I'm getting ready to format a 2003 server that holds all of the MSI packages that I deploy using Group Policies. I want to transfer these packages to a different server that's going to be taking over that role. Currently, I'm planning to do the following:
1) Copy all the packages into the Share I created on my new server.
2) Go to each GPO and mark software using "Immediatly uninstall the software from users and computers" option.
3) Add the packages back to the GPO using the new server share.
4) Go turn on all of the computers in my network (~120) so they remove the software from the old server, and install from the new one.
Now this is a simple of enough process to handle, but is there an easier way to just change the source of the packages so that all of my clients know to look at the new server instead of the old server? Even though I only have 120 machines, it's still a pain to have to go to each workstation myself. Normally, I would just have the users reboot it themselves, but it's summer time and I'm in a K-12 enviornment so no one is around or using their computer on a daily basis. I can't imagine a company with 10,000 client computers would go to every machine...
I know enough not to select to uninstall the software, then delete the package on the old server before I have the client computers reboot, otherwise they will get a failed removal process and it will just hang on startup (learned the hard way). So in step 2 of my process above, do I stick with what I have, or select the "Allow users to continue to use the software, but prevent new installations" option instead when removing? I forsee problems with this in the future if I dont remove it now...i.e Manual uninstall when I want to remove the package for upgrades/updates, etc.
There has to be an easier way. Have any of you experts had to do this and how did you implement it?