Still

I still feel myself suffering this “impending” burn out feel, and I do not like it. I am going through one of the roughest installs I’ve ever had… and it seems like even when I FINISH it, it’s still not right.

I know installs aren’t always clean and easy, but this one is like “Murphy’s Law of Installations”.

So, the crux of it: Upgrading OPACs from Windows XP to Windows 7. New workstations replacing 8 workhorse OPACs that were approaching 5 years old, and all exhibiting various states of thermal failure. 1 has had 4 hard drive in it. All original KB’s and Mice had been replaced twice, and 2 monitors replaced twice. Rule of thumb: If you get 3 years out of your hardware, you got your money worth (an important point to consider when buying computers… a $500 computer is worth about $166.66/yr.)

My methodology follows: First, I set up one workstation. I set it up so it’s running, it auto loads, it shuts down, etc. Then, I use CloneZilla to make a copy of this to an identical sized USB hard drive (320MB in this case). Then I can use CloneZilla to copy the “finished” state computer onto the other computers. This reduces setup time greatly, as removing all the pre-installed crap, then Windows Update, AV software, Public Web Browser, etc is about a 4 hours process minimum. So 8 computers would be a 32 hour process normally. With CloneZilla, it tooks 4 hours for the first one, then only 20 minutes each for the other 7. So the original 32 hour job is reduced to just 6.5 hours or so. It also means, ALL the computers are exact copies, which almost always makes roll out easier…

First Buggaboo (and the apparent cause of almost all buggaboos): Symantec Endpoint 11.06. A decent piece of AV on Windows XP, and supposedly compatible with Windows 7… my experience is… NO. Trash that sucker. Take the software, and throw it in the can. It’s garbage on Windows 7, and I expect this is because the scanning engine is inadequate for the Windows 7 network stack. We use Symantec because that’s what our Cooperative provides. Its’ free, and trust me, in a Public Library, when you can get Enterprise grade software free… you use it.

The second piece of the puzzle is called WinSelect. This is an excellent piece of software… with Windows XP. We had to upgrade from a previous version to a newer version because the previous version was not Windows 7 compatible. Neither the company, nor our cooperative (who owns the license, and sold us the software… ) advised this. So I run the updates… and the update destroys all access into the management server for WinSelect.

This requires a WebEx session by the company to fix the software. After the “fix” is applied (basically cracking MS SQL), I’m able to get 4 of the OPACs done. Then, I have to wait a few days to work on other duties. I was thrilled we got the Server working, and thrilled I could install the damned software.

But it was stupid. I had to remove Symantec from all the clients, and turn of Endpoint and the Windows firewall on the Core server. Why? Most any security program will open it’s firewall holes appropriately, but not WinSelect… I had to manually find out the ports used, but even then, because Endpoint is crap, it was still blocking even when turned off. Therefore, I had to remove Endpoint from the clients.. and it worked THEN.

When I come back to work on this (first day after Standard time goes into effect)… nothing works. The installations are all a total failure. And at that point, I had a mini nervous break down which required half a Xanax. My mind was shot, and I was useless. I could not solve the issue that day. It did not occur to me until the next day that the issue was… Endpoint on the server.

So, I removed Endpoint from the server.. and VOILA! I was able to complete all OPAC installations… So at the end, I’m feeling all happy that this is completed and I can move on… We discover that rebooting the Core server causes ALL THE OPACs to reboot and require a login.

I hate you, WinSelect. I hate you Endpoint. With my last breath, I spite thee.

I now have to arrange the company to do another Web session to determine why their useless crap ass software is sending reboot/licensing notices… or just reenabled Endpoint to block the shit, because it NEVER happened before.

So the company looked at both the install OPACs and the server, and cannot explain why the issue occurs. Lucky me, I have stumbled onto the great “unknown issues” that must be investigated at the software provider level. Meh.

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