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Author Topic: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS  (Read 16310 times)

urlwolf

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better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« on: April 12, 2006, 04:09:15 AM »
Hi guys,

You probably will find this app interesting:
http://www.lifehacke...ual-layer-162910.php

This is nice if you test many new apps a day. it does not change your system, as all the changes are captured in the virtualization layer. I guess it is safer than writing to the registry etc and then undo the changes *using e.g., your uninstaller 2006). It's kind of like UT3 but clearer (to me).

What do you think?

f0dder

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 04:38:01 AM »
It's a very interesting concept, but I tend to do test software installations in vmware, which has it's own rollback stuff... I've been hesitating to try out SVS because I'm afraid it might affect performance - I already think NOD32 auto scanning is bad enough :)
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 08:53:41 AM »
Sandboxie www.sandboxie.com allows you to install and run applications sandboxed and works really well... It will also run any installed application sandboxed, including web browsers (hence the name sandboxIE) and this feature works well as well. The hit on performance is minimal and using sandboxie, and any app that is running within its virtual environment, couldn't be simpler. Finally, there is an active forum devoted to driving development of it http://sandboxie.com/phpbb/.

There are both freeware and shareware versions of it available. The differences are:

"In the registered version, Sandboxie can be configured to issue a warning whenever a particular program is launched outside the sandbox. You can also configure Sandboxie to automatically sandbox particular programs, even when they are not launched through the Sandboxie front end tool."
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 12, 2006, 08:59:55 PM by Darwin »

patteo

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 09:24:23 AM »
I think there's a similar product call Shadowuser.

StorageCraft - Surf the web privately and free of adware and spyware!
http://www.storagecr....com/SUdownload.html

There's also a $20 discount coupon SUDISCOUNT on the site that says it expires on 31/3/2006

Out of curiosity I tried it and it still works and gives a net price of $49.

Not sure how it differs from VMWare and Microsoft Virtual PC

Understand that Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is now free
http://www.microsoft...lserver/default.mspx

urlwolf

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 07:14:13 PM »
Hmm, I don't think this is the same as VMware.
At least the way I use it, it doesn't affect performance.
It is equivalent to a sandbox.

I use it to test applications
If you don't like the application, you delete the layer and it's gone. No uninstall necessary.

mouser

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 10:54:06 PM »
sounds ideal if it works - i'd like to hear more about people's experiences with it and does it reall isolate a program from doing damage.

Carol Haynes

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 03:34:51 AM »
I am experimenting with Sandboxie and I must say I am finding it a bit flaky - maybe it is my system but I can't even get it to run Internet Explorer. Some programs seem to work fine but I haven't tried installing a program in there.

Trouble is I am not sure how it works. DOes it actually write to disk in the normal way (including the registry) and keep a record so that it can delete it or is it more clever than that? If it is just doing this then I can see all sorts of problems arising if you have any programs running at the same time outside sandboxie that could potentially access the same files and registry settings.

Darwin

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2006, 09:37:28 AM »
Hi Carol,

Sandboxie sets up a folder under your user account (default is c:\programs and settings\username\application data\sandboxie). ANYTHING that is written to disk, either by a sandboxed application or by a process/application launched by that sandboxed app (this extends to opening Windows Explorer, launching WMP, etc.), is written to that folder. How this works is that your system's folder structure is replicated within the sandbox (that folder). The programme also creates a virtual registry within the sandbox to which all changes to your registry are written. Once you're done surfing the net or testing an application or opening a file with a sandboxed copy of word, you simply empty the sandbox and your system has not been altered in any way. I'm running XP Sp-2 and this works brilliantly for me - no trouble so far. It's in ongoing development and has an active forum on which bugs and requests are discussed extensively. The author (tzuk) is an active participant and responds to criticisms/problems/requests well (i.e. doesn't get in a strop about it!). The problems that I have had with it relate to past versions not running maxthon properly (fixed in 2.3.1) and in having sandboxed apps still running when I try to empty the sandbox. There's no real problem with this as the context menu includes the option to "terminate all sandboxed processes"; it's just alarming to see how integrated everything is in windows (ie how many processes are spawned by any given running application)! I haven't experienced any problems running sandboxed and non-sandboxed applications together. The sandbox keeps the apps running within it well quarantined.

