SOLVED

Unable to launch Microsoft MSIX Package Tool if disconnected from the internet

MVP

There are scenarios where the packager VM does not have access to the internet.  Last week we discovered that this interferes with the ability to launch the Msix Packaging Tool app.

 

One of our clever students found a work-around, but it is a work-around that one should NEVER do.  The workaround was to have the logged in user take ownership of the WindowsPackages folder.  I am a bit baffled why that worked, but it is not something we should be doing.

10 Replies
best response confirmed by John Vintzel (Microsoft)
Solution

@TIMOTHY MANGAN How are you installing the app?  The symptom mentioned is generally caused by not installing a license with the app.  If you download the offline copy from the Microsoft Store for Business the free license can be acquired there as well.

 

John.

@John Vintzel  I think this outlines the process used; you might be right.

 

1) The MPT app was added to the WIndows Store for Business, and the bundle file downloaded with the license. 

2) I had wanted to use Add-AppXProvisionedPackage on the image, but had problems getting that to work.  So instead dism was used:    dism /Online /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackagePath:"Microsoft.MsixPackagingTool_2019.402.1632.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe.AppxBundle" /SkipLicense" .

3) dism is run again to install the MPT driver.

4) The image was sysprepped.

5) A clone copy of the image was started and the user logged in. While connected to the internet, the user launched the MPT to the GUI and closed it.

6) The system was shutdown and shapshot taken.

7) The system was booted from the snapshot without connection to the internet.

8) The same userid logs in and attempts to launch the tool.

 

The same system with internet attached works fine, which doesn't make a ton of sense since the MFA account is not used after Step #1 above. But if the license is needed it is needed.  You can always help everyone out on the correct syntax for either the PS or DSIM commands!

 

 

Tim

@TIMOTHY MANGAN Sounds like it is a license issue.  Since it is a free app we get a license without any Microsoft account required, which is why it worked with internet connectivity.

 

We can add some more text to the docs to help mitigate and clarify this issue.

 

John.

@John Vintzel Yeah, we could use that. I'm finding I need to piece together bits and pieces that don't quite line up.

 

This article: https://www.scconfigmgr.com/2016/04/05/deploy-offline-licensed-universal-apps-offline-from-windows-s... shows how to get the license file, but the filetype it shows for ConfigMan use is ".bin". 

 

Meanwhile, this article: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/dism/add-appxprovisionedpackage?view=win10-ps shows that the value for LicensePath is an XML file.

 

It looks to me the the unencoded form of the license file is xml.  And attempts to use the bin file on the dism command with /LicensePath fails with error:

Error: 0x803d0000
The input data was not in the expected format or did not have the expected value.

 

Using the xml file instead does succeed. I'm ok using the xml file as this is part of image processing so I'm not woried about possible snooping eyes.  But a single document covering how to deploy the tool, including the offline license scenario,  would be great for customers..

 

.@John Vintzel One would think you could put the steps in here so they could be followed.  Your statement is incomplete without it.

The download available for disconnected environments, has worked on it's own without the license file just by double clicking the bundle and allowing it to install.
That said in order for it to work you still need to take ownership of the MSIXPackagingTool folders in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps before you can create a shortcut to the executable in that folder as the standard start menu shortcut is useless.
However I have seen issues with the PackageAnalyser capability not working it just stays at the Installing MSIX package progress bar stage.
Could this new functionality be reliant on Internet capability again @TIMOTHY MANGAN / @fizaazmi (MSFT)?

I haven't really used the analyer feature much (as I do have my own) but have tried it out on a VM connected to the internet just fine. One offline issue we see with the MMPT for first use occurs when you try to go into the monitoring mode to do a package capture. The first time you try this the filter driver for the capture gets installed, and that requires an internet connection. I would not be surprised if the same happens with the analyzer.

@AppsPackG 

 

I had to do a little more as I was creating a VM Template to clone with tall of the tools on it. I had to not only take ownership of C:\Program Files\WindowsApps, but also Modify to the Administrators Group and allow Inheritance.  This allowed me to create a Template VM that could be used as a "Clean" machine for each package.

@AppsPackG 
While using Package Analyzer in disconnected environments, you shouldn’t notice any difference in your experience. However, we’ll investigate this anomaly to identify any potential causes for this. 

Meanwhile, can you please verify if it is working in connected mode for the VM that you're using?

1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by John Vintzel (Microsoft)
Solution

@TIMOTHY MANGAN How are you installing the app?  The symptom mentioned is generally caused by not installing a license with the app.  If you download the offline copy from the Microsoft Store for Business the free license can be acquired there as well.

 

John.

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