Zsolt Kollarits
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 10:36 am

Black screen during product upgrade

Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:03 pm

Dear Advanced Installer Support Team,

One of our customer reported the following problem: if they do a product upgrade (so not a clean install), then sometimes the explorer.exe is stopped by our installer, hence the users see a completely black screen until our installer is running. This is something the users don´t like at all. They would prefer to have a system restart at the end of the installer.

The customer also sent us 2 logfiles: one was created during an upgrade, and another one was created during a clean install.

Also they said, they have noticed that the "black screen comes" more likely if they also apply a transform (mst) file for the installation.

Indeed, we have a feature which is co-operating with the explorer.exe, so we can imagine if that feature is installed in the "old/base" product and then they install a newer version of our product, then the installer can replace the files only if the explorer.exe is being killed and then re-started.

Can we do something against this behavior? Can we make sure that the customer will not see a black screen - not even temporarily?

I´m sending the logfiles attached.

Best regards,
Zsolt

Catalin
Posts: 5172
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:58 am

Hello Zsolt,

Well, this is quite the scenario you got here. :)

I'm afraid I'm not aware of any other way on which you can perform this upgrade without interacting with explorer.exe (since you have a component that does this).

Perhaps, instead of stopping the explorer.exe process during upgrade, let the Windows Installer do its job. Basically, on the "FileInUseDlg" it states that you can either close the application that keeps the files in use (in our case, explorer.exe) or you can let the files be replaced when the system is restarted. In our scenario, I think it would be better to let the files be replaced after the restart has been performed.

FilesInUse Dialog

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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Zsolt Kollarits
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Fri Jul 08, 2022 7:19 am

Hi Catalin,

Thanks for the reply, I will forward it to our customer. I will come back to you if they have further questions :)

Best regards,
Zsolt

Catalin
Posts: 5172
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Fri Jul 08, 2022 2:23 pm

You are always welcome, Zsolt! :)

Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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Zsolt Kollarits
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:06 am

Hi Catalin,

The customer just came back to us with some more info. So basically they are still complaining about the "black screen while upgrading the product", and they say that they never ever saw that FilesInUse Windows dialog.

So the problem is that the explorer.exe is just killed/stopped during the upgrade without any notification or confirmation dialog neither from you (Advanced Installer) nor from Windows Installer. We are not killing the explorer.exe in our .aip, that's why we don't understand if Windows Installer finds out that explorer.exe is blocking one of the files that Windows Installer tries to replace, then - instead of killing it - why the customer is not asked (FilesInUse dialog) about what he wants to do. That's what they are complaining about.

I'm also sending over our .aip file for you, could you please take a look at it? Thank you. :)

Best regards,
Zsolt

Catalin
Posts: 5172
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:45 am

Hello Zsolt,

First of all, please accept my apologies for the delayed reply.

I have had a look over your .AIP file, but it did not really help - everything seemed to be configured just fine.

Are you also able to reproduce this on your end, or is the issue only on your customer machine?

If you are able to reproduce this on your end, please forward me the resources (the setups) so I can run some tests as well.


Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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Zsolt Kollarits
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Tue Aug 23, 2022 10:33 am

Hi Catalin,

Unfortunately I'm not able to reproduce the issue, because the customer's scenario is a bit special, but I forward their last letter for you, so that you will understand better what they are doing:
"
The main question for this ticket has been if it is possible to prompt for reboot of workstation after Client upgrade instead of restarting explorer.exe during the upgrade (old client installation) when silent installation method (no user interaction) through customers SCCM is being used. FilesInUse dialog does not show up during silent installation (normal behavior), and defaults to restarting explorer.exe even with .mst properties set as in the previous message. During manual upgrade FilesInUse dialog shows up normally.

The customer wishes to be able to do fresh client installations (no problems here to my understanding) and old client upgrades through their SCCM (easier for basic users when everything is done in one place). The problem with explorer.exe restarting during the upgrade is that basic user might not expect it, and in some tests by customers IT personnel, the explorer.exe does not restart after being closed -> permanent blackscreen until explorer.exe is restarted manually.
"
Please let me know what are your thoughts about their scenario. Somehow we should help them/advice them something :)

Best regards,
Zsolt

Catalin
Posts: 5172
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Black screen during product upgrade

Fri Aug 26, 2022 12:35 pm

Hello Zsolt,

To be fully honest with you, this is a really strange scenario. I am not quite sure why the "explorer.exe" is terminated instead of the machine restarting.

In this scenario, I would advise seing what application is keeping the files in use and trying to stop that through a "Terminate Process" custom action. For more details about how to achieve this, please refer to the following article I've written some time ago:

How to detect the process that keeps a file in use & how to detect which file is in use

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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