IEAK11 package does not update correctly during installation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Sorry, my post is long because I have tried many things already.

    We are deploying IE11 on 50000+ Windows 7 SP1 laptops and desktops across the world and in multiple languages. I have made an installation package using IEAK for full deployment of the browser, branding and other custom components. We are deploying it through SCCM for most users, and by sending the install package for manual installation to some of our field employees that cannot rely very well on SCCM for various business reasons. We rely on Enterprise Mode with a site list to ensure compatibility with internal applications.

    When installing, the IEAK package will connect to Microsoft in order to get its prerequisite updates. Then, it downloads some updates (language packs, hyphenation and spelling CAB files for each languages supported by the system). As seen in the logs, it also downloads an updated version of the binaries for IE11 from the MS site (the Neutral Pack), and merges it to the IE11 binaries extracted from the package. All this is default behavior of the full install package compiled by IEAK, and I believe this mechanism has been made so as soon as the installation completes, IE11 will come already updated; otherwise there might be a time gap between when IE11 is installed, and when the Windows Update detection cycle finds that new patches apply to IE11 and installs them.

    However, the resulting update seems incomplete. about 2 months ago, we had a issue on x86 machines. Right after the install, before Windows Update applies the most recent patches for IE, users were complaining that Enterprise Mode was not enabled, even though all the registry values for Enterprise Mode were there. In the About box, IE11 was showing an update version of 11.0.20 (KB3058515), which was the most recent update at that time, should add the Enterprise Mode functionality. If I reinstalled the standalone KB3058515 on x86 machines (even though IE reports it's already there) with WUSA, it fixed the issue without even having to reboot. In x64 machines, the update version number was 11.0.18, and we did not have a problem.

    I went into the install log, and I can see the Neutral Pack has been downloaded and installed successfully. IE11 installs, the system reboots, and I can see in the About box of IE that update versions are 11.0.18 (on x64) and 11.0.20 (on x86). When I suspend the installation using Sysinternals Process Explorer and I look into the Neutral Pack (in a temp folder in C:\Windows\Temp), I can see that all IE11 core files exist with more recent versions than what could be extracted from IE-REDIST.EXE (the IE installer in the IEAK package); the same versions that could be seen in the standalone KB3058515. All file versions returned by iediagcmd.exe are the same versions as well. So I believed that the Neutral Pack contained all files of the KB3058515, but might somehow miss some registration information. There's a lot of undocumented stuff in these packages. I overcame the issue by putting this package in a CAB file to be added to IEAK, and program its execution after IE install completes through RunOnceEx. On SCCM, it's a bit simpler, we do it using advertised task sequences.

    Now, we got another issue with x64 systems. Same thing, the neutral pack has been updated to 11.0.20 (KB3058515) on x64 machines (it was 11.0.18 before), and the most recent version is 11.0.21. (I expect MS to release another one today since it's patch tuesday). After install, x64 machines no longer handle Enterprise Mode. Unlike the behavior I saw with x86 machines (they came with the "broken" KB3058515, I install standalone KB3058515 on top of it), this trick did not do. We have to install the KBs that port this version to 11.0.21.

    The importance of this is that in many cases, users will install IE11 and it will not be ready to handle internal applications because Enterprise Mode is missing. Some will try to solve the problem badly (put all internal TLDs in the Compatibility View, for example), and IE would become very difficult to maintain. I know that I can disable the download functionality in IEAK, but in that case the language packs would not download automatically.

    I thought about forcing the updates, but even by using WUAUCLT to force it, it takes some time for it to install, and by that time, users would not be able to use IE11 with internal apps.

    I'd like to know if there is something to do with the neutral pack. Is it something that could be overriden? Maybe someone at Microsoft could look into this, it's rather odd.

    I'll call the MS support soon... maybe it's a bug they can fix.


    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 3:28 PM

All replies

  • I'll call the MS support soon... maybe it's a bug they can fix.

    If you do I hope you will ask them about the  SysNative  controversy.   <eg>

    Robert Aldwinckle

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 6:39 PM