As such, the sandboxed folder is a legititimate folder under windows that keeps apps running within it from reaching out and affecting your system. You can, however, explore its contents and move them out of the sandbox AND apps running outside of it can reach into and modify/manipulate/move files there. An example would be an anti-virus or anti-spyware app moving infected files into quarantine or an equivalent...

I'm going to check out some of the other suggestions here over the weekend as I haven't tried any of the alternatives to sandboxie. The attraction of sandboxie is that it is essentially free and in my experience works so I haven't been motivated to look further afield.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 09:39:22 AM by Darwin »

Carol Haynes

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2006, 10:15:47 AM »
I'm not sure if I made a mistake installing 2.3.1 because when I start my computer I get an error saying Sanboxie service isn't running please reinstall. Running Sandboxie again from the desktop icon seems to solve this problem. I can't get Internet Explorer to work at all - not that I want to use IE but given that it is explicitly set up to run IE it doesn't feel good that it is app. that fails to run.

You say that a new folder structures and dummy registry are set up within Sandboxie but how does an application deal with the need for information stored on the hard disc and in the main registry?

I know it is a work in progress and free but I do think some really clear documentation on what is going on should be available as the website and the help info installed with Sandboxie are cursory at best in terms of detail.


Darwin

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2006, 11:51:22 AM »
Hi Carol,

I'm getting out of my depth here with respect to my knowledge of sandboxie... I can only suggest that you check out the forum with respect to IE problems - haven't experienced that problem myself (what exactly is the problem? IE won't run at all/locks up/won't connect?).

As for your other concern, I can only report that when I open my webbrowser sandboxed, all of the history and settings from my last "open" or "un-sandboxed" session for that browser are available, so it must be going to the permanent installation to retrieve my settings. AFAIK, the registry is replicated in its entirety within the sandbox and then deleted when the sandbox is emptied. The folder structure within the sandbox is created as needed. So, if an app modifies files located under your user directory/application settings that folder is recreated, along with the folder structure that it sits within. Likewise, if modifications are necessary under the program files folder, that file/folder structure is mirrored as well. These changes are also recorded/made in the "virtual" registry that has been created.

I'm not sure if I've addressed/answered your questions or not... I'm not a "power user" of this application, though have successfully used it to surf the web and to test run software installations before "committing" to them...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 11:56:21 AM by Darwin »

Darwin

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2006, 12:03:05 PM »
Oh... sorry, with regard to your first point, I thought that the startup issue had been fixed. In past versions (prior to 2.2 I *think*) the author used a different installer and there were issues with certain antispyware apps (in my case it was tenebril's spycatcher) that wouldn't allow the installer to modify the registry to allow sandboxie to run at system start. This is no longer an issue for me (but then, I no longer run spycatcher either, so maybe I was wrong to attribute its resolution to the installer switch!) but the workaround is to uninstall sandboxie and rerun the installer, selecting a custom installation. During installation you then opt NOT to have it run at startup. You might try going into sandboxie control and de-selecting the start with windows option first, as uninstallation/reinstallation may not be necessary with the new installer...

All this assumes that you care to continue trying to get sandboxie working!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 12:13:54 PM by Darwin »

patteo

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2006, 12:46:28 PM »
I took a look at the altiris related sites and they looked quite well supported.

Moreover, for personal use, Altiris is free.

Not sure what's the difference between this and Sandboxie.

http://juice.altiris.com/node/266

http://juice.altiris.com/node?from=20

http://www.svsdownlo...com/svs_tutorial.php

patteo

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2006, 01:01:54 PM »
A read of PCMag Review and the caveats is instructive.

Altiris Software Virtualization Solution 2.0 review by PC Magazine

http://www.pcmag.com...,1895,1941830,00.asp
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 08:15:24 PM by patteo »

kimmchii

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2006, 09:00:14 PM »
just a word of cautious, Altiris screwed up my computer, corrupted proxo, firefox acting weird, thing is back to normal after i uninstall it.

i installed both Sandboxie and Altiris yesterday, i have not started using them and problems came up.

