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Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Report bugs with the Rainmeter application and suggest features.
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jsmorley
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

jsmorley » December 19th, 2018, 7:34 pm

I'd be interested to see a search of your entire hard drive for "PerfMon.dll". That should be one place and one place only. In C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Plugins
Yincognito
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 19th, 2018, 9:00 pm

jsmorley wrote:
December 19th, 2018, 7:34 pm
I'd be interested to see a search of your entire hard drive for "PerfMon.dll". That should be one place and one place only. In C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Plugins
I've done the clean install with a reboot between - no change. I've also installed Rainmeter 3.3 and my previous skin suite version 1.2.0, that worked for years on Win 7 - no change. I've even installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable Update 4 11.0.61030.0 from Microsoft since a couple of years back we talked about an issue that required this version as a minumum, although I already had Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable 11.0.50727 working fine before - no change.

I'm out of ideas and tired of these constant reboots and testing. I searched all local disks for the file you mentioned and there was only one instance, where you said it should be. What I'm most annoyed by is that Rainmeter used to work fine before. I'll test some more tomorrow, as now I just need to relax a little bit... ;-)

As a last option, I even placed a Rainmeter link by running shell:common startup - no change.
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 19th, 2018, 10:04 pm

I finally solved this using a workaround found here (RageGT post, the 8th on the list), but you guys should take a look at it nevertheless. My system was fine, but for some reason Rainmeter couldn't do this by itself (if you use the same approach on setting startup with Windows in your code, that is).

Basically, I had to:

1. Run regedit.exe
2. Navigate to this registry key location: "hkey_local_machine\software\wow6432node\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run"
3. Right click on the right side of the panel, then go to New->String Value and name it "Rainmeter"
4. Double click the new string value and under where it says "Value Data" type/paste in the dialog box the path to the program (e.g. "C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Rainmeter.exe"
5. Restart the PC to check and see that the application now starts up automatically with Windows 10

By the way, I didn't see Rainmeter in any of the usual startup locations in the registry, before doing the above:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]

... and that leads me to the question: how can I remove (remove, not disable) the "default" Rainmeter entry in Task Manager / Startup tab, since now I have two Rainmeters there, and only the entry done as above works?

EDIT: Nevermind, I found the default instance, removed it, and now I have a single entry in Task Manager / Startup, aka the one that actually works.
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jsmorley
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

jsmorley » December 20th, 2018, 4:35 am

Rainmeter doesn't set anything in the registry for starting the application with Windows.

It simply places a shortcut to Rainmeter in: C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

All Rainmeter does when it is installed in "normal" mode is:

1) Creates an entry in the Registry for the uninstaller, (uninst.exe) so Windows "Add or remove programs" can properly deal with it.
2) Creates an "open with" file association between .rmskin and SkinInstaller.exe
3) Creates a shortcut to Rainmeter in C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

If you install Rainmeter in "portable" mode, none of the above is done. In order to get a portable installation to load with Windows, you will need to place a shortcut to Rainmeter in: C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 20th, 2018, 10:52 am

jsmorley wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 4:35 am
Rainmeter doesn't set anything in the registry for starting the application with Windows.

It simply places a shortcut to Rainmeter in: C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

All Rainmeter does when it is installed in "normal" mode is:

1) Creates an entry in the Registry for the uninstaller, (uninst.exe) so Windows "Add or remove programs" can properly deal with it.
2) Creates an "open with" file association between .rmskin and SkinInstaller.exe
3) Creates a shortcut to Rainmeter in C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

If you install Rainmeter in "portable" mode, none of the above is done. In order to get a portable installation to load with Windows, you will need to place a shortcut to Rainmeter in: C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
Yes, I had that already figured it out, that's how I eliminated the "default" Startup instance that didn't work. Thing is, it's not "normal" that the approach you guys use to make it start with Windows to not work - that's why I said you should look into it a little bit. The user (me, in this case) shouldn't use workarounds for it, whether these are placing it in another startup location or installing it in portable mode. I know you didn't technically do anything wrong and went by the book with your approach, but it "should" work. For me personally, it's generally not enough to make something work using a workaround, I want to know why it didn't work the first time (that's the programmer in me talking, LOL).

