Home > Uncategorized > Networking: Deploying apps using Group Policy… using MSI files and building effective transforms for free

Networking: Deploying apps using Group Policy… using MSI files and building effective transforms for free

You can easily create a GPO that assigns software to a bunch of computers. I’m looking into deploying Office 2k3 Pro on my network at work right now… in order to perform an upgrade you must specify to remove all applications while creating the transform.

In the future, I’d like to be able to be able to deploy/upgrade, on-demand, programs such as the Sun JRE, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Adobe Flash ActiveX.
The explanation of deployment of the JRE actually explains a method of creating your own transforms. You will need two tools (orca and msitran) that are included in an older version of the Windows Platform SDK(copy the files out of the cab then rename them with the proper extensions) or the Windows Installer SDK.

For future reference:

  1. Install Orca.msi.
  2. Copy MSITran.exe to your system32 (or any PATHed directory).
  3. Run Orca.
  4. Load target MSI (refer to below).
  5. Make modifications to MSI file (refer to below, and check out AppDeploy).
  6. Save to another MSI file, continue if you’d like to make a transform with the modifications, or use the modified MSI for deployment.
  7. Create the transform file (MST) using
    MsiTran.exe -g [input-originalMSIfile.msi] [input-modifiedMSIfile.msi] [output-transformfile.mst]

  8. You can then deploy the application with the transform applied via Group Policy, or by command-line
    [input-originalMSIfile.msi] TRANSFORMS=”[output-transformfile.mst]”

JRE:

Obtain MSI: Download and run the offline installer. After load, copy %appdata%\Sun\Java\jre[version]\jre[version].msi to working location.

Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Obtain MSI: Find, download and run the offline installer. After load, copy %temp%\Adobe Reader 8.0\* to a working location. AcroRead.msi is the MSI file.

You can download the Adobe Customization Wizard 8 to make modifications.

  • Property table:
    AgreeToLicense=Yes Disable license popup on first launch
    SUPPRESS_APP_LAUNCH=YES Disable launching immediately after install
    EULA_ACCEPT=YES Disables EULA dialog
    LAUNCH_APP=0

  • Feature table:
    Level set to 999 for the following features we didn’t want.
    AUM5*: 999
    Updater*: 0

  • Install Execute Sequence table:
    AumRegister*: Sequence set to 0
    AumUnregister*: Sequence set to 0

*To disable auto-updater

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