Autologin and Windows Vista

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, Autolog can be used to create a Windows workstation that logs in automatically with ease. This utility still works on Windows Vista! One snag that I did run into however is that the IBM MAPICS built-in client autologin feature does not work under Windows Vista. We can get around this problem with AutoIT. AutoIT is a freeware scripting language that’s pretty easy to understand. After Googling a bit, I found a cheat sheet that some made that had the common AutoIT commands.

After installing AutoIT, it will execute any script that ends in AU3. I already had the iSeries client in the Startup folder (incidentally, a retarded path: C:UserstestloginAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup). We want to wait for the login screen, input the login and password, wait a short time, input the character “1” and then hit enter.

Here’s the code I used:

WinWaitActive(“Signon to iSeries”)
send(“testlogin”)
send(“{TAB}”)
send(“supersecretpassword”)
send(“{ENTER}”)
sleep(3000)
send(“1”)
send(“{ENTER}”)

You literally have to think out each step and input that into the script since this is simulating human input. The other trick to this is that the window has to have focus. A window can lose focus if a pop-up message comes up or a user clicks off from the window. Since this is a time clock kiosk, this really is not an issue.

The Shared Computer Toolkit is been changed to Windows SteadyState for Windows Vista. Unfortunately, that was not available at the time of this post. However, using local group policy, I was able to lock as tight as I would have using SCT.

– Soli Deo Gloria

Automatic Updates Not So Automatic

I recently had to install Windows Vista fresh as I switched out motherboards. I had ordered an Asus
socket 478 motherboard from eBay and it failed to work. The AGP is bad on my current motherboard and I
was trying to fix that. They do not make socket 478 motherboards with 4 memory sockets anymore. Alas, I am stuck with this PCI video card until I get a new computer.

Any ways, while Windows Update was running I noticed that Windows Vista was actually finding drivers for
devices use to have to load drivers manually for. Sweet! Perhaps the days of the PC Technician are numbered.
But wait…although it found a driver for my WinTV-GO card, it said the driver installation failed. This card
worked fine in Vista before I wiped the machine. I decided to deal with it later.

The next day while watching some YouTube clips, I noticed the sound sounded distorted and kept fading in and out. No amount of tweaking in the device properties would make it sound better. I then downloaded the SB Live! drivers from my web site and presto, the sound was normal again! My drivers are dated 2002 and the ones from Windows Update were dated 2006. I guess newer drivers aren’t always better.

Now on to my Win-TV card: no amount of pointing it to the correct drivers would make the install work. The
driver installation kept failing saying it was missing a file. Using Procmon, I found out that Windows Update
was looking for the drivers in C:windowssystem32driverstoretemp<somebighex#>Package. It appears that it had downloaded hcwbt8xx.cat, but none of the other files. This driver or catalog must have a higher ranking then my XP drivers for the WinTV-GO card as Windows Vista outright refused to accept my older drivers. It wasn’t until I right-clicked the device, the device, pick uninstall and deleted the Windows Update drivers would it let me install the old drivers.

My verdict on Windows Update for getting drivers is this: don’t do it!

– Soli Deo Gloria