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MLS 2.9 Installation Problems

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:09 am
by kfindlay
We had quite a scare last Sunday, our Stake Technology specialist came by and told us not to transmit, the 2.9 download had caused every MLS in the stake to crash. Fortunately we did not have our computer setup so that the downloads can be updated by windows, we have to have admin login to update so we go through OK but the stake tech spec admin had a list of comptuers to fix that was lengthy. So what is the problem with downloading the 2.9? Didn't seem like we got any warning to be prepared to download it. I'm holding off until I get a clear go ahead to update to 2.9.

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:14 am
by childsdj
There shouldn't be any problem in downloading it. The notice that it was coming down was sent out a couple of weeks ago to stakes that were participating in previous betas. So you would have only seen this message if you were at the stake machine or a stake clerk in one of those beta stakes. We have heard that some stakes did not receive the message. We apologize if the message didn't get out to everyone.

So far 2.9 is stable.

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:32 am
by aebrown
kc4rzw wrote:We had quite a scare last Sunday, our Stake Technology specialist came by and told us not to transmit, the 2.9 download had caused every MLS in the stake to crash. Fortunately we did not have our computer setup so that the downloads can be updated by windows, we have to have admin login to update so we go through OK but the stake tech spec admin had a list of comptuers to fix that was lengthy. So what is the problem with downloading the 2.9? Didn't seem like we got any warning to be prepared to download it. I'm holding off until I get a clear go ahead to update to 2.9.


MLS 2.9 should only have been downloaded to stakes that participate in the MLS beta testing program. Is your stake a participant? We have had some other reports where people initially were surprised that MLS 2.9 was downloaded, but then they found out that their stake was indeed a beta site.

Our stake does participate in the beta program, and all the wards, as well as the stake computer, updated to MLS 2.9 with no problem on Sunday. Other participants on this forum have reported that they upgraded to MLS 2.9 as well. Yours is the first report of any problem.

I'm having some difficulty understanding what you mean by "Fortunately we did not have our computer setup so that the downloads can be updated by windows, we have to have admin login to update so we go through OK..." All ward/stake administrative computers are required to use the clerk login, which has Windows administrator privileges. Are you saying that you do not use that login? If so, that could be a source of the problem.

If your stake has failed to follow the clear instructions for configuring administrative computers, then it's not surprising that a software update would cause problems. Although we've heard many concerns about the requirement to run MLS under an administrator account (and I share some of those concerns), it is still a fact that we are presently required to run MLS using the specified account. Many people have inferred (and it makes sense to me) that one of the major reasons for this requirement is to facilitate software updates, which is precisely what happened on Sunday. If I have misunderstood your statement, and you are running MLS using the required Windows user account, then please help us understand more details as to what your configuration is like, what the sequence of events was, and what you mean by "crash."

As for the lack of warning, I do feel your pain. I do not understand why the Church would fail to give any notification to the beta sites that this update was coming. Yesterday I sent a strongly worded message to Clerk Support requesting that the MLS product team would start running a more professional beta program.

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:42 am
by russellhltn
kc4rzw wrote:Fortunately we did not have our computer setup so that the downloads can be updated by windows, we have to have admin login to update so we go through OK


Can you explain? I'm not sure what you are describing, but it doesn't sound like how CHQ has instructed us to be set up.

The Desktop 5.5 instructions makes it clear that all MLS users are to use just one Windows login and it's to have Administrator rights in Windows. That's not the way we'd like it set up, but that's what we've been instructed. Given that MLS updates could come at any time and there's no way to know what they might include, I can't see how it can be locked down without risking problems.

Our Setup

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:25 am
by kfindlay
RussellHltn wrote:Can you explain? I'm not sure what you are describing, but it doesn't sound like how CHQ has instructed us to be set up.

The Desktop 5.5 instructions makes it clear that all MLS users are to use just one Windows login and it's to have Administrator rights in Windows. That's not the way we'd like it set up, but that's what we've been instructed. Given that MLS updates could come at any time and there's no way to know what they might include, I can't see how it can be locked down without risking problems.


We only have access to the clerk login, which does not have admin for installing updates. To install and update we have to get someone to login as admin then transmit then reboot then login again then log off then log in as clerk and then we have the update.

