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Creating MSI of Microsoft Secruity Essentials for deploying via group policy.

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have a SBS 2008 and we want to deploy MSE to the client PCs, about 10 in total.

The Group policy should be no problem, create the group, set policy to install MSE and add computers.

The creating MSI has been a problem, I cannot find a msi file for download and creating one has not been successful either. I have tried a couple, first "exe to msi" it creates a msi file but that file never successfully installs. Second was "Advanced Installer 8.0.2" converting exe didnt make a msi that didnt work, then I tried the "advanced repackager" method on a Virtual PC xp mode, it ended up killing the virtual machine.

I thought surely deploying software from a server is pretty routine procedure and maybe someone could give me some protips of the best procedure for going about it.

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Question by:Planitweb
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 34976334
The problem is that Microsoft Security Essentials is a home-based product and, even according to their EULA, is not for business use at all.

This means that from a technical standpoint MS never intended it to be centrally deployed thus never made it MSI friendly, and from a legal standpoint, it would be illegal to try and do so...thus also against EE's terms of use to circumvent MSE's EULA.

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:Planitweb
ID: 34976434
Yes I understand what your saying, but Microsoft have recently made the license for MSE a bit more lenient for small businesses.

"Small Business. If you operate a small business, then you may install and use the software on up to ten (10) devices in your business."

Even not for this specific case, from my own experience I dont tend to see msi files available its more often just exe for installation. So i would really like to know the best practice for deploying software by group policy? I am interested in how experienced people go about this.
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Expert Comment

by:sabby447
ID: 34977160
Why not use .exe from a file share in a group policy or logon script ?

you can use psexec to run it manually in your environment for all computers in minutes however downside is to have all machines running at that time
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 34983727
Many .exe installs are just .msi's with an .exe wrapper that automatically sends some flags to the MSI. There are very few exceptions (but MSE is one of them) where you can't extract the msi and use GP to deploy it.

Notes on many apps can be found at www.appdeploy.com on how to find and use the .msi for any particular package you are looking for.

With that said, GPSI really does fall over when deploying non-MSI files and if you *can't* get an MSI, I don't recommend ever using GPSI. GPSI also doesn't scale well (no BITS, can hit network bandwidth hard), so if touching machines directly is too difficult (too many machines) then it also means you are large enough to invest in a better software deployment package than GPSI does natively.

There is a reason MS has System Center Configuration Manager. GPSI doesn't compete with it simply because GPSI doesn't have the robust feature set. Similary, for mid-sized networks, you have System Center Essentials. Both will deploy .exe's painlessly where GPSI falls over.

Finally for the very small window where you need more than GPSI, but even SCE is too big, I like a product called SpecOps Deploy from www.specopssoft.com ....scales well, good reporting for licensing and compliance management, and better/easier network resources usage than GPSI offers.

GPSI really is a starter technoogy and great for the smallest of small networks, but it has its limitations that, once you hit them, (and non .msi files is definitely one of them) then it is time to look at an add-on product to do the job.

HTH,

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:Planitweb
ID: 34994488
Thanks Cliff, you have pointed me in the right direction.
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 35390702
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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