MSI Install to all users

Posted on 2007-09-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hey there all,

I am trying to deploy a software package (msi file created with WinInstall) to about 400 desktops. So far with our test, I can get the package to install and everything works fine for the user who logs in. Is there a way to install the package for all users who log on to the machine

I tiried installing to all users programs msiexec /i [path] INSTALLDIR=[path]  but that didn't work.
We are using a program called Patchlink to deploy the installs. Patchlink pushes out a .bat file that runs the msiexec command
Our users are not admins of the machine and cannot install software on their own......any help would be appreicated
Question by:TimMcGrath
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    The command line switches for msiexec can be found here

    In addition you must add the ALLUSERS=1 parameter to the command line.
    msiexec /i [path] INSTALLDIR=[path]  ALLUSERS=1

    You may also want to use the silent switches

    The issue you may be seeing is when the package is installed and who it is installed as (when the batch file runs). Eg If the package is being installed by a user without admin rights then it cannot do a full install.

    We use group policy to install these packages at machine startup time and it works fine.

    You could (and I do not reccomend this) use the runas command to change the user that the package is installed with, but this means embedding passwords that may be seen by people who should not.

    If you use active directory there are a number of other options you can do, such as setting elevated privileges on the installer. (Again, some security risk here)

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the quick response
    We do have AD. I usually use gp to install things. The Patchlink is a new deployment software we are using for patches and installations. It Lets us do installs during off hours when no on is on the network or schedules them in advance for off hours. Machines are left on, and if not it boots the machines.
    Maybe I miss read....will the AllUSERS=1 does it install for all users or does that check for admin priveleges and fail if they are not admins?
    We have tested it with the silent intalls and that works too. I will give the ALLUSERS=1 a shot tomorrow when I get in.
    I'm with you, don't like the runas or elevated privileges options.

    Thanks....I'll give it a shot and give an update on the status
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    ALLUSERS=1 tells msiexec to install for all users. It is up to the system (gp or patchlink) to ensure that is is run as admin. If it is not run as admin (or system) then it may fail, but it will almost certainly not install for all users.

    If Patchlink is running the install and the user does not need to be logged in then you need to check the Patchlink config to see which user it is using. You may have configured a specific 'service' user for this and if so this service user needs admin rights on the local systems.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    PS: I have found that I do not normally need to specify ALLUSERS. So it may be that the package you are pushing (or Patchlink) is not behaving properly (try a few different packages and compare the results)

    Author Comment


    Thanks for all the tips, got the install to run and it installs for all users. Thanks for the help.

    We use WinInstall to create packages. Changed a setting in the package to "install per machine" and in the properties of the package set AllUSERS=1


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