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Deploy software that does not have MSI or silent switches.

Off cause we want to avoid software that does not support silent install. Unfortunate it is not up to IT to decide what software to use :).

I am totally new to PDQ Deploy, but if I understand correctly I have two options.

Create an MSI from the EXE, or automate the install and run as the log on user.

I have tried to use AppDeploy in an installation, but it would not work. AppDeploy actually hangs when creating the package. So it does not work even on its own.

I have made an AutoIT installation that clicks threw the interface. This works beautifully when the user do not interrupt, (click cancel or something). AND the deployment in PDQ Deploy is set to “run as logged on user”. This however only works when the user is a local admin or has access to install software himself.

Any workarounds for this situation?

I was thinking something like; Wen running the deployment as “Logged on user”, how about in the same session use “RUNAS” some elevated user, but that would involve sending the password with the command.. right?. It can even be encrypted using this utility: http://www.softtreetech.com/24x7/archive/53.htm

And still there is the possibility that the users would somehow stop the installation by accident.. But better than nothing.

Is there any possibility that you would support a solution like this natively in PDQ Deploy? (add an RUNAS option in the “Run as logged on user” deployment, and passing the RUNAS credentials, encrypted)?

Another suggestion  is to start a new RDP session to the computer to witch I want to install the software, and then deploy it  and then close the RDP connection. I think I have all the steps necessary except running/starting the RDP session from the same machine as PDQ Deploy is installed on and killing it. Is there a way step where you can run “local” stuff. In local I mean directly on the PDQ Deploy machine.

Current steps:

Step1: Enable RDP (in case it is not)

\\adminarsenal\FileShare\Tools\psexec /accepteula \\%computername% reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0

\\adminarsenal\FileShare\Tools\psexec /accepteula \\%computername% netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable

\\adminarsenal\FileShare\Tools\psexec /accepteula \\%computername% netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable

Step2: Start RDP connection to the computer automaticly (this needs to run ON PDQ machine and offcause not on the remote machine witch I want to RDP to … )

powershell.exe  "cmdkey /generic:TERMSRV/Win764TestOff  /user:User@domain /pass:vrysecretpwd"

powershell.exe  "mstsc /v:TheRemoteComputer"

powershell.exe  "cmdkey /delete:TERMSRV/TheRemoteComputer "

Step3: Run the AutoIT install

Deployment set to “Run as logged on user”, this would now be the User@domain user.

Step4: Somehow log of user og worst case of terminal server user.

Step5: Kill terminal server process  on PDQ Machine.

taskkill /im mstsc.exe

 

Biggest problem with this solution is to run stuff on the PDQ Deployment machine (Step 2 and step 5)…

And it could only be deployed to one machine at a time, since it killes the MSTSC. Or is there way to run the deployment in sequence on multiple computers, not in parallel?

When running these step 2 and 5 on the PDQ Deployment machine manually this works in fine J

I am off cause interested in other possible ways to install applications that have no silent install capability.

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Comments

18 comments
Date Votes
  • A hint which might help you. You can also utilize WinRAR to create a selfextracting archive with an attached batch file. This Batch can be started after extraction and set the appropriate values to the user registry. Its easy to do.

    The selfextracting archive can run hidden on background, so noone will interfere with the process.

    User level configuration can be done ether through Group policy or a Logon script.

    I for example have an "array" SOFTWARENAME.login where I can iterate trough the SOFTWARENAME variable and do the propper userbased configuration settings.

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  • Thanx SelfMan for the rar suggestion.

    Im sorry , but I dont understand how this would work.

    What type of installtion (package) do you put in the RAR?
    Can it be a GUI/ AutoIT installation?

    I was also hoping to skip deployment with GPO all together, and mange all with PDQ Deploy.

     

    How would you go about to push AutoDesk Vault Office 2014 for example?

    It does not provide any silent install (or deployment packing that most AutoDesk products do)

    Also tried AppDeploy, no success.

    So felt I was left with AutoIT.

    What would you put in the RAR file?

    Thanx.

     

     

     

     

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  • Most program installers have the abity to install silently. Some of the methods are described here: http://unattended.sourceforge.net/installers.php

    Me myself, I am creating WinRAR selfextracting packages which execute batch files which then in turn execute exe or msi installers and set the appropriate registry settings using the reg command. (check reg /? for more)

    You can create an installation while monitoring it using RegFromApp http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/reg_file_from_application.html and apply the reg-file later. On simpler software it usually consists of 3 streps. 1) copy files to the desired locations, 2) set registry parameters, 3) create shortcuts.

