Group Policy Software Install/Uninstall issue - Server 2003/Win XP Client

Posted on 2007-07-31
Last Modified: 2008-11-03
I am currently experiencing a problem with Windows Server 2003 Group Policy Software Installation in a testing environment, using a Windows XP Client...

Basically I have assigned an application to a computer using GP fine, software installed etc. with no problems.  As I am testing I then decided to uninstall the software from the PC manually using Add/Remove programs - this also went without any issues.  The problem however has now arose, in that when I try to apply the policy to the same PC again, the PC evidently thinks it already has this MSI and is not reinstalling the package!

Is there anyway to get the package to reinstall on this PC?  I have tried redeploying the application by right clicking it (within GP Object Editor > Software Installation) but unfortunately this didn't get the software to reinstall either.  How does the client/server decide whether or not a PC has a given package??
Question by:chrishutchinson
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Stephen Manderson
    You could give gpupdate /force a try to force the changes in the group policy?

    and run rsop.msc on the client machine to see if its applying the GPO properly. Is the computer a member of the authenticated user group?
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    You should have removed the app with group policy since the manual removal probably didn't remove the registry settings associated with the installation.

    Maybe try doing a manual installation of the app.  Then you could try removing it with GPO (which should remove the registry settings) and finally re-adding it with GPO.

    I would imagine that the registry settings would be located in HKLM - Software - Policies.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks ocon827679, your response inspired me to have a further look in the registry and I found the keys associated with the installation...basically by searching for the vendor of the app!  After deleting the keys, running a gpupdate /force and rebooting the PC, the application successfully reinstalled.

    Incidentally, the two keys I deleted were subkeys located in the below keys on the client PC (alongside other seperate keys for additional applications installed via GP)
    - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\
    - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\AppMgmt\


    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    FYI... I had a similar problem where I wanted to remove software installed by GP.  First I moved the computer to the appropriate OU (where there was no Software install GPO) to make sure it wouldn't get reinstalled.  I manually removed the software using add/remove, but it kept popping back up!  I realize now there are many settings in GP that could have helped me here, but should anyone find themselves in a similar jam Chris' reg key comment above did the trick for that too.  

    Thanks all.

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