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Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello, I have some user’s login to run some applications on Windows 2008 Remote Desktop Services.  Some users are logged in and I wish to install MS Office.  If I change server from execute to install will that prevent other users from logging in and run other installed applications?
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Question by:kfasick
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by:Glen Knight
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No it won't prevent them from logging in but they won't have full access to the application you are installing until they close their session and start a new one.
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oBdA earned 334 total points
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Wait until there are no more users logged on. Several Windows APIs behave quite differently depending on whether the server is running in installation or execution mode. This can have a serious impact on running applications.
This article is for NT4, but the basics haven't changed since then:
Terminal Server Commands: CHANGE
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/186504

And here's an example of what can happen if a TS is changed to installation mode while users are working on it (for W2k, but again, the basics haven't changed):
Terminal Services Server Switches to Install Mode for Users When Running RunOnce Entries
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266783
Microsoft's recommendation: "The administrator should make sure that a minimum number of users are logged on when the administrator installs programs. The administrator should also make sure to log off and log back on once after installing programs to make sure that RunOnce entries are run and applied."

Especially with a big installation like Office, you should make sure that all users have logged off, then reboot the machine, run "change logon /disable" to prevent users form logging on during installation, then change to installation mode and run the setup.
Finally change back to execution mode, and don't forget to allow remote logons again (change logon /enable) if you're installing in an RDP session ...
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by:kfasick
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The users don't know Office will be installing.  Currently they are only using escrow software.  Can they run the escrow software while I change the server to install mode and install Office?
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by:Glen Knight
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As I said in my first post, it will work.

It's not recommended but users will still be able to work.
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by:oBdA
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It doesn't matter whether the users do know whether there is an application installing. Again: Several Windows APIs behave quite differently depending on whether the server is running in installation or execution mode. This can have a serious impact on running applications.
And especially note the following part in the second article I linked above: "[...] it may switch the server to Install mode, even for "regular" (non-administrative) users. If other software makes registry changes during this time, the changes may be recorded and distributed to all other users on the server."
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by:kfasick
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I think I'll wait until the evening to install Office.
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