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Project Centennial incompatible with Folder Redirection? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've noticed that the few apps I've installed that are Project Centennial apps (e.g., Spotify, Paint.net) all post this message when I launch them:

    --------------------

    C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\...\SomeApp.exe

    Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

    [OK]

    ---------------------

    After clicking OK, the app terminates. This occurs on domain computers with Folder Redirection enabled for all redirectable folders. If I log on to a computer with a local SAM account and install the same app, it launches successfully.

    Small sample size; domain has all of 2 computers, I've only tried a handful of apps, and it could be any one of a bunch of other User Configuration policies. So it's really a hunch that redirection is the problem, and if that hunch is correct, I'm betting AppData is the problem.

    So far, I've not found anything in a web search about "centennial folder redirects", nor about the text of the error message, at least as it relates to Centennial.

    TIA


    • Edited by JRV529088 Tuesday, December 26, 2017 3:11 AM
    Monday, December 25, 2017 9:11 PM

Answers

  • I've reproduced the problem on another domain. 

    • Log on as a user whose AppData folder is not redirected, install Paint.net from the store, and launch it successfully. Then uninstall it.
    • Log on as the same user with AppData redirected, install Paint.net from the store, and launch it. Receive the same error message. Then uninstall it.

    Pending information from you or others to the contrary, I'm marking this post as The Answer. I hope I'm wrong and there's something else causing it. Something else whose removal will be easy and have little or no repercussions. The choice between redirecting AppData and being able to install Desktop Bridge apps is not an easy one. But I'm not very optimistic at this point.

    • Marked as answer by JRV529088 Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:19 AM
    Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:19 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    According to my know, the Project Centennial apps is used for publishing your responsive website to the Windows Store. Did you develop those applications which you downloaded (e.g. Spotify, Paint.net)? I am not sure if you mean spotify music or Paint 3D, would you tell me the exact name?

    I noticed you got access deny error message. I suggest to refer to :"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file" error when you try to install, update or start a program or file and try the action recorded to check again.

    There is another way to specific the issue is to use "Process Monitor" to monitor the exact reason for launch error.

    If you have any concerns, please contact with me directly.

    Bests,



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    Tuesday, December 26, 2017 9:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Centennial is the bridge for Win32 apps. I think its official name is the "Desktop Bridge". (Westminster is the bridge for web apps.)

    Spotify is the name of the Win32 app and the Store app. Paint.net is the name of the Win32 app and the Store app. Both are widely-known, and can be found by name in Windows Store, with the Win32 versions at https://www.spotify.com and https://www.getpaint.net respectively.

    I had nothing to do with developing either; I'm an end user.

    The article, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2669244/-windows-cannot-access-the-specified-device--path--or-file-error-when, was written long ago, for Win32 apps.

    Microsoft Store apps are in a highly restricted folder, with a very different ACL than %ProgramFiles%. It would be inappropriate to apply generic %ProgramFiles% permissions to %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps. Regardless, the ACL of the WindowsApps folder and its contents have not been modified on either computer.

    Understand, too, that native Microsoft Store apps work just fine...it's only Win32 apps converted with the Centennial bridge that I have the problem with. And that only when I log on with a domain account.

    Thanks!




    • Edited by JRV529088 Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:30 AM
    Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:27 AM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for your reply.

    "Understand, too, that native Microsoft Store apps work just fine...it's only Win32 apps converted with the Centennial bridge that I have the problem with"

    As you said they are all desktop application, please try to right click the executable file and run as administrator to check if you could launch them.

    Or we could right click the executable file and choose security, then modify your domain account to give it full control. Then try to check if you could run it without access right error.

    But for understanding why you got access error, we need to use Process Monitor to trace the launch process. 

    I would appreciate for your understanding and cooperation.

    Bests,


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Wednesday, December 27, 2017 10:06 AM
    Moderator
  • The way in which Microsoft typically uses the phrase "Desktop Apps" refer to Win32 programs. UWP apps are, well UWP apps, regardless of the form factor they're running on: Desktop, Phone, HoloLens or Xbox.

    I receive the same error with "Run As Administrator".

    There may be a way to modify the ACL, perhaps in a PSEXEC -S session. But with my Administrator account, I was unable to modify permissions, even after clicking "Change Permissions". The controls were dimmed. Have you actually tried this?

    Onward.

    I created a test domain user account where %AppData% was left in %USERPROFILE% with all other folders redirected. Installed Spotify from the Store and ran it without issue.

    Logged off, modified the account so %AppData% was redirected to the server, logged on twice to trigger the folder move, then ran Spotify. Got the same message as described above. Uninstalled/reinstalled Spotify. Got the same message.

    So I think the answer to the original question, "Project Centennial incompatible with Folder Redirection?" is now clear: No, it is NOT compatible with %AppData% redirection. My educated guess just became undeniable fact.