If you find a good solution and become attached to it, the solution may become your next problem.
~Robert Anthony

VSiAQ

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2006, 05:47:08 AM »
I installed Sandboxie long ago and it worked. However, when I tested some programs, they still left some keys in the registry or elsewhere.  :huh:

Baseman

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2006, 05:09:26 AM »
VMware is what I use for testing new apps and it does not affect your host OS and programs...It sure is the way to go especially if your'e unsure of the apps your'e testing...It's the way to go...  :up:
GetBackData...Security Awareness...Beta Tester

moerl

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2006, 02:02:58 PM »
I want to install Altiris but it simply won't work. I got the 2.0 personal edition both from the PCMag article and from here. When I start the installer it works just fine and I get through the first three steps.. but the moment I click the NEXT button that is supposed to start the actual file-copying and all, the installer window just disappears and nothing else happens. No error message, no warning, no nothing. Maybe I'm not running a required service or something? What's up?

I REALLY want to install this :(

moerl

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2006, 02:07:59 PM »
Just found a great article for the curious. In case you're wondering what this thing is all about, check this out: http://blog.pcmag.co.../2006/04/03/865.aspx

It's incredible how lively the community behind this tool is. There's a whole blog dedicated to it with all sorts of useful information. I'm trying to find help there for my problem now... http://juice.altiris.com/svs

moerl

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2006, 01:29:39 AM »
I finally was able to install SVS and fell in love with it. It's pretty amazing! Applications installed into virtual layers perform, as far as I can tell, equally fast and well as applications actually installed to the system. It really is impressive. I still have a lot of testing to do, but so far I just love it :)

skywalka

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2006, 11:27:06 PM »
After installing Altiris SVS I was decompressing some archives with WinRar's rightclick option.  A few decompressed succesfully but 1 was corrupt & 1 exceeded the 256 maximum character length.  Windows informed me that WinRar had encountered an error & would be closed.  A folder was still created by these 2 failed decompressions.

When I browsed both of  these folders, at the bottom of the extracted path was a replication of my C drive including the few files in the root & the subfolders of the root.  The subfolders were all empty.

I didn't want to take a chance with my system so rather than troubleshoot any further I uninstalled SVS & rebooted.  I browsed back to the bottom of the failed extraction paths & the directory structure mimicking the root of my C drive is gone & replaced by some correctly extracted files.

f0dder

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2006, 12:12:48 PM »
That sounds pretty scary, skywalka!

Have you run chkdsk lately on your partitions? Sometimes even small errors can give strange problems, and when installing custom filter drivers (like Altiris SVS is), I bet things can become even stranger...
- carpe noctem

skywalka

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2006, 12:17:45 PM »
Not for a while.  A big scan is on the cards for tonight.

Something else worth mentioning is there are traces of the program I installed to an SVS layer in my Start menu!  It is a shortcut without a target but it shouldn't be there.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 12:19:47 PM by skywalka »

moerl

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2006, 03:23:58 AM »
I'm still very much in love with SVS :). Nothing wrong here, but then again I have not uninstalled it.

hjk

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Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2006, 06:41:24 AM »
After installing Altiris SVS I was decompressing some archives with WinRar's rightclick option.  A few decompressed succesfully but 1 was corrupt & 1 exceeded the 256 maximum character length.  Windows informed me that WinRar had encountered an error & would be closed.  A folder was still created by these 2 failed decompressions.

When I browsed both of  these folders, at the bottom of the extracted path was a replication of my C drive including the few files in the root & the subfolders of the root.  The subfolders were all empty.

I didn't want to take a chance with my system so rather than troubleshoot any further I uninstalled SVS & rebooted.  I browsed back to the bottom of the failed extraction paths & the directory structure mimicking the root of my C drive is gone & replaced by some correctly extracted files.
It happened to me too, and I didn't suspect it was caused by SVS until now! Weird things happened to my PC after installing Altiris:

- The files and folders under C:\ root will appear randomly in other folders, even on desktop. This happened most when I did a copy/cut & paste operation, and instead of the files I selected, I see the structure of my C:\ root in the target folder. However, all files have 0 bytes, and the "ghost" files and folders would go away after I retried the operation.
- The order of my Start Menu\Programs are totally messed up.
- Add/Remove program showed nothing, a reboot fixed this though.

After uninstalling SVS, all the problems are gone. I guess it is a small bug that only appears on some systems.