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:36 am
by aebrown
kc4rzw wrote:We only have access to the clerk login, which does not have admin for installing updates. To install and update we have to get someone to login as admin then transmit then reboot then login again then log off then log in as clerk and then we have the update.


If the "clerk" login does not have administrative rights for installing updates, then that is clearly a change from the default setup. That means that someone (probably your STS) changed the configuration contrary to the very specific instructions from CHQ.

So the problems you had with the MLS 2.9 update were almost certainly caused by your unapproved configuration, and not by any problem with MLS itself. You said earlier that your "stake tech spec admin had a list of comptuers to fix that was lengthy" -- it sounds to me like that is exactly what he signed up for by making an unauthorized change to the clerk login.

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:36 am
by james_francisco
There is no real need for Ward Computers to run as Administrator. The 'power user' account level gives a ward clerk all of the system access needed to function. That is because it is really a limited adminstrator account. Also MLS send/recieve has no problem running under Power User status. I've verified this over the last two months after changing all Clerk accounts to power user accounts after two systems events in a week which required complete reinstallation of MLS in two different wards.

The Stake Technology Specialist is personally responsible for Information systems security in the stake. Understandably, the instructions for installation of desktop 5.5 where the clerk account as administrator discussion is printed is designed for an STS with basic computer skills. Where the STS has the ability to make the stake system more secure without compromising MLS functionality and without changing the workflow of ward clerks and officers, they should certainly consider doing just that.

It is important to note that the 'clerk' account is not the one that may eventually be used to implement push updates from church headquarters. There are other system accounts installed that are intended for that purpose.

RussellHltn wrote:
As much as it disturbs me to have all users run with administrative rights - first, it's not my call. Secondly, as much as I've been successful at work and at the FHC in getting software to work with lower user rights, there's just too many unknowns during send/receive to be able to do so safely.

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:53 am
by russellhltn
James_Francisco wrote:The Stake Technology Specialist is personally responsible for Information systems security in the stake. Understandably, the instructions for installation of desktop 5.5 where the clerk account as administrator discussion is printed is designed for an STS with basic computer skills.


I disagree. If that were the case, then the Desktop would have shipped that way and/or the instructions modified appropriately. It's really not that complicated to do.


James_Francisco wrote:It is important to note that the 'clerk' account is not the one that may eventually be used to implement push updates from church headquarters. There are other system accounts installed that are intended for that purpose.


Yes, there are other accounts in the Desktop Image. But to my knowledge they've never been used. Also, for machines not using Desktop, I don't think there's anything in the instructions that would cause them to be created.

While Power User is sufficient for installing/updating applications, it's not sufficient to install any updates to the operating system itself. All that has to happen is for the church to decide to push down a setting or a small update and "Power User" will fail.

Last, but not least, what you propose is contrary to the written instructions we have been given and so far I've gotten nothing from any other official source supporting doing anything different.

It does grate on me letting everyone have admin access. If it wasn't for the wildcard of not knowing what the church is going to push down, I would have down graded it to just "user" like I have the FHC machines or the machines I'm in charge of at work.

If the machines are compromised because I followed instructions, so be it. I've got it in writing, so my backside is covered. :D So I just tell myself "well, it's their machines", apply a therapeutic dose of apathy and move on. ;)

Bishop received an 'Error' in MLS 2.9 Confidential Member

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:14 pm
by pete_arnett-p40
Need your help to see if this is an isolated issue with one unit?

Please ask your Bishop to try opening 'Confidential Member Information' in the
Confidential Reports and Forms section in the latest release of MLS 2.9

My Bishop received an 'Error' when he clicked on the 'Confidential Member Information'
see attachment: MLS 2.9 Bishop Error Confidential Member Information.jpg

Note: This issue has been emailed to headquarters on Sun p.m., 17Aug2008

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:21 pm
by mkmurray
pete_arnett wrote:Need your help to see if this is an isolated issue with one unit?

Please ask your Bishop to try opening 'Confidential Member Information' in the
Confidential Reports and Forms section in the latest release of MLS 2.9

I'll see if I can get my Bishop to try this tonight and then I will report back...