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Posted on 2011-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Is there a way that i can uninstall an application and windows features remotley? Also the big thing is i don't want any user to know that it is being done.
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Question by:evilclownshoes
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by:Timothy McCartney
ID: 36994950
What type of environment are you running? Active Directory? Work Group?
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by:Timothy McCartney
ID: 36994963
If you're running on a domain, you can gain access to their workstation rather easily. However in a work group environment, you'll need remote access software (such as ultraVNC) running in order to gain access and control is remotely.
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by:evilclownshoes
ID: 36994964
Windows 2003
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by:evilclownshoes
ID: 36995023
Thanks.... But what i am aking is how do i do the uninstall?
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by:Timothy McCartney
ID: 36995040
There's no simple "remotely uninstall this program" feature... That's why I ask about your network environment. You have to be able to access their machine remotely through some form of protocol, whether it be through remote desktop, VNC client, logmein, etc... If you're not running a Domain, it's much more difficult to gain access without them knowing about it.
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by:mds-cos
ID: 36995042
"The big thing is I don't want any user to know it is being done" -- do you mean by this that you want to not interrupt the user....or do you mean that you are trying to hide what you are doing from your users?  If the latter, I suggest you stop.  Anything IT does should be in line with company policies and procedures.  These policies and procedures should be open to all employees.  That way when the user comes up and says "where did x go to" the IT staff can respond appropriately without getting into an argument with the user.

Now, as to your specific question there are a lot of ways.  It depends on the specific application though.  A few methods I've found to work are:

1 -- Set up a group policy to control settings on the system.
2 -- Run a logon script to uninstall the app from comand line if silent mode uninstallation is supported.
3 -- Run a logon script to delete app from hard drive and clean registry settings.
4 -- Set up a software install policy that will "upgrade" the targeted app to something else you do want in it's place.
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Author Comment

by:evilclownshoes
ID: 36995100
MDS-Cos thank you for your impression of the IT code of ethics. We  want to do the install during the day while they are working. I am not sure about where you have worked sir but know matter what app you uninstall if it a game to word they need it back the sec you uninstall it. so we are doing things diffidently here. But the next time we work together i will remember that.
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by:ldavis07
ID: 36995540
you can use this:
Runas /user:DomainAdminAccount@DOMAIN cmd
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by:CharlWiehahn
ID: 36996494
This really depends on the application you wish to uninstall, if it supports a silent uninstall and if it was installed from an MSI, you have the source available.

For example,

If you have the source MSI file, I would trying the following.

1. Copy the file to the users c drive via the UNC path.
2. Download the PsTools suite from the Microsoft website and install it.
3. Run the following command from your pc. psexec \\remotepcname c:\windows\system32\msiexec.exe /x c:\filename.msi /q
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by:CharlWiehahn
ID: 36996530
And for a larger enviroment I would look into something like Microsoft SCCM to manage your application packages, licenses, installs and uninstalls for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Center_Configuration_Manager
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mds-cos earned 2000 total points
ID: 36996591
Code of ethics?  Nope, nothing about that.  Let's just call it better ways to avoid unnecessary arguments with users.  I'd a whole lot rather have my team be able to say "Sorry, company policy -- if you want Tetris back you have to get it approved by VP so-and-so" than start arguing the technical merits of removing Tetris from company computers.

Same goes for blocking web sites.  So much easier to say "Sure, we can unblock that site -- you just need to have your department head send us permission".  Conversation ended and I can get back to work!

But hey, I've only been running IT departments or providing consulting services on how to do so for 17 years now.  Before that I was just a geek who did things differently ;-)



As to the technical side of this question, several people including myself have given you the answer you need to proceed.  It is really a very simple thing to accomplish with AD policies, scripting, or system management tools.  You just have to take each application or XP setting individually to determine it's uninstall requirements, then create the proper group policy or script to uninstall.
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Author Closing Comment

by:evilclownshoes
ID: 37025014
thanks
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