The Mystery Error Installing WMF 5.0 and PowerShell


It has been a long time since I wrote here wit just too much in the real world of work and family to take the time to jot anything down in words.

I use multiple computers as a Systems Administrator. I have just switched to a Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10 as my main machine at my desk connected to the newest Surface Dock. It is connected to two 24 inch monitors, with a LogicTech wireless keyboard and mouse combination. My “old” machine is an HP EliteBook 8570w with Windows 7 SP1. In the move I am trying to make sure that the machines are as mirrored as possible.

That was a touch harder than I thought with PowerShell. Since Window 10 came with WMF 5.0 when it was imaged, I had a lot of features that the Win7 machine didn’t. I had WMF 5.0 Preview installed on it but had not had the reason to update to the final release when it came out. While making the switch to the Surface Pro, I had started writing a PowerShell script using some of the new WMF 5.0 final release additions. I am still using the laptop so I wanted to make sure that it was updated in case I needed to edit the script. Well, when I tried to install the WMF final release on the Win7 laptop it decided to not install with a rude error message.

There weren’t any error codes, just that the installation had failed. I looked at all the different reasons it could have failed, the system requirements and anything that I could think of. I just wasn’t making any progress so I used my best friend, “Google.” Though, in this instance it wasn’t my best friend. But it did give me pieces. One piece in the right direction mentioned a bug in the preview WMF that would require it to be uninstalled. Great idea, just another error appeared in its place.

The new error stated that a certificate was out of date or expired. Of course the natural first step is to check your clock, which I did just because I can’t tell anyone else to do it if I don’t. I knew it was going to be fruitless because at work we use an NTP server and at home I use an app to sync to atomic time servers. So, what was causing the problem? 

I couldn’t check the cert because the error didn’t tell me which cert and I wasn’t going to spend the time writing a quick script to export cert info to a CSV. I did the next best thing which was to set the clock back to a month after I installed the preview and tried again.

Viola, it uninstalled and asked me to reboot the laptop, which I did after re-syncing the clock. The next step was to try the WMF 5.0 final release install which went perfectly smooth this time around.

Moral to the story is you really need to think through the errors, don’t give up and the answers aren’t always spelled out for you.

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