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Windower Sandbox

#1 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:01 PM

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If you've played more than 1 character on the same machine, you're probably familiar with a common crash in FFXI. With multiple instances open, the log files overwrite each other, and scrolling back through your chatlog causes frequent crashes. This plugin utilizes a feature introduced in Windows Vista called symbolic links to create multiple FFXI sandboxes, so that each instance of FFXI can have its own independent log files. This will not work in Windows XP, just Vista and Win 7.
Note: Never update FFXI with sandboxes in place. Always undo sandboxes, then update. You can re-sandbox after it's finished.

To use the plugin properly, it is necessary to launch Windower through XI-Util, and to give the plugin a directory to work in. Create a new, empty directory somewhere on your hard drive (I use C:\WindowerSandbox). Go into the plugin settings, and set Sandbox Directory to the empty directory you just created. Set Windower Launcher to windower's launcher.exe. Also set the number of sandboxes to create. This should be the number of characters you expect to log in at the same time.
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When you close the settings window, you should see a line in the display table for each sandbox. They should all read uninitialized for the status. Also, the Initialize Sandboxes button is now active. Click that button to create the necessary directory structures in your sandbox directory.
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You are also able to edit sandbox settings by right-clicking on a sandbox and choosing the settings option. Note that since initialization has not been done yet, the 'Launch Windower' option is not available.
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After initializing, the status changes to available on all sandboxes.
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To launch FFXI, right-click a sandbox and choose the 'Launch Windower' option. This will start an instance of windower attached to that sandbox. Be sure to log completely in before starting another sandbox.
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After you log into FFXI, the sandbox status window will update with the character names logged into each sandbox. Note that this can take a minute or two to update, as it does not constantly scan for this data.
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Each character will now have its own log directory.


Using the 'Undo Sandboxing' button should revert all changes made by sandboxing. In the offchance that someone is still using an older version, here are the steps to manually undo these changes.
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#2 User is offline   Ansoku 

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:00 AM

Hi aureus,

Not sure whether this should be posted here on in the XI-Utils main forum, so if it's in the wrong place, I apologize. Windower Sandbox is an awesome concept, and would prove to be extremely useful for me, so thanks! However, I have a small issue.

I followed the guide down to the letter, but unfortunately upon clicking the 'Initialize Sandboxes' button, I get nothing in return. They don't initialize and nothing changes. I've ran it as administrator, disabled UAC (I usually do this anyway), ran MemTest just to be sure, pretty much everything I can think of. The Sandboxes just refuse to initialize.

The number of sandboxes i'd use would be 4, but i've tried it with different numbers and still no joy.

Just wanted to bring this up, just in case. Almost Probably an error on my side, better safe than sorry.
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#3 User is offline   Ryoku 

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:29 AM

Not sure if this has happened to anyone else, but after trying to use windower sandbox, it starts causing windower to crash right after clicking the play button and i get Error Code FFXI: 9001 (-1). After that happened, I was unable to login even opening windower separately. I had to do a system restore to fix it, even after uninstalling and reinstalling windower. Tried reinstalling Xi-Utils again this morning and the same thing happened again. Any ideas on what could be causing this?
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#4 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

View PostRyoku, on 09 July 2011 - 09:29 AM, said:

Not sure if this has happened to anyone else, but after trying to use windower sandbox, it starts causing windower to crash right after clicking the play button and i get Error Code FFXI: 9001 (-1). After that happened, I was unable to login even opening windower separately. I had to do a system restore to fix it, even after uninstalling and reinstalling windower. Tried reinstalling Xi-Utils again this morning and the same thing happened again. Any ideas on what could be causing this?

This is probably due to regsvr32 failing to register the new Ffxi.dll file. You can try doing this manually by:
  • Start->Run->cmd, this will open a command prompt window
  • enter: regsvr32.exe /s c:\yourwindowersandboxpath\FFXI\FFXi.dll


As WindowerSandbox modifies the registry, just opening windower directly will still attempt to use the sandbox. You'll need to follow the instructions in the OP to completely back out the changes. I've added a new version with a button to back out the WindowerSandbox changes.
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#5 User is offline   Ansoku 

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:38 AM

Figured out what my issue was.

