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Anyone with an in depth knowledge of how program installations work?

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone with an in depth knowledge of how program installations work?

Warning - a bit long.

So id say im a core user moreso than a power user. A hobbyist/gamer perhaps. Know substantially more than your average user, but substantially less than someone in the IT field.

Ive dug up a bit of "maybe" relevant information on my issue - but I want to ascertain its potential veracity before i go wasting time and mucking with the registry if its unlikely to garner a return so to speak.

Here's my issue.

Its actually twofold. One is more aesthetic and triggers my ocd The other is more functional/practical. Plus who doesnt want a pc where everything works as it should?

I run Synapse 3. Razer's keyboard/mouse/macro software. It, like its predecessor allows for profile switching automatically. You can map keys, and when it senses xx game loads, you'll get a windows notifcation its changing profiles - and do such.

If you clicked "link games" it would scan your games, and give you the option of which game to link. At some point, it went from finding all my games, to finding all my games AND all my roms which I had installed as shortcuts into steam. This went from a few dozen games, to a few thousand. It was messy and obnoxious, but until razer added a requested means to filter or limit what or where it was scanning, I wasnt concerned.

Not too long thereafter, it began finding no games at all. After countless complete purges of synapse, and several updates by razer, and several windows updates, and sfcs and disms,and driver updates... I had finally given up.

I recently decided to revisit it, and did some more digging. It turns out, it will scan for your games and give you a list - complete with a thumbnail/icon/art/grid type image representing the game to add. That was coming up blank/with nothing. However, a "dont see your game" button is present. If you click said button - your given a list of path's with executables at the end.

Now the majority of said list is irrelevant stuff. 7zip, adobe, etc. Of course i dont need to link those to a keyboard profile. However, going through the list more thoroughly, it was only showing games that were A) present in the add/remove programs list and B) had their icon intact.

I tested this by using that button to add overwatch and link it to a profile. It worked. A button beyond "game not seen?" is present. Browse. It allows you to navigate to your game via explorer and select the exe. So i tried navigating to World of Warcraft. Tried to add the exe, nothing. Literally did zero.

Here's where it gets wonky beyond the scope of my computing acumen

I initially thought this was due to some of my games being on my system/ssd (very few) and most being installed on a seperate hard disk. Not the case. However I DID remove the "separate hard disk" installed games from the add/remove program list entirely so i could keep track of what was directly on the SSD. Likely a mistake looking back, but ill address that at a later point if its even addressable. For now I simply want to fix the games that ARE on the list and their not being found or at worst, not being add'able manually.

Hopefully this wasnt too long, and concise enough to get across the what's and why's. I'm not sure if these games "icons" disappeared in the add/remove programs list due to running ccleaner, due to a windows version update, due to restoring a backup image at some point for some reason. No idea exactly when let alone how they went from the game's icon, to the default icon, much less what else it affected on a structural level. (aka if its specifically the art not being there (unlikely) or some other change thats causing it to not be picked up, much less add'able manually).

So the aesthetic portion is me trying to add the artwork back to said games/programs. This seems do'able ala

https://www.advancedinstaller.com/fo...ic.php?t=26695

and

https://www.sevenforums.com/general-...-icon-fix.html

however im not confident this will solve the issue.

Is anybody familiar with synapse 3 or with how the windows installer adds games/recognizes them etc? or how synapse might be scanning for them versus whats missing/not allowing them to be found or even added manually? A recommendation for something/somewhere i should check, or where I can continue my process of elimination?

Should i proceed with the aforementioned links and try re-adding the artwork and see if that fixes it? I cant see how it would, I just noticed that the games not being found also seem to not be displaying proper icons in the uninstall programs list.

Sorry for the book. I dont even have a TLDR version for ya lol, most of its pretty relevant.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 04:31 AM
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I'll give this a stab, but keep in mind that I don't have any Razor products so I, therefore, do not have any direct experience with Synapse. But here is what I would do in your shoes.