I have two more questions to better understand this:
- does the shortcut you create at installation have the 'run as administrator' set? Because the shortcut I deleted had that set, and I just want to know if that was "by design" (I would understand the reason for it)
- why when placing Rainmeter in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run key yields the same negative result as making the shortcut you mentioned (aka doesn't make the application start with Windows)? Shouldn't this key be for 64-bit software (like Rainmeter apparently is) and the working HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run location be reserved for 32-bit software? I'm asking this because I tried placing Rainmeter in the former location (for x64) and it didn't work, but when I placed it in the latter (for x86) it worked? Shouldn't this be the other way around (if Rainmeter is a "true" 64-bit application, that is)?

P.S. As I already said, I tried making a Rainmeter shortcut in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (the all users equivalent of the path you mentioned) and that didn't work either, and I can't figure out why...

UPDATE: Out of curiosity I tried placing the shortcut of another 64-bit application (Notepad++) in the C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder, and it didn't work. So I can now safely say that it's not a Rainmeter problem, but maybe a Windows 10 1803 bug or a folder permission issue (although the latter is illogical, since those were folders created by Windows itself).
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 20th, 2018, 12:24 pm

I fully fixed the issue (no workaround, but a real fix). The "error" was on my part: I had C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Rainmeter.exe (the actual application, through compatibility settings, not a shortcut) running as administrator. My reason was justified, as in one of the previous betas I had issues getting some things (UsageMonitor measures like charge & discharge rates, registry values for my battery) work (or maybe it was a problem in my skin somewhere), and the only solution at that time was set Rainmeter to run as administrator.

Thing is, Windows 10 doesn't like running applications as administrator at startup (and particularly if you do that for a C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder shortcut, like Rainmeter is starting up), so, as soon as I've unchecked running the Rainmeter .exe file as adminitrator, it all worked out (the file inherited the compatibility settings even after recreation, that's why the issue "survived" after reinstalls). I don't have that battery skin issues anymore either, so it's all good now.

Thanks all for your help and sorry for wasting your time. :confused:
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jsmorley
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

jsmorley » December 20th, 2018, 12:29 pm

To have things that need to run as administrator start with Windows, you can create a Task Scheduler action for them, activated when the account logs in.
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 20th, 2018, 12:49 pm

jsmorley wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 12:29 pm
To have things that need to run as administrator start with Windows, you can create a Task Scheduler action for them, activated when the account logs in.
I know, but I never liked the Task Scheduler approach, so I went for the preferred option. I was setting it through the compatibility settings so that the option wouldn't be affected by possible shortcut deletion or move - and I liked that it reactivated itself on recreation. I should keep in mind to not go that way on startup items though.
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jsmorley
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

jsmorley » December 20th, 2018, 1:24 pm

I recommend Autoruns for managing your Startup entries, and much more...

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

And Process Explorer for much of everything else...

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Those two applications are the cornerstone of managing stuff.
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Re: Possible bug in the installer / skin installer?

Yincognito » December 20th, 2018, 1:51 pm

jsmorley wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 1:24 pm
I recommend Autoruns for managing your Startup entries, and much more...

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

And Process Explorer for much of everything else...

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Those two applications are the cornerstone of managing stuff.
Thank you for the suggestions, jsmorley. You know, the funny thing is that I started (and continued) to use Rainmeter as a visual replacement for, among other things ... Process Explorer :lol: (hence my interest in NomFerp, Usage Monitor, etc)

Yeah, I know you get more detailed info in Process Explorer, but most of the time it's not needed, if you are aware of how a particular software works. The other reason for me being a Rainmeter fan is the plugin capability, that allows a software that I use for both OSD monitoring (visual, like Rainmeter, in 3D applications) and recording (i.e. MSI Afterburner) to have visual clues and record stuff in every environment (desktop processes, 3D processes, etc). When I'm in games or 3D processes, MSI AB handles it all (OSD, monitoring, recording); when I'm in desktop mode, Rainmeter handles the OSD stuff with MSI AB doing the monitoring / recording in background. Perfect combo for me, as I really like the all-in-one (all-in-two in this case) solutions.