I use the European version of POL, so upon changing the registry key from PlayOnlineEU to PlayOnlineUS, it worked without issue. However, changing the registry key back to PlayOnlineEU after the sandboxes become 'Available' doesn't work (must stay named PlayOnlineUS, which doesn't work for me as I don't have US FFXI installed), so it's just a regional thing.

Hope this helps.

This post has been edited by Ansoku: 10 July 2011 - 03:38 AM

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#6 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:48 AM

View PostAnsoku, on 10 July 2011 - 03:38 AM, said:

Figured out what my issue was.

I use the European version of POL, so upon changing the registry key from PlayOnlineEU to PlayOnlineUS, it worked without issue. However, changing the registry key back to PlayOnlineEU after the sandboxes become 'Available' doesn't work (must stay named PlayOnlineUS, which doesn't work for me as I don't have US FFXI installed), so it's just a regional thing.

Hope this helps.


Makes sense; I only have the US release, so that's what I coded to.
An update is available that should add support for EU PlayOnline to this plugin.

This post has been edited by aureus: 10 July 2011 - 12:23 PM

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#7 User is offline   Telarion 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:51 PM

XI-Utils wont let me lauch windower from the sandbox tab.
Program run as admin, path for launcher.exe is checked and double-checked, UAC is disabled.
Running windows 7 64bit

Made 2 sandboxes and the both initialized fine, both are listed as avaliable, but when i press the "launch windower"-button, nothing happens.
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#8 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 07:42 PM

View PostTelarion, on 11 July 2011 - 05:51 PM, said:

XI-Utils wont let me lauch windower from the sandbox tab.
Program run as admin, path for launcher.exe is checked and double-checked, UAC is disabled.
Running windows 7 64bit

Made 2 sandboxes and the both initialized fine, both are listed as avaliable, but when i press the "launch windower"-button, nothing happens.

Could you check if the plugin was able to change your registry successfully?

start->run->regedit, navigate to the folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\PlayOnlineUS\InstallFolder, and see what the values of "0001" and "1000" are. If they're pointing to your sandbox, then launching windower regularly should use it and get picked up by the GUI. Just press the launch windower button before you launch it to switch your registry to an unused sandbox.

I'll see if I can find a reason that the plugin would fail to kick off windower as well.

This post has been edited by aureus: 11 July 2011 - 07:43 PM

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#9 User is offline   Nitrous 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:53 PM

Great idea. Just one suggestion. A way to make each sandbox open with a different windower ini. I use 2 different sets of settings on my main and alt respectively. So would be awesome to be able to do this
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#10 User is offline   Lightvision 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:32 PM

View PostNitrous, on 11 July 2011 - 08:53 PM, said:

Great idea. Just one suggestion. A way to make each sandbox open with a different windower ini. I use 2 different sets of settings on my main and alt respectively. So would be awesome to be able to do this


this would be cool BUT i run up to 3 character using up to 3 different resolutions and also up to 3 different init.txt settings, unless it can handle loading 3 different init setting/plugin setting from windower/plugin folder then i will notbe using since i have all my plugins set differently on each character, i would love to use it, maybe if it can be possible to select the windower folder for each instance?

i cant remember if i read that it was possible to load windower with different init.txt files or not, and not just the .ini setting, would have to ask the windower team

This post has been edited by Lightvision: 11 July 2011 - 09:35 PM

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#11 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:49 PM

View PostNitrous, on 11 July 2011 - 08:53 PM, said:

Great idea. Just one suggestion. A way to make each sandbox open with a different windower ini. I use 2 different sets of settings on my main and alt respectively. So would be awesome to be able to do this

Mind filling me in on the argument to specify a different ini file to launcher.exe?
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#12 User is offline   Nitrous 

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:13 PM

Launcher.exe -c WindowerAlternate.ini

Where "WindowerAlternate" is the ini it would load. I just think it would be nice so i wouldn't have to open the GUI everytime.

