I have begun to deploy software via GPO to a small network. I actually rolled out Adobe Reader 8.x successfully using an MSI file which was available thru a local install.

Moving onto RealPlayer, WinRar, or Spybot, many applications don't have an MSI available, which means I have to package one myself, correct? If so, how is this done, and how do I know what parameters to set, especially if there is limited documentation off the manufacturer site, or even here on AppDeploy?

Thanks for your input as I'm very new to this topic.

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You are correct, you can (generally) only deploy MSI based installers through GPO's. You can deploy EXE based installers through GPO by using a ZAP file -- not really recommended, as you lose self-healing/repair functionality that MSI offers. Your best bet is to repackage the EXE into an MSI, if possible.

There are many software suites out there that offer this capability (two major ones are Wise and AdminStudio), but the basic idea is the same throughout. The process takes a look at the system prior to the installation (aka snapshot 1), then you install the software from the EXE, and the process takes another look at the system after the installation (aka snapshot 2) - then the difference between 'snapshot 1' and 'snapshot 2' is compared and the difference is generated into an MSI (files, registry, etc).

Feel free to read this post that outlines some of the basics; http://itninja.com/question/antivirus-packaging5
Answered 03/27/2007 by: JdotQ
Senior Purple Belt

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