Windows 7 GPO Startup Script Troubleshooting


I'm having some difficulty with a startup script that I have deployed through group policy. The target machine is running Windows 7 Professional (x86). The purpose of the startup script is to install TightVNC, which unfortunately does not have an MSI installer. RSoP as well as the Windows event log confirm that the GPO is being applied to this machine, so I don't think that's the problem. I can also confirm that the script does what is supposed to do if I run it manually under the local system account (I tested with psexec and by creating a scheduled task that ran under the system account). However, despite numerous reboots, and the evidence from the event log indicating that the script has run, the script is not working. I even added a simple echo to logfile command at the start of the script to see if it was working, but I do not see the file after reboot. I'm totally perplexed--please help :(

Script contents below:

echo test > c:\test.log
@echo off
REM quit if TightVNC is already installed
if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)\TightVNC" goto :eof ELSE
if exist "C:\Program Files\TightVNC" goto :eof ELSE
pushd "\\mydomain.loc\dfs\distpoint$\tightvnc"
echo Installing TightVNC...
"tightvnc-2.0.4-setup.exe" /S
echo Adding registry keys...
regedit /S "tightvnc-server-config.reg"
echo Restarting TightVNC service...
net stop "TightVNC Server"
net start "TightVNC Server"
echo Removing StartMenu items...
rmdir /s /q "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\TightVNC\"
echo Installation complete.
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Have you considered trying it under a GP login script (User Configuration.Policies.Windows Settings.Scripts(Logon/Logoff). Perhaps moving it to VB script there also may work.
kcadmin01Author Commented:
I could run it as a login script, but I would prefer to run it as a startup script for two reasons:

1. The installer needs to run with elevated privileges
2. I'd like to limit how often the script is run since it's an installer. Since the startup event doesn't happen very often, it seems like the ideal time to be doing something like this.

I'm not sure how the VB script would help unless you can convince me otherwise. What difference does it make if I use a batch file versus a VB script?
Hi, so you're saying that even the echo statement didn't work?  Are your machines actually waiting for the network connection before trying to find and run the script?  There's a group policy called "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" that you can try enabling.

Failing that, perhaps copy the script to C:\, and set the local group policy StartUp script to run that, and reboot, and see if your log file shows up.

Hope that helps,


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Are you using tightVNC to access the system i.e. RDP is available.

Not sure why you are not using the software installation option.

Make sure to use the /q /S as options and the GPO software install will handle.

While the startup script will set the password/configuration for tightVNC.
kcadmin01Author Commented:
Thank you for the responses.

Rob: Yes, not even the echo statement worked. I don't know if they are waiting for network connection, but strangely the event log does say that the script ran. I will try enabling the GPO you suggested to see if it helps.

Arnold: Yes, we are using TightVNC to allow our help desk to interactively assist users. I know that we could use Remote Assistance, but I would prefer a solution that doesn't require user input. I like TightVNC so that's why I'm trying to get it to work. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an MSI so I can't make it work with a GPO install.
ThinkPaperIT ConsultantCommented:
you say you were able to run it through PsExec....

Any reason why you're not using *that* to push out the installation instead of startup script?
We use UltraVNC with all the settings embedded with modified a MSI that is easily available. We push it via Altiris but it could be done in GP. It even has the authentication via domain settings. Not sure if UltraVNC will be better in that respect due to MSI creation. We also had to do some mods to UltraVNC (adding a CTRL-ALT-DEL package) since Windows 7 has the elevated login issue.

On a side note, we also use mRemote and put in the desktops there and tell mRemote to use UltraVNC for connectivity.
kcadmin01Author Commented:
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. I was considering UltraVNC as a fallback if I couldn't figure this out. The solution was to enable "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" as RobSampson suggested. I don't know why this would have affected the echo statement at the start of the script, but I'm just glad it works :-)
Try tightvnc with /q /S installs it without user prompts.

The only issue as your start script probably deals with is that the password is not set.

Good to hear. Thanks for the grade.

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Windows Server 2008

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