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Group Policy software deployment question

Posted on 2004-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I'm rolling out some sofware packages that our developers created...and just had a few questions about it.  If I install an application using group policy on all machines, what's the best way of uninstalling the app from a single machine or user, and what's the best way of reinstalling to a single machine or user?   I know once you install an app with group policy you shouldn't  really remove or reinstall it with add/remove programs.

Thanks,
Mike
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Question by:Ap0th
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:ministry92
ID: 10668714
The best way is to use an application packager that creates an uninstall executable and/or key

and then uninstall it...

key loacation:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

the uninstall key is your friend..

If no executable is found (to uninstall) or no key is generated...  find out how the application is packaged for distrabution?

is it a loose collection of files that are copied over?  or does something else create a setup.exe type of setup.  If its a packger, its pretty simple for the dev's to check the box that creates an uninstall option
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Author Comment

by:Ap0th
ID: 10668820
The developers are using VB.NET to create an MSI package.  This particular package is an excel addin, so it does more then just copy files (.dll registration and some other stuff).  Is creating an uninstall executable the only way of doing that?  Is there a way to uninstall without it...either from group policy or from the local machine?  Is there a way to force a reinstall the app for one particular user (this is a per user deployment) even without uninstalling?  I know I can for a reinstall for all users, but I don't know how to do it for just one.
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ministry92 earned 50 total points
ID: 10669158
if there is not a key created (as listed above)  or an exe then an uninstall is more difficult.. but...

since you are using msi files.. that is GREAT!!!

there are a whole host of switches you can run from GPO or manual from the users box (or a link they click on in email)  

I prefer to use silent msi switches that install a proggie everytime the user logs on.  It takes a bit longer but we only have a few hunderd users and the apps are real small.  in GPO (User configuratio -> scripts -> logon) and create a batch file that runs the msi (you may need to map a drive first)

for the msi switches: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;227091
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Author Comment

by:Ap0th
ID: 10670857
So if I do msiexec /x packagename it'll remove the package...will it reinstall the package when I reboot the PC...assuming the gpo is still being applied ofcourse.
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Expert Comment

by:ministry92
ID: 10670937
give it a try..
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