Windows likes to make guesses at the software you install, at least Windows 10 does. It will try and categorize some of your software as "Games". It does a fairly good job, most likely using a web service to look up titles. I suspect that it does this when the game is installed. Synapse's "Link Games" is most likely something similar. It will likely scan through your program files and look for exe's. What I would suggest as a starting point is to download Process Monitor. It will capture a ton of information about specific processes. So what you would do is set up a filter in ProcMon for the Synapse application. Then have Synapse "Link Games". ProcMon should give you a good idea of what directories are being scanned. You may also want to look at running Fiddler. Fiddler will tell you what is accessing the internet. It is possible that some calls are being blocked. Those two things should at the very least give you some ideas on what to look for next.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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aaaah. im familiar with process monitor, ive heard it referenced many times. Even have it downloaded i think. Wasnt versed in its use and certainly was unaware it could be used in that way. Very helpful

I did remove and reinstall world of warcraft which still didnt add an icon to its add/remove programs entry - so no idea whats going on there anyhow and may be a totally separate issue that coincidentally seems related.

I appreciate the reply, will certainly let ya know if process monitor bears fruit so to speak.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by BFRD View Post
I'll give this a stab, but keep in mind that I don't have any Razor products so I, therefore, do not have any direct experience with Synapse. But here is what I would do in your shoes.

Windows likes to make guesses at the software you install, at least Windows 10 does. It will try and categorize some of your software as "Games". It does a fairly good job, most likely using a web service to look up titles. I suspect that it does this when the game is installed. Synapse's "Link Games" is most likely something similar. It will likely scan through your program files and look for exe's. What I would suggest as a starting point is to download Process Monitor. It will capture a ton of information about specific processes. So what you would do is set up a filter in ProcMon for the Synapse application. Then have Synapse "Link Games". ProcMon should give you a good idea of what directories are being scanned. You may also want to look at running Fiddler. Fiddler will tell you what is accessing the internet. It is possible that some calls are being blocked. Those two things should at the very least give you some ideas on what to look for next.
So i got process monitor filter set up. Managed to capture what was happening before i initiated a scan for games - and what changed as I did - then stopped and it reverted to the former.

So the transition is obvious, but the data is a bit for me to chew on. Any chance that youd be able to decipher it? As well as be willing?

Not sure which portion of it is relevant and what is supporting stuff so to speak. It writes some logs, reads some windows/assembly/nativeimages stuff opens and closes some reg keys it looks like lol.

if not, i understand totally. The scope of the issue is why its taken me literally months and months to get this far. Shame razer's people wont help but it is what it is.

The point will come that ill have to live with it, or get lucky. Evidently its not gonna solve itself as ive been through several windows version updates, a hundred driver updates, and a dozen iterations of synapse since it presented ;p

Its the single, only thing wrong with my pc and it makes my OCD go ham lol.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:49 AM
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Sure, I'll take a look. Not sure how quickly I can get to do it, but I will look.



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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oh, absolutely no hurry. wait until your overcome with boredom, have a full stomach, and sitting in complete silence. Even then - give it a second thought

If absolutely nothing else i understand what a precious resource time is, so i sincerely appreciate you using some of yours

heres the zipped up pml log which i imagine you need to use processmonitor to view as well.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kk2dozkssr...gfile.zip?dl=0
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:40 AM
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From what I can tell from the log, the synapse 3 exe isn't doing much. I see some TCP/IP traffic to different ports. I suspect that is communication with other Synapse services on your machine. They are quite possibly doing the heavy lifting. There is also quite a bit of writing to a local log file. That may have some useful information as well.



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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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yea it could be the gamesmanager service that razer also installs. perhaps i can try to attach to that. (duh) I'll have to take a look at that log file after i delete it and re-run. its absolutely massive atm. I gave it to razer support and evidently it didnt help them, but never looked myself

Thanks for looking
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