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JRW20 - LOR control panel not loading after reboot

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Version:  5.0.20

OS:  Windows Server 2012 R2

Module:  Control panel

After a scheduled weekly reboot (shutdown /r /f /t 120) of my server, the LOR control panel did not start automatically.  This was not noticed until five hours later when my son walked in and asked why the yard was dark.  Remoted into the server and found the LOR Control Panel was not running.  Manually started the CP and the landscaping show started properly.  Verified that "Launch at Startup" was checked.  This morning, I remoted into the server and again verified that "Launch at Startup" was checked.  Then I manually did a restart using the same shutdown command line as the scheduled task.  After the computer restarted, I again remoted into it and saw that the LOR control panel had not started.  Manually started the CP and it appeared normal.

I tested this on this Windows 7 laptop.  Started the LOR CP, and checked "Launch at Startup".  Then did a restart using the "normal" Windows Restart command from the start  menu.  After the reboot, the LOR CP was running.  Next I'm going to test using the shutdown command line to initiate the restart.  I am not able to test this on my old XP desktop as it died on Tuesday.

 

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Let me see if I can duplicate this or not.  Previously when CP did not auto start it was because something is preventing us from writing the 'start' command into the registry and/or the command is there but some other program (like an AV) is aborting the process.

 

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Thanks Mike.  This is a change with 5.0.20.  I've been running the landscape show on this computer since March 2017 (except for about 10 weeks for Halloween and Christmas 2017 when I use the dedicated show computer).  It has worked correctly with both S4 and every version of S5 since January 2018.

 

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It seems to work for me. 

Ok, because you are an advanced user, can you please start regedit and look at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.  Do you see the value "LightORamaControlPanel"?  If so, is it set to \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\LORTray ?

Take a look in \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\.  Is LORTray.exe there?

Toggle the 'Launch at startup' option off, then back on again.  Run regedit again.  Is the value there now/still there?

Unload the control panel.  In \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\ , right click LORTray.exe and select 'Run as Administrator'.  Toggle Launch at startup off then on.  Run regedit again.  Is the value there now/still there?

If at this point the value is not there, something is preventing us from writing to the registry (usually Registry Virtualization which may have been turned on with an MS update).  

If the value is there, cold boot the machine.  Did it load?  By running as admin we got the permission to write to the registry and it should stick.  This would be UAC.

If it did not load, run regedit and look for the key.  Is it missing?  Something stripped it from the registry - most likely registry virtualization, or possibly some AV.

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FYI:  I just double checked to make sure nothing in there changed.  The last change to LORTray was nearly a year ago when we released S5 for beta.  The only thing that change did was to remove 'Visualizer' from the right click menu.

Revision 16520 
Modified Mon Jun 26 16:04:13 2017 UTC (11 months, 3 weeks ago) by tor 
File length: 91053 byte(s) 

Removing visualizer from menu

That leads me to believe something has gotten overzealous on your server, probably a recent MS update.

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31 minutes ago, DevMike said:

It seems to work for me. 

Ok, because you are an advanced user, can you please start regedit and look at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.  Do you see the value "LightORamaControlPanel"?  If so, is it set to \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\LORTray ?

<snip>

Will do, but it will be a couple hours as I have to do some (argh) WORK!

 

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This is going to be a little long, but the short answer is it is now working.  Read more for the details.

3 hours ago, DevMike said:

Ok, because you are an advanced user, can you please start regedit and look at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.  Do you see the value "LightORamaControlPanel"?  If so, is it set to \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\LORTray ?

Not there.

3 hours ago, DevMike said:

Take a look in \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\.  Is LORTray.exe there?

That is there.

3 hours ago, DevMike said:

Toggle the 'Launch at startup' option off, then back on again.  Run regedit again.  Is the value there now/still there?

Did so, no change.  Checked for change after each toggle.

3 hours ago, DevMike said:

Unload the control panel.  In \Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\ , right click LORTray.exe and select 'Run as Administrator'.  Toggle Launch at startup off then on.  Run regedit again.  Is the value there now/still there?

Did so.  I am logged in as the administrator, but I did the "Run as Administrator" for good measure.  No changes.

3 hours ago, DevMike said:

If at this point the value is not there, something is preventing us from writing to the registry (usually Registry Virtualization which may have been turned on with an MS update).

Now is when it starts getting interesting.

No so fast Buckwheat!  I did a search in the registry for "LightORamaControlPanel" and did find it, but not where you specified.  Found in HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

I had to do a Google search on Wow6432Node.  I think I had heard of it, but did not remember it.  Based on what I read, I THINK that MAY be right.  My server is a 64 bit computer.

When I look there, the correct key is toggled every time.

As I am 26 miles away, I could not do a cold boot, but one thing I could do is remove 5.0.20 and re-install 5.0.18.  My procedure for the uninstall was to use Control Panel > Programs > Light O Rama > Uninstall.  After the uninstall, I deleted the C:\Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama\ directory.  Then installed 5.0.18.  Made sure the "Launch at Startup" was set and rebooted the computer with a shutdown /r /f /t 15 command.  After the reboot, sure enough the LOR CP was running.  Toggled the "Launch at Strtup" several times and checked the Registry after each toggle.  Working exactly as expected.  Repeated the uninstall and reinstall to reinstall 5.0.20.  It came up with the "Launch at Startup" set.  Toggled it several time with the proper results in HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.  Rebooted, and the LOR Tray started correctly after the reboot.  Go figure.  I have set a reminder to check on it next Wednesday after the scheduled reboot...

 

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Programmers have a love/hate relationship with the registry.  It's great until it doesn't work and then we want to shoot it.

There are tens of thousands of API calls (library calls) we can do, and for the most part they work and continue to work.  You can be reasonably assured that an API call done in Windows NT way back in 1993 works the same way in 2018.  HOWEVER the registry changes on the whim of MS.  If it rains in Everett, you can expect some registry change to be forthcoming, which will break something you wrote 2 days ago.

I sense (but can not prove) that there was a definite change in how MS treats the registry with the last set of updates they did.  It would certainly tie together the reasons for the weird install failures  some have experienced, along with this.

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And since it rains in Everett about every other day on average, you are in trouble :)

And they did a bunch of updates 9 days ago...

 

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Well, the server did it's weekly reboot a half hour ago.  I just remoted into the server and sure enough, LOR did NOT start.  Came up fine when I manually started it.

Hmmmm....

 

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