    I dont know about AutoDesk, but Office 2013 can be pushed, but you have to have the volume licencing installer. Not the OEM or PKC.

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  • Most software have silent swithces, at least they should have.. :)

    I was affraid you would say, monitor file changes and reg changes during install, capture them and use during install.
    Never tried this approach, but if it is the only way I might give it a go.

    That is basicly what AppDeploy does too, to bad i did not make it work with Vault Office 2014.

    Thanx a lot for the links and explanation, wil def. check them out. Have not tried office 2013 in a deplyment yet. We are pushing office 2010 with PDQ deploy, so i guess 2013 wil work fine too.

    Just to clearafy, Autodesk office is not an office suite, its more of an pluging to office applications that makes it easy to add/check in documents to autodesk vault (Docuemnt management system)

     

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  • SelfMan, what program do you reccomend for monitoring filechanges?

    Some installers put files all over the place, not just in the installation directory.

    Thanx.

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  • Did you read this thread? http://support.adminarsenal.com/entries/22068685-Deploy-Autodesk-Products-with-Integrated-Silent-Installer

    Back then I used Winsttall LE. This is now a commercial software, but you can still find the free version or use the newer Smart Packager CE which is based upon Winstall LE. http://www.scalable.com/smart-packager-ce-msi-package/

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  • I skimmed this thread. But there is no silent switch NOR a Autodesk deployment packeger for this product (Vault Office 2014), wil give Smart Packager CE a go. Again Thanx.

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  • As far as I could google, there is almost no information about Vault Office 2014 and silent installation.

    When you run the setup from command line using /? switch what does it say?

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  • I found this http://knowledge.autodesk.com/installation-and-licensing

    I think the Information applies to you as well. Depending on the license you have.

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  • I have offcuase tried all possible switches i could think of for a silent install.

    But to answer your question,  the /? just starts the GUI installation.. no questins or errors.

    I have asked our Autodesk reseller also, they also says there are no swithcers for Vault Office 2014.

    Regarding: http://knowledge.autodesk.com/installation-and-licensing.

    This is true for all other AutoDesk software we use.
    We use license server, but there are no official way to create an image/automated install for Vault Office 2014.
    So i dont think that the "Select your license type to find the installation method(s) applicable to you:" in the link you provided is general for all types of AutoDesk products.. Unfortunalty.

     

     

     

     

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  • Ok, I am sorry i could not be more helpfull. The only way now is to contact the AutoDESK support directly.

     

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  • AutoDesk support.. right .. :)

    I have tested multiple repacking tools and have had success with one:

    http://emcosoftware.com/msi-package-builder/download

    It also gave some warnings, but the MSI worked perfect.
    It comes with an price tag, but $499 is not too bad.
    It would be chaper and much better if AutoDesk just made some MSI themself P.D.Q :)

     

     

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  • Did you also gine a shot to the Smart Packager CE?
    Anyway I am glad, you've got it sorted out.

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  • I did sign up for download link yesterday, but have not yet recieved it yet...

    This is what it says on the webpage.

    "If you don’t receive the link within 24 hours, please check your email filters, and contact us at sales@scalable.com."

    Guess i have to send them an email.

    I have not bought emco's repacker, just tired the demo, because I am waiting for the download link so I can test "Smart Packager CE" as well.

    Guess I need to wait until monday to test it..

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  • I thought I needed to register on the webpage to get link and key..

    I downloaded SmartPackager from cnet and during packing it aquired registration and I got a trail key.

    But is this supposed to be freeware?.. I instaled the CE edition, but got a message telling me i needed pro to create MSI, so now I am at 7 days trail.

    Webpage staes: "Smart Packager Community Edition (CE), formerly WinINSTALL LE, is the most popular free MSI packager in the world…"

    Maybe the setup lured me to select a wrong setting somewhere.. but the MSI seemded to work, althoug not automatic becasue it poped up with this 7 days trail warning ... :)

     

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  • You have been most helpfull SelfMan..

    This is the settings I get when installing, explaining that CE cannot repackage windows installations.. (attached file)

    So either i go with

    SmartPackager Pro ($1774 + $433 anuanly)

    OR

    EMCO MSI Package Builder ($499, no anually but upgrade seems to be $149)

     

    I liked Smart packager aproach better, as it monitored the installation instead of post and pre scans :)..

    Huge price difference.

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  • Oh damn, they fooled me too with the CE. I had it download but had no time to test it. Now I did and the result was the same.

    I've located the "old" WinINSTALL LE 10.1 http://scalable.marketing.downloads.s3.amazonaws.com/WinINSTALL_LE.exe

    Its from the same company, but back then this was free.

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