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Want to push .exe install using Group Policy Editor

Posted on 2004-08-10
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Hello.  I have a .exe file that basically installs some custom fonts.  I would like to be able to use Group Policy Editor to push this install out to end users on our network.  I know Microsoft would rather me do this via a .MSI file, but we do not want to spend the money for packaging software such as InstallShield.  What is the easiest way to do what I want to do via a .exe file?  Would a .bat login file work?  If so, how do I go about setting it up?  Also, most domain users are in the local power users group on their WinXP Pro machines.  Will local admin access be needed to install the pushed software?  Thanks.
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Question by:mb2010
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9 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:John Gates, CISSP
ID: 11768445
winstle is the windows installer packager and is free it is on the install CD in support tools.  You can do an exe the best way would be to apply a vbs script to the GPO and shell the exe to run from there.  For group policy software installation the MSI package is the only suggested method for best results.


Hope this helps!
D
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Expert Comment

by:SamuraiCrow
ID: 11768549
Here is the Microsoft link that describes the utility that Dimante mentioned.  I would suggest that this only be used for simple executables.  The packaging is somewhat limited when compared to other enterprise apps.  On the other hand it is free (or at least it comes with windows 2000).

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/howto/winstall.mspx

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Expert Comment

by:John Gates, CISSP
ID: 11768716
Winstle is limited but can perform adequite functions.  I like Wise installer but it costs $1100 too :-(


D
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

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jhautani earned 1200 total points
ID: 11770143
You could put the batch file to computer's startup script. Script is then run under local system account, so you don't have to worry about your users' privileges.
Startup scripts are configured in GPO: Computer Configuration->Windows Settings->Scripts (Startup/Shutdown)
Apply the policy to computers to which you want to install you software.

hope this helps
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Author Comment

by:mb2010
ID: 11776292
Boy! That Winstle program is a MAJOR PAIN!!  If only there were a simple .EXE to .MSI conversion program I would be set.
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Author Comment

by:mb2010
ID: 11786747
Thanks jhautani.

After a little more research, here is what my script looks like.  It works and it runs very well.

@ECHO off


IF EXIST %systemdrive%\"Fonts Logos_Templates" GOTO END
IF NOT EXIST %systemdrive%\"Fonts Logos_Templates" GOTO NEXT

:NEXT

net use B: /d
net use B: \\servername\share
CD\
CD B:
B:\application.exe

net use B: /d GOTO END

:END

EXIT
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Americom
ID: 23266612
I suggest you look at the link i originaly provided. It whould be simple enough. You will have better control of what PC you want to run the program. Since you have active directory, that's what GPO is for and you will have to live with it, why not try it out. For this one, you can put the exe in a batch file. Then create a GPO>Computer Serttings>Windows settings>Script>Startup script for your batch file. Once this GPO is linked to the OU where your computers placed, it will install upon the reboot of the computer.
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Expert Comment

by:Americom
ID: 23266621
opps, wrong thread...
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Expert Comment

by:uday kiran reddy
ID: 40427933
MSI is the best option rather than group policy.

There is a free version for creating msi.Try Wix.
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