SSE Setup

A Letter for Current & Previous SSE Setup 7.x Users Regarding Windows 10

If you have released any of your software using SSE Setup 7.x or earlier, this is to let you know that there is a serious bug that started on Windows 10/Server 2016 Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) that affects all 7.x and earlier Internet Updaters. If you released any versions of your software with 7.x or earlier that either explicitly included the Internet Update Module for your own update checking purposes OR required any prerequisites that were set to download/install such as the .NET Framework, Microsoft Access, and others, then this bug likely affects you. This bug does NOT affect 8.x, which has been out for over 2 years.

Basically the bug prevents the old updater/downloader from being able to install any software it downloads. It can still see the software and download it, but cannot install it and will end without any notification other than a brief "Install Failed" message followed by the automatic closing of the updater. The bug that Microsoft introduced is believed to be an obscure one that just happened to affect the old updater and because of the type it is, there is not much hope of it being fixed anytime soon. The line of code that is causing the issue is one that was a tad non-standard but had been in the updater for 10 years and works on all versions of Windows from Windows 10 Version 1703 all the way down to Windows 98. Until this Windows 10 problem, the updater component was pretty rock-solid without any significant bugs or issues of any kind for over 10 years.

Since the problem affects the updater/downloader component itself, there's not much that can be done about it now after-the-fact other than hope the root problem gets addressed by Microsoft in a future version of Windows 10 (it hasn't happened yet and may not ever).

If you have installs in the wild that used the 7.x updater for the purpose of updating your own software, then you can provide a More Info URL link in the IUI file it is accessing so that at least if install fails and the user tries again and clicks that link, you could have a webpage that explains the problem and provides them with a manual download link they could use. You could also tell them in the description that shows for them to click the More Info link if the update won't install.

If you had 7.x installs that were set to download missing prerequisites, the install of the prerequisite will likely fail but Setup should then automatically open the manual download webpage where the user can manually download and install the prerequisite.

Again this bug only affects 7.x and earlier on Windows 10/Server 2016 Version 1709 and later. 8.x and later are NOT affected by this Windows 10 bug.

You do need to understand that though the last few versions of 7.x were developed with Windows 10 in mind, Windows 10 is constantly evolving - the Windows 10 of Version 1709 is NOT the same animal that Windows 10 was when the last 7.x version of SSE Setup was released in mid-2016, and going forward if you intend to support Windows 10, you should make sure you are using at least v8.x and keeping up with new SSE Setup releases (paying particular attention to any Windows 10 related news in the Changelog/Version Changes part of the help file). As Windows 10 keeps changing, it becomes more and more likely that previous versions may exhibit new problems and this is a particular concern with 7.x and earlier. [Note: While it is strongly recommended that everybody use 8.x or later, if for some reason you still must use v7.7 or 7.8 because you also need to support 9x/ME, there is a patch available to address this bug - contact if you need it.]

Chris Long
SSE Setup

Copyright © by Chris Long 2018. All rights reserved.