Maybe just be able to right click "sandbox 1" or "Sandbox 2" and choose an ini file for that particular one to load

View PostLightvision, on 11 July 2011 - 09:32 PM, said:

this would be cool BUT i run up to 3 character using up to 3 different resolutions and also up to 3 different init.txt settings, unless it can handle loading 3 different init setting/plugin setting from windower/plugin folder then i will notbe using since i have all my plugins set differently on each character, i would love to use it, maybe if it can be possible to select the windower folder for each instance?

i cant remember if i read that it was possible to load windower with different init.txt files or not, and not just the .ini setting, would have to ask the windower team


To do this you can use autoexec to load the init.txt of that character when you login. I do have one of my characters load blinkmenot as soon as i t logs in. so the rest of it could be done as well. Just in regular init.txt make sure the plugin loaded is at least autoexec.. and have the rest of the plugins load via autoexec login event.

	<register event="login_Char1" silent="true">
		exec char1_init.txt
	</register>
	<register event="login_Char2" silent="true">
		exec char2_init.txt
	</register>
	<register event="login_Char3" silent="true">
		exec char3_init.txt
	</register>

above is just an example of what i mean

This post has been edited by Nitrous: 11 July 2011 - 10:16 PM

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#13 User is offline   tdk1069 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:39 AM

Hiya,

Symlink's exists under older windows via the Microsoft (Sysinternal's) Junction function, I was wondering how this works as I'd like to have safer dualboxing as well but on win XP still. Even if junction isn't feasible to implement in a plugin would like to know the method to safely run two :) if it's not a trade-(must-kill-you-after-telling)-secret ;)

ta
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#14 User is offline   Telarion 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:11 AM

View Postaureus, on 11 July 2011 - 07:42 PM, said:

Could you check if the plugin was able to change your registry successfully?

start->run->regedit, navigate to the folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\PlayOnlineUS\InstallFolder, and see what the values of "0001" and "1000" are. If they're pointing to your sandbox, then launching windower regularly should use it and get picked up by the GUI. Just press the launch windower button before you launch it to switch your registry to an unused sandbox.

I'll see if I can find a reason that the plugin would fail to kick off windower as well.


Value of 0001 and 1000 is still set as my default FFXI path.
Can i change these values manually? if so, what should they point to? C:\windower\Sandbox\1\FFXI?
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#15 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 09:28 AM

View Posttdk1069, on 12 July 2011 - 01:39 AM, said:

Hiya,

Symlink's exists under older windows via the Microsoft (Sysinternal's) Junction function, I was wondering how this works as I'd like to have safer dualboxing as well but on win XP still. Even if junction isn't feasible to implement in a plugin would like to know the method to safely run two :) if it's not a trade-(must-kill-you-after-telling)-secret ;)

ta


I use the kernel32.dll CreateSymbolicLink method, which only exists in vista and onward. If you're feeling adventurous, you can create the directory structure for the sandboxes yourself using junction points and see what happens. create <sandboxRoot>\<sandboxNumber>, with subfolders of FFXI and POL. Now, symlink (or junction point in your case) each folder except TEMP from the "Real" FFXI directory into the sandbox directory. Repeat the same with files but with hard links instead of soft links. Now, create the TEMP folder. The WindowerSandbox plugin should recognize that directory, and be able to start windower for your sandboxes.

YMMV on if it works.

View PostNitrous, on 11 July 2011 - 08:53 PM, said:

Great idea. Just one suggestion. A way to make each sandbox open with a different windower ini. I use 2 different sets of settings on my main and alt respectively. So would be awesome to be able to do this

New version (which will be released tonight) will include per-sandbox configuration options, including windower ini and processor affinity mask, among other things.

View PostLightvision, on 11 July 2011 - 09:32 PM, said:

this would be cool BUT i run up to 3 character using up to 3 different resolutions and also up to 3 different init.txt settings, unless it can handle loading 3 different init setting/plugin setting from windower/plugin folder then i will notbe using since i have all my plugins set differently on each character, i would love to use it, maybe if it can be possible to select the windower folder for each instance?

i cant remember if i read that it was possible to load windower with different init.txt files or not, and not just the .ini setting, would have to ask the windower team

Instead of using 3 different init.txt files (and I assume 3 different windower directories to allow it), you could instead just use one, and use autoexec to load per-character settings/plugins for each character when you log in.