    I'm curious, but I'll leave use of Process Explorer to those at Microsoft who can actually do something about fixing the Desktop Bridge. Neither of us will be able to fix that. Meantime, I'll post my findings to the Feedback app and hope it is addressed.


    • Edited by JRV529088 Thursday, December 28, 2017 2:00 AM
    Thursday, December 28, 2017 1:59 AM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for your feedback and test.

    "But with my Administrator account, I was unable to modify permissions, even after clicking "Change Permissions". The controls were dimmed. "

    Make sure your company have not set any related UAC Group Policy. 

    If not set on domain side, we could change UAC to the lower level and check again.

    When we want to modify the permission, we need to make sure this account have control right on this application. If not, taking own of control right is the second step we need to do.

    I will create folder redirection and try to test this issue on our side. If I get any result, I will feedback the test result to you.

    At last, Happy new year!

    Bests, 


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, December 29, 2017 10:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Clearly, we must rule out permissions entirely. The test user account (which was not an admin) had NO problems with Desktop Bridge apps when %APPDATA% was local, and the SAME problem my account did when %APPDATA% was redirected. Had you not replied to my previous post, I'd have come back to "Mark as Answer".

    Despite that, we're still discussing ACLs. If you look at the ACLs on your own %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps folders and files, you'll see they are VERY different from old-school %ProgramFiles% as documented in the old KB article you provided. WindowsApps is among the most well-defended folders on the computer. I suspect taking ownership away from SYSTEM and loosening the ACL may be an effective way to break an App. That's speculation. Haven't tried it, and don't intend to on a production machine.

    Will be interested in your observations after you reproduce my test.

    Saturday, December 30, 2017 12:50 AM
  • You were going to try to reproduce my results. Any updates on this?

    No new information here, except that RoboForm's Edge extension clearly ties this issue to Desktop Bridge. RoboForm 8.4.7.0 was just released, and apparently installs a Desktop Bridge component with which it interacts in some way. Now, when I launch Edge, I get this message:

    [Window Title]

    C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\SiberSystemsInc.RoboFormEdge_8.4.7.0_x86_7kk3kr9e0p1np\DesktopBridge\rf-edge-nm-host.exe

    [Content]

    Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

    [OK]

    There is no Desktop Bridge version of RoboForm at this time; this is installed as a component of the RoboForm Edge extension.

    In this case (and only this case) I can close Edge and immediately re-open it to work around the problem. Then I don't get the message, and RoboForm works as long as Edge remains open. When closed, the cycle repeats.

    • Edited by JRV529088 Sunday, January 28, 2018 6:32 PM
    Sunday, January 28, 2018 5:55 PM
  • I've reproduced the problem on another domain. 

    • Log on as a user whose AppData folder is not redirected, install Paint.net from the store, and launch it successfully. Then uninstall it.
    • Log on as the same user with AppData redirected, install Paint.net from the store, and launch it. Receive the same error message. Then uninstall it.

    Pending information from you or others to the contrary, I'm marking this post as The Answer. I hope I'm wrong and there's something else causing it. Something else whose removal will be easy and have little or no repercussions. The choice between redirecting AppData and being able to install Desktop Bridge apps is not an easy one. But I'm not very optimistic at this point.

    • Marked as answer by JRV529088 Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:19 AM
    Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:19 AM
  • This is speculation; not tested at this time. But it MAY be an issue...in both domains, AppData folders are redirected to a domain-based DFS share, not a conventional share. This is longstanding best practice for folder redirection, among other things. But there are a few situations where DFS confuses programs. I'm wondering if this is one of them.

    Redirecting to a conventional share, the resultant path would be something like--

    \\Server\Share\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming

    Redirecting to a domain-based DFS share would look like--

    \\DomainName\DFSRoot\DFSShare\%UserName%\AppData\Roaming

    With domain-based DFS, there's an additional delimited string ahead of the share name, and the domain name is in the first delimited string, not a server name. Those 2 differences confuse non-DFS-aware programs. Mainly file-based database software, which expect that the DBMS is located on "DomainName".

    So when setting up your lab, if you're still going to do this, use a domain-based DFS share as the AppData location to duplicate my environment.

    • Edited by JRV529088 Wednesday, January 31, 2018 3:07 AM
    Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:58 AM
  • Wow.

    I've tested this with EVERY new Feature Update through v1809 and had given up on this ever being fixed.

    It appears to have been fixed with W10 v1903!

    On one sample computer with one sample user in one domain, Centennial apps (tested with Dell SupportAssist, Spotify, Slack and Client Center for ConfigMgr) all launch successfully. There's been no change to the folder redirection config here in years.

    I'll believe it when I try it on another domain with another computer and another user, but since the problem was reproducible across domains, I suspect the fix will be, too.

    Only took a year and 9 months. Better late than never, I guess.

    Since I'm going in to the final push on replacing Windows 7 with Windows 10, nice to know I won't need to disable AppData redirection on those domains.

    • Proposed as answer by JRVCr Wednesday, September 18, 2019 3:05 PM
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:44 PM