Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The "Application did not get installed" error message from hell!

Getting Lotus Notes 8.5.1 rolled out at my company has not been that big of an issue.  Seriously.  It's been a rather smooth experience.  People love it!  A lot of testing went into the final package and a lot of pride, too.  So when this error message started showing up:
(Image stolen from IBM Support site)

I was getting a little miffed.  While not an unknown or unseen error, it's one that we just couldn't figure out the root cause.  To fix it, you simply shut down the client, delete the workspace folder under the data directory, and then restart the client.  The workspace folder would be rebuilt and that was resolving the error for people.  But then the error would come back.  Sometimes the next morning.  Frustrating.  But finally, the person on the Help Desk that had taken the lead on this issue found the root cause.  It was our custom written end-user backup program. 
Every time a user logs into their workstation, which of course is first thing in the morning, a backup application runs that copies their ID, names.nsf and a few other files, to their network home directory as a backup.  Works pretty well.  Too well.  Seems that people are so excited to get into their Notes and start their day that they don't wait until the files are done copying.  So while the files are in use by the app being copied to the network and the Notes client launches trying to access the files, bad things happen.  But when the leave Notes alone until the backup is complete, everything is happy happy. 
Another day, another problem solved.


Bob Balfe said...

You should make sure no Eclipse cache files are backed up - as they get automatically regenerated if not there. Looks like some of the files are from the composite application space.

Stewart Fleming said...

Great work Hoss. Found this problem with a user in an extremely remote location in Australia and your hints solved it and explained why it happened in the first place. Legendary