This post has been edited by aureus: 12 July 2011 - 09:20 AM

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#16 User is offline   Telarion 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

View PostTelarion, on 12 July 2011 - 02:11 AM, said:

Value of 0001 and 1000 is still set as my default FFXI path.
Can i change these values manually? if so, what should they point to? C:\windower\Sandbox\1\FFXI?


I deleted the sandboxes and reactivated them. The registry seems to be fixed now, but i still cant launch windower.
Actually now i cant even start windower from the launcher.exe file. Nothing happens when i start the file. no errors nothing.
Had to rollback the registry.
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#17 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:29 AM

View PostTelarion, on 12 July 2011 - 11:07 AM, said:

I deleted the sandboxes and reactivated them. The registry seems to be fixed now, but i still cant launch windower.
Actually now i cant even start windower from the launcher.exe file. Nothing happens when i start the file. no errors nothing.
Had to rollback the registry.


Go into one of the sandbox directories and take a look around. It should look exactly the same as your real FFXI directory.

If it does, when windower fails to launch, try kicking off pol.exe from the sandbox directory manually, and see what happens.
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#18 User is offline   Nitrous 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:27 PM

Crashed twice today whenever i logged in from windowersandbox opened POL (not that it matters as i can simply just reopen
log.txt crash report
2011-07-12 09:49:02.1717|ERROR|XI_Util.Program|Unhandled Exception System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The handle is invalid
   at System.Diagnostics.NtProcessManager.GetModuleInfos(Int32 processId, Boolean firstModuleOnly)
   at System.Diagnostics.ProcessManager.GetModuleInfos(Int32 processId)
   at System.Diagnostics.Process.get_Modules()
   at WindowerSandbox.TabControl.updateListView()
   at WindowerSandbox.TabControl.timer1_Tick_1(Object sender, EventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Timer.OnTick(EventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Timer.TimerNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

If there's something else you need me to do i can change the nlog.config and try to catch it crashing again sometime
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#19 User is offline   aureus 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:30 PM

View PostNitrous, on 12 July 2011 - 05:27 PM, said:

Crashed twice today whenever i logged in from windowersandbox opened POL (not that it matters as i can simply just reopen
log.txt crash report
2011-07-12 09:49:02.1717|ERROR|XI_Util.Program|Unhandled Exception System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The handle is invalid
   at System.Diagnostics.NtProcessManager.GetModuleInfos(Int32 processId, Boolean firstModuleOnly)
   at System.Diagnostics.ProcessManager.GetModuleInfos(Int32 processId)
   at System.Diagnostics.Process.get_Modules()
   at WindowerSandbox.TabControl.updateListView()
   at WindowerSandbox.TabControl.timer1_Tick_1(Object sender, EventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Timer.OnTick(EventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Timer.TimerNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

If there's something else you need me to do i can change the nlog.config and try to catch it crashing again sometime


Looks like something is leaking handles. I'll check and see if I notice anything within xi-util, but it could be another 3rd party program as well.
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#20 User is offline   Nitrous 

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:51 PM

View Postaureus, on 12 July 2011 - 05:30 PM, said:

Looks like something is leaking handles. I'll check and see if I notice anything within xi-util, but it could be another 3rd party program as well.

To add to what i said before.. I changed it to trace. and this is what i get

2011-07-12 18:43:15.3474|DEBUG|WindowerSandbox.TabControl|pid: 5072 not found in window list

So it's likely something wrong with my computer as multisend likes to crash as well (crashes on load like this is doing when trying to find process IDs)

Edit: oh.. also.. interestingly enough. I cannot load this program, while i'm logged in.. it will crash before even trying to open basically.

This post has been edited by Nitrous: 12 July 2011 - 05:51 PM

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