I have a question for the lot of you.. ;)
I usually deploy programs silent, so no user intervention is required. However, in some cases this isn't possible. Like for instance when installing updates to certain packages. Programs that are going to be updated can not be run at the same time. So for updating, there's actually no real way to deploy the updates without bugging the user with a GUI or makeing the program run at next logon.
We're currently using SMS 2003 to deploy MSI's. I was just wondering, what way do you use to deploy updates? It's always a problem over here, unfortunately. Usually cause our users can't tell the difference between an internet explorer popup and a windows installer screen. [:(] TIA
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Depends on the app i guess.
Say office using and admin install, you can slip stream the update on your server then process a silent recache for the client machine.
If i cant get away with /qn then i set the installation to only run when NO user is logged on.

I pretty much now only install apps when no one is logged in, none of my apps require human intervention. I have the core set of applications that make up the SOE come down in the restore phase of OSD (sms 2003). The SOE has 80 percent of apps down and installed before the first person logs in. Extended come down in the next hour and are ready to go when the client logs off for the day.

I find installing while no one is logged in preferable as it reduces a tiny bit of complexity.
I guess it depends on SLA's in your orgs regading deployment times, availability, network congestion etc....
Answered 04/20/2006 by: rahvintzu
Orange Senior Belt

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Thanks rahvintzu..!
I usually use the "When no user is logged on" option as well. However, i am finding that it is becoming increasingly more difficult for "us" to continue using that option, for i.e. larger updates or upgrades, for example a SAP upgrade. Some upgrades can take 10 to 15 minutes. Usually not a problem, but within 15 minutes most users have logged on to their wortstation and started up i.e. SAP. The endresult: a failed upgrade.

It would be best if there was a way to make sure users can't start the application whilst updating. Sure, there are ways to achieve this with a package, but a more consistent way would be nicer. For example, I know wsus has an option to integrate in SMS, showing users balloontips that software is ready to be installed and is going to be installed at next reboot. Maybe even a tool which patches the application when it's started..? Same thing with new Windows updates, installed from the microsoft site. Installation takes place after the user logs off. Was wondering if there are plugins for SMS wich can achieve the same..
Answered 04/24/2006 by: neo2000
Purple Belt

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We have the same problem. What we generally do is try to deploy at a time they are not logged on, if possible, or wrap the msi in a wise executable that can detect if the exe is in use and if so prompt the user to exit the application. All the while using a "when loop' a few times to make sure it's not in use. Once it's exited or a maximum wait time, or loops, has been reached we perform a pskill from systernals on the application and move on with the install. This gives the users a chance to exit the app if they are logged in and using it.

Like you said nothing is pretty especially since most apps don't allow you to slipstream.
Answered 04/24/2006 by: yarborg
Blue Belt

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If its any help SMS v4 will have the ability to schedule installs to occur within a time window. Couple this native wake on lan support. And most orgs will power up machines late at night and apply update/rollout. Then turn the machines off again.
I know it doesnt help you for now :-(

I guess if you feeling very creative you could write a sms script to process the advertisement, at a certain time... or use task scheduler.

In my organisation its not so much as a problem, as we get our clients to leave their machines turned on but logged off at the end of the day.
I then make my upgrade manadatory that night, so 90 percent get hit when no one is around to interfer.
A friend of mine does the same, but uses the wake on lan plugin to power up his machines each night so they can get his rollout.
Anyway cant wait till v4 hits RTM H1 2007 :-)
Answered 04/24/2006 by: rahvintzu
Orange Senior Belt

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How do those of you using the "When no user is logged on" option in SMS deal with deploying to laptop's that are rarely plugged into the network in a loggged off state?
Answered 05/02/2006 by: tkelly
Yellow Belt

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ORIGINAL: tkelly

How do those of you using the "When no user is logged on" option in SMS deal with deploying to laptop's that are rarely plugged into the network in a loggged off state?

Same problem.. Use the same technique for smaller packages, and hope for the best.. [8D] With larger packages: sometime install software manually, having made an appointment with the customer.. (i know, it is *NOT* the way to work, but sometimes you can't find a fast solution to a problem)

My experience is that laptops that haven't logged on to the network for a while (of logon rarely) usually already have a problem. SMS client becomes corrupted, or even uninstalles itself in some cases, when it hasn't reached it's distribution point for a long time. So there is no safe way of getiing those machines up to date all the time. [8|]

We have a lot of laptop users, so the wake on lan fucntion could work great for the desktops, but for the laptops it's not a great option. Laptops are usually taken home at night. Telling the users to log off at night or at the end of the day also poses the same problem, laptop users take their laptop home.. And most of our users do not know the difference between a reboot and a log off.. unfortunately. [&:]

ORIGINAL: tkelly
..or wrap the msi in a wise executable that can detect if the exe is in use and if so prompt the user to exit the application.

That sound kinda interesting.. ;) How do you create a wise executable that can check if the file is in use..? Are you using VB script to check that..?

Have deployed packages in the past which perform a GUI informing people to close the application (have to click: i closed down application X and want to continue the update process befor the "Next" button becomes clickable) , performing a taskkill afterwards to insure the package doesn't fail if they didn't close the application.. And have tried putting rights on executables (cacls), but when you encounter a user with local administrator rights, you're screwed anyways.. ;)
So showing the UI could be the answer, in some cases i guess..
Answered 05/29/2006 by: neo2000
Purple Belt

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