Symantec Workspace Virtualization issue? (a.k.a. Altiris Software Virtualization)

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by MadMonkey, Oct 11, 2009.

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  1. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Registered Member

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    I've only recently started using S.W.V., so this may be a user issue. But I don't think so.

    If you're not familiar with the software, it enables users to capture and distribute software installations in dedicated sandboxes, called "Layers." Capturing is a matter of identifying the setup file via a dialogue box and then running through the installation procedure as per usual. If all goes well, after you've finished installing, all changes implemented by the setup file (registry keys, folders and files) are isolated in a dedicated Layer.
    Software run from within a Layer acts as though fully installed, but all changes it makes to the file system are simulated inside its own, isolated environment.

    S.W.V. also allows users to run normal software in a Layer, isolating all the changes in a virtual environment. For example, I upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 as per usual and then run it in a Layer. IE8 will show me its welcome message and walk me through setting it up. I then go online, surf around, log in and safe passwords, etc. After that, I shut down IE8, deactivate the Layer it was running in and reset it.

    If I then restart IE8, it's as though it's freshly installed and I'm welcomed again by the first-run wizard.

    Only I'm not.

    For some reason IE8 settings, including homepages, lay-out and passwords remain after resetting and even deleting the Layer. The reverse is also true: if I start IE normally and do a Internet Options\Advanced\Reset, once it's run in it's old Layer again, the settings will have vanished there, too.

    In other words, they were never captured there to begin with.

    This is even true when starting a Global Capture before and ending it after using IE8.

    The values seems to be beyond S.W.V.'s scope.

    I'm running S.W.V. 6.1 MP1 HF1, through the Admin console on a fresh Vista Home Premium SP2. (UAC Disabled)

    Can anyone confirm this issue?
     
  2. GeneKupfer

    GeneKupfer Support Specialist

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    Hello. Looks like you're running into some difficulty virtualizing IE8. I'm with the Symantec EndPoint Virtualization product team and wanted to drop you a note here with some info that will hopefully help.

    We have a community forum that you can always include as one of your resources when looking for assistance if needed. We actually have an article that provides the details you are looking for to virtualize IE8. Please check it out at this link.

    https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/virtualizing-internet-explorer

    By the way, with regards to how SWV functions...By default when you create a new layer, it is not placed into isolation. When active it acts just as any other application with respect to interaction with the OS and other apps on the machine. It's not hidden in any way. With the latest version, you are able to set the layer (via a simple context menu change), to one of three isolation options.

    When talking about layer functionality with respect to resets, your layer will save into the writable (user configuration) portion of the layer anything that is not added as an exclude. This means any changes that are made by the user while using this application, or in the background by the application will be stored into this writable portion. When performing a reset, these settings will be removed and you will in essence be going to a clean slate. If you are doing a reset and certain settings are persisting, this means that you have an exclude configured that is ignoring these changes. What happens in that case is these changes (falling under the exclusion) will remain in the file system as conventional data and will remain there to be read by the respective program, regardless of what you do with the layer. Check your global excludes. It sounds like you may be excluding something that contains IE related settings. Removing this exclude will resolve your problem.

    Best regards,
    Gene
     
  3. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Registered Member

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    Hi, Gene. Thank you for replying.

    As to the ongoing problem, no, I have only got the standard Global Excludes (Desktop and My Documents), so that's not it. Nor is it limited to IE8.

    As I've indicated to Jordan on Connect, the issue occurs with an unaltered, up-to-date version of S.W.V., running on a Microsoft, factory default generic OEM installation of Vista Home Premium SP2. The only change of note is a disabled UAC. Actually, it has occured on 2 Vista Home Premium SP2 installations, from different installation sources.

    Try it out in the lab.
     
  4. GeneKupfer

    GeneKupfer Support Specialist

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    You're in good hands with Jordan. Looks like he's not seeing the problem you're running into though. I actually ran 6.1 SP1 on my personal Vista Home Premium and I never had any issues. Hopefully Jordan will be able to identify why this is happening in your tests.
     
  5. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Registered Member

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    Curious. I'm on a factory fresh SP2 and it's just not working.
     
  6. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Registered Member

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    SOLVED.

    After upgrading to SWV SP1, IE now clean upon reseting its Layer.
     
  7. mrhero

    mrhero Registered Member

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    Ankara , Turkey
    Is SWV free for home users like Altiris SVS?
     
  8. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Registered Member

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