Thursday, August 07, 2014

Exciting Tales Of Excitement

Today's adventure... Installing Java

I think I have mentioned before that at work we run an isolated air-gapped network, it's a requirement under a variety of regulatory schemes.  Because our network is air-gapped we don't allow the usual corporate laptops on it.  We have a set of machines that have a customized build of Windows 7 with the applications  that people need to do their job pre-installed and the US Governement Configuration Baselines applied.

Pretty standard stuff really and normally not that big a deal - except we have a number of pieces of equipment that will only work with (almost) literally pre-historic versions of Java.  This is where the excitement comes in a couple weeks ago I had a guy call about a machine that was failing to connect to a mission critical application.  The description he was giving made it sound like a Java error so I had him check his version.  It turned out he was a version up from the last Java version that we know runs successfully on just about everything so I had him uninstall and reinstall the "good" Java.

Problem solved right?

Not so!

Tuesday I came into work and was handed this laptop and told it absolutely refused to connect to the mission critical equipment and can I please fix it?

Sure, that's what we're there for right? Keep people productive so the company keeps making money and I stay employed.

I had like 16 other machines and tasks that needed attention first so I finally got to it at about 5pm last night. I boot it up and go and look at Java first thing.  In the control panel the Java Icon is missing but the Java text is there.  I click on it and get a message that the control panel cannot be opened because a .dll is missing.  Ok, uninstall and reinstall, but that will have to wait until morning.

This morning I start the uninstall and it tells me that I can't uninstall because a .dll is missing.  Hmmm, alright I will just reinstall over the top then uninstall and do a clean reinstall.  I start the reinstall process and it tells me that the application is already installed, would I like to reinstall?  Of course I would you silly twit.  Click "Yes".  "Unable to install due to a missing .dll"

DAMN IT!!!!  It's already been a shitty day, I am coffee deficient and I don't want this turning into an all day affair.

I run Revo uninstaller.  It says it can uninstall because MISSING .DLL!, so I go into the advanced search/destroy, nuke it from space mode and run revo again.  It finds about 17,000,000,000,000,000,000 registry entries, files, scraps of files etc.  I remove them all.  The half icon is now gone from the control panel.  I reboot.  I check "Program Files"  no Java folder.  I search for Java, no results.  I look everywhere I can think of Java is nowhere to be seen.  I run the installer "Java is already installed on this system would you like to reinstall?"



"We're sorry, this operation only applies to applications that are already installed"

*Begin pounding head on table*

I open regedit, and do a "find" on Java.  and delete every entry I find.  Like 7 in all.

I run CCCleaner and repair or remove everything with a missing .dll

Reboot.  Start the Java installer.  "This application is already installed..."

Begin weeping like I just watched the ending of Old Yeller.

Screw it I decide I am going to just reimage the machine.  I'm sorry the guy is going to lose whatever data he had on it but it's nothing irreplacable.  We had just created a new image because we were updating applications so I grab Ghost and the USB key with the latest image  and get ready to start.

Something stopped me... I went to the master image machine and checked the Java version.  The wrong version has been reinstalled... again.  With a feeling of dread I start uninstalling ...

It completes.

I begin reinstalling.  It completes no problem.

 I start to burn another image.  Please wait 2.5 hours while we force a 41GB install onto a 32GB flashdrive

2.5 hours later I move back to the problem machine and begin to install the image.  1.5 hours later I am finally able to boot up and check the java install.  Relief, the correct version is installed.  All seems right with the world but tomorrow is another day.
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