an "OR" in your conditional statement; in other words, you need to have an "either/or" condition (e.g., you want users who are part of either Group A or Group B).

Most of you probably don't want to have to learn all about LDAP query writing just to get the right items to appear in your Outlook address list. This article should get you going quickly by showing you a couple shortcuts to getting the query you want. We will outline:

  • Where & how to create custom address lists in Microsoft Exchange 2003
  • How to quickly get a basic outline for your LDAP query
  • A couple basic LDAP query syntax rules to make the changes you need

Read on for the tutorial...

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SQL Server Setup Password Validation Failure


During a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (standard or express) upgrade from a previous version or while updating SQL Server to a newer service pack (SP), you may receive the following error:


Error ID: 15116

SQL Server Setup has encountered the following problem: [Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]Password validation failed. The password does not meet Windows policy requirements because it is too short.. To continue, correct the problem, and then run SQL Server Setup again.


Variations may appear depending on your configuration, including:

  • The password does not meet Windows policy requirements because it is too long.
  • The password does not meet Windows policy requirements because it is not complex enough.
  • The password does not meet the requirements of the password filter DLL.

This will appear during the install process, but you may also have failed installs through Windows Update and not realize that this is the cause. The origin of the error is that your Domain or computer has a password policy set that a password that is hardcoded into a SQL script used during the upgrade fails to meet. Yes, it's an issue that Microsoft should have forseen. Yes, it's also an issue that Microsoft should have created a KB article for. Yes, The Grim Admin will fill in the holes...

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Permission Error After Updating VMware Tools to v-4.0.0, build-164009


After updating VMware Tools to version 4.0.0, build 164009 on a Windows Server virtual machine hosting Microsoft Exchange, the following error may appear multiple times in the event log:


Event Type:        Error
Event Source:      DCOM
Event Category:    None
Event ID:          10016
User:              NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM
The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Launch permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {9DA0E106-86CE-11D1-8699-00C04FB98036} to the user NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM SID (S-1-5-18).  This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.


The solution is fairly straightforward...

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