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Deploying software in Server 2003

By k.jacko ยท 4 replies
Aug 28, 2007
  1. Windows Server 2003 SP2

    I'd like to 'attempt' to deploy a small 3rd party remote desktop viewing program onto each pc on the domain.
    Needless to say it would be a ball ache to do it manually at each pc.

    Can i do it through some relative deployment features in server 2003?
    Obviously i've never tried it before, or even have much knowledge of the admin/resoures kits available in 2003.

    So, any help would be most appreciated.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    Software deployment is a builtin feature of Active Directory, so in theory this is very possible. It's the details that will kill you though :p

    Anyway, unless your program is so simplistic that you can copy a handful of files and edit some registry keys, you need the MSI file. Some vendors suppli MSI files themselves, but usually one has to cheat and extract them from the executable installer.

    A common trick is to run the installer, but not do anything else. Then look in the system temporary files folder for the relevant .msi file (it may be in some obscure subdirectory). Once you have the .msi, you put it on a network share and set it up to be deployes using the GPMC.

    Edit a policy or create a new one. You create a new package in Software settings->Software installation.

    Feel free to read all about the software deployment feature of AD at Microsoft.
  3. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 483

    Lol, thanks. That was my fear.

    I have read about how to create an msi installer using various 3rd party programs.

    Certainly need to read more and test it.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +520

    Creating MSI's is not difficult with the right tools. The right tools will cost you quite a bit - I make packages all the time and typically use WISE to do so.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    Most installers use MSI anyway, and it would be rather pointless to create a wrapper MSI around and EXE that is a wrapper for a MSI. You should make sure the existing installer doesn't already use the MSI framework.
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