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Installing Maximo 7.6 from non-system disks in Windows Server 2012

Technical Blog Post


Abstract

Installing Maximo 7.6 from non-system disks in Windows Server 2012

Body

Hello! Time for a non-IFIX post. A rare problem popped up. A customer was trying to install Maximo 7.6 to a new Windows Server 2012 R2. They launched the installer from a directory on the E: drive. They had expanded all of the Maximo 7.6 images into that directory.

 

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When the Launchpad window came up, however, the options area was empty.

 

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We checked DEP, Administrator rights, Firewall, anti-virus, everything. Nothing was out of place. We had a few cases when this happened with Maximo 7.5 on Windows Server 2008, and a technote for it (http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24038431) that addressed the problem. Just remove spaces from the installer directory, and it worked fine.

 

But...  when the same directory, spaces and all, was on the system disk (C:), Launchpad ran without a problem. And it works on Linux secondary drives without a problem. Different code, I guess, but still.

 

I requested assistance from Installation development, and after some digging, they led me to the cause: Microsoft Windows 8.3 names. Remember when all names in DOS had 8 characters with a three character extension? Well, it is still with us. You will see it sometimes when you run some programs from Start Run without putting double quotes around the whole filename string. You will also see that nearly every Windows application still adheres to 8.3, or at the very least does not use spaces in filenames.

 

In this case, in Windows Server 2012, the 8.3 file name is disabled on non-system disks. Files with 8.3 file names that are copied there have them stripped out . In our case, if there are spaces in the directory name of the Maximo 7.6 installation folder, what happens? When running launchpad64.exe, the Launchpad window will display a blank options section: launchpad cannot resolve some file names. You can work around it by removing spaces from the directory.

 

You can also fix this by using Command Prompt or Power Shell to use invoke Windows File System Utilities (fsutil) to query and enable 8.3 names. For example, for E: drive:

 

PS C:\Users\Administrator>fsutil 8dot3name query E:
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And to change it (for E: drive):

PS C:\Users\Administrator> fsutil 8dot3name set E: 0
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However: 8.3 filenames were lost on the launchpad files when it was first  copied over to the non-system disk. So, you will have to download or copy over a fresh Installer directory to get Launchpad to work when launched from a directory with spaces in the name.

 

Until next time!

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UID

ibm11113885