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What Files for GPO Install

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
I want to setup a GPO that will install some software on all my PCs.
I insert the CD with the software, and there is a Setup, but that's an EXE.  
This is a scanner app, so under one folder I find an MSI, and lots of MST files.  Is the MSI "all inclusive", that's all I need, or do I need those MST files and other supporting stuff (drivers, infs, etc).  If so, do I just plop all that in my install folder for the GPO?

Kind of new to this!
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Question by:dougp23
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usslindstrom earned 300 total points
ID: 39726561
You'd have to push the MSI, if you're going to use group policy to install software.

You could write a batch/script to install it, then assign the script to the machines - but it really depends on how you want your overall deployment strategy to go.

Just pushing software via Group Policy basically means MSI only.  The MSTs you're talking about are "transforms" and they're basically options that mold the MSI during installation.  For example, if you want to customize an Office installation, (in the old days) - you'd run "setup.exe /a".  This would then ask you a bunch of specific questions regarding your installation, like directories/etc.  Once it was done, it would dump out a transform file .MST that you would include in your installation batch file.  BUT you'd still need the MSI on top of it, since the MSI is the main program, where MSTs are just different options.  *If that makes sense.

This page could probably explain it way better than I ever could:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office-xp-resource-kit/customizing-the-office-installation-HA001136310.aspx

Personally, if using group policy to install software, I've always been a fan of the scripted approach.  The one caveat, is that you don't always get clean uninstalls if you do it that way.  Pushing the raw MSI allows the software to be removed automatically once it falls out of the GPOs management scope.

Many different options, but the real opinion here (my own), is that group policy software management is clunky at best.  Many other options that handle this better, but unfortunately cost a bit of money (Microsoft's SCCM, Symantec's Altiris, IBM's Tivoli, etc.)
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Expert Comment

by:Felix Leven
ID: 39726566
1. Only MSI is supported in GPO's (not EXE)
2. MST is an add-on file to configure/transform the deployment options of the MSI file
3. It depends on the MSI installer what files are necessary and what is installed to a computer

I don't think the Drivers are also installed, because Drivers are another Story to add to a Computer. Anyway this sounds like the deplyoment by GPO should tested before going productive (it it is possible at all, without 3rd Party or other solutions).
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