Today’s tip is a shortcut for anyone in charge of installing HDMS in an existing environment that can also be used in migrations and emergency recovery situations. HDMS has some configuration, namely licensing, reports locations, and a DSN connection string, kept within the Windows registry that can be replicated easily to skip some setup steps.
This will require being an Administrator level user and requires determination of architecture. To check whether a PC or server is 32-bit or 64-bit architecture, open System from the All Control Panel Items view and look for the System type line to specify whether it is a 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System.
Step One: Establish a good base model to clone
The first step is to create the ‘known good’ export. Login to an existing workstation or server that is known to work correctly at this time as an Administrator, hold the Windows key and press R (Win+R) to bring up a run prompt, type regedit.exe and press Enter. Regedit.exe can also be searched for from the start menu if you are not comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, it will show up similarly to this:
Let’s drill down to the appropriate key, the official name for what is displayed as folders here, by using the explorer pane on the left side of Registry Editor. Click the small arrow or double-click the name to expand or minimize a key, they are listed in hierarchal alphabetical order. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, look for and expand SOFTWARE, then look for and expand Wow6432Node, and finally look for Universal Software Solutions. If the PC/Server is 32-bit, skip the Wow6432Node key and look for Universal Software Solutions after SOFTWARE.
Right click the Universal Software Solutions key and click Export from the context menu. Select a location to save this registry export and name it something recognizable. At the bottom of the export window you can see the branch being exported, which is the official name for a collection of a key with sub-keys. Expected paths for both architectures are below to verify against if needed.
64-bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Universal Software Solutions
32-bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Universal Software Solutions
Step Two: Planning for future use
Now that you have a ‘known good’ HDMS configuration export, I recommend placing a copy in a network accessible location for easy use later. This can be used when setting up a new workstation or server running HDMS. Install the HDMS Server and Full packages, complete the update process, then simply copy the known good export to the PC or server and import it (double click the .reg file or right-click > Merge). This PC or server will now have the known good configuration – no licensing or connection string errors, pointed to the correct reports.
This trick can also be used when migrating to a new Application server in a Remote Deployment scenario. Take an export of the registry on the old server and import at the end of installation to quickly bring in the configuration. If anything is changing, the registry export file can be edited in notepad to update the appropriate values before being imported on the new server, or edited after export and a new export created afterward.
When disaster strikes, it will be quicker and easier to reconfigure new installations of either PCs or servers using this export. Simply open the known good export in notepad and adjust the appropriate values to the recovery environment. If it were only workstations that died, you can use it without adjustment. If SQL servers were hit and have been changed, adjust the data source in the DSN string. If the License Manager server is moving, adjust the LMServer value to point to the new one. If using a shared report location and the server hosting reports is changing, change the CommonReportOptions, HelpPath, and MedicalDocumentFormatsPath values to have the new host in the UNC.
Hopefully this will help shorten the time taken configuring and troubleshooting new workstations for you in the future!
- Mike Noblett, System & Network Engineer & Admin for Universal Software Solutions