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Zero Touch Deploy with XP Theme manifest file

Posted on 2004-11-28
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi

I have an application and a manifest file which makes the application use the XP theme controls.

However, when I try to deploy this application over the web it does not pick up the manifest file?

Anyone know how i can overcome this?

Thanks
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Question by:narmi2
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by:vascov
ID: 12692675
Have a look at this article:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/vbtchUsingWindowsXPVisualStylesWithControlsOnWindowsForms.asp?frame=true

Essentially you'll have to add the manifest as a resource to your binary file.
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by:narmi2
ID: 12694648
Thanks

But, I have already done that.  After adding the resource I tried running the exe with and without the exe.manifest file in the same directory and it worked!  This obviously means that the resource has been added as it displays the xp theme without the exe.manifest file having to be in the same directory.

However, it does not work when i zero touch deploy?

I have no idea why, as i have the manifest file as a resource in the exe?

Thanks for the help

p.s. iv upped the points to 500!!!
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by:narmi2
ID: 12696017
has it got anything todo with the fact that its being deployed from a windows 2000 server?
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by:vascov
ID: 12697785
w2k as the server shouldn't matter, as long as the client machine is an XP machine (that has theme support)

It should work. If you do a Save As of the downloaded .exe file and run that file, do themes work ?
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by:narmi2
ID: 12700262
Yes it does !!!??
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Expert Comment

by:vascov
ID: 12700376
just to make sure :)

Thinking more about it, it may be the case that the manifest isn't actually picked up, because your app is actually being launched by another called IEExec.exe and i'm not sure about the effect that may have on reading the manifest. I'll need to test it a bit more.

Another way to go, is to add EnableVisualStyles in your app, though i think that for v1.1 it has some problems in some scenarios. If you could try that it would be great.
Yet another test, would be to add a manifest file to IEExec that makes it load the latest common controls.

I'll have to do some more testing.

Vasco
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by:narmi2
ID: 12700696
I do know about EnableVisualStyles but I think you need v1.1 and vs2003 for that.  I have v1.1 and vs2002 :D.

Each time I try EnableVisualStyles in vs2002, it will not let me compile!

I tried adding a manifest file to IEExec but when I tried to run my application, I got an error message saying that IEExec has been tampered with!
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vascov earned 2000 total points
ID: 12700766
Do not add the manifest to the exe directly. Save it as an external file (IEExec.exe.manifest)
You have v1.0 and vs2002, and EnableVisualStyles is v1.1+

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by:narmi2
ID: 12701243
Thanks, I added IEExec.exe.manifest in the same directory as IEExec.exe and it works!  However, the last thing I want to do is go around to everyones PC and add this file to their harddrives!

So I tried adding it to the server, and to no supprise it didnt work.  No harm in trying :)

Just had a really crafty idea!  What if I got the actual zero touch deploy application to check if the IEExec.exe.manifest file exists in the .net framework directory of the users computer, if it doesnt copy it across from the intranet?
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Expert Comment

by:vascov
ID: 12701674
That is an option, but you would need to restart your app, and you would also need suficient privileges for your app to start with... to be able to write a file locally to a system directory.
Bear in mind that that will impact every other smart client app. Test your apps :)
An option in your app to enable/disable the feature would be nice :)


The thing is that the manifest is read by the OS at app load time (it's actually an OS thing and not a .NET thing) and since your app is being loaded indirectly the OS doesn't actually launch your app.

Vasco
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Expert Comment

by:vascov
ID: 12711543
Did you got it working ?

Vasco
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Author Comment

by:narmi2
ID: 12714370
Yes I can write to the users harddrive.  So I simply get the app to check if the manifest is in the same directory as the IEExec.exe, if not it is copied and tells the user to restart the app to get best results.  This should only happen the first time the user uses the app.

Thanks for the help
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