Software Deployment Question

Autodesk Deployment to Multiple Machines

03/02/2016 1688 views


I tried posting this out on the Autodesk forum, but never got any replies. I'm hoping someone here can help me - I wouldn't mind trying to deploy this with the K1000 unit we have.

I'm deploying Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium and Navisworks Manage to 30+ people with a mixture of laptops and desktops and need help.


The desktops are brand new Dell Precision T3610 models (CAD certified) and the laptops are Precision M6800. They all have excellent specs.


  • The desktops have a high option xeon, 2 SSD drives, Windows 7, and 32Gb Ram. The second SSD is for the swap file and temp cad files.
  • The laptops are all top of the line i7s, SSD drives, Windows 7, and 16Gb+ Ram.  
  • Our servers are all brand new and were just put in this past January - They are very high specced as well.

            - The only thing we haven't tried yet is configuring NIC teaming on the server so we can take advantage of all 4 of the network ports.


Here's some of our site info:

We have 2-3 sites that the deployment runs to. There are several computers at our local office (same office as the server) and those installs go fairly quick, but the other 2 remote sites take forever to finish (obviously a lot of the wait is because the install is traveling from site to site). The process usually takes about 2 full days, sometimes 3 depending on if we run into any trouble. This last time we tried to copy the deployment over to a machine at the remote site and run it from there, but that ended up not working for some reason. So the installs were delayed and took longer because I had to run the install from site to site. I think that it was because of some of the deployment files not copying over correctly, but I was scambling at that point to get it installed so I never got to figure out the reason for it failing.


- Local site install time estimate: 8hrs+

- Remote site installs 1 day+


For the local site I checked on the network speed and the machines are connecting at 1Gb to the switches, and the CAT6 network cable in the wall checks out fine - So I don't undestand what the long wait time is. 


That includes the install, any additional autdesk updates, and checking the install after it is done.


Here's what I'm doing with the deployment:

- I download the latest autodesk software and put it all on our shared network folder on our inhouse CAD server

- I use one of our spare CAD machines and create a deployment that has all of our product keys, serial numbers, any updates, service packs, etc. in it

- I install the deployment on 2 machines to make sure that everything works properly before deploying it out to everyone


As a note the deployment size this last time was about 90Gb in size.


Here's what I've been doing for the past 2 years:

- Start by using the uninstall tool to get rid of all the old software (We started this mid day on everyone's machines)

- After this we rebooted and made sure all the old software was uninstalled and that we were ready to install the new Autodesk products

- We ran the deployment to all computers from our CAD server off it's Autodesk Deployment shared folder.

    - by this time it was late so I would go home and check the installs around 8pm to make sure it was still running, and then I would check them again one last time at midnight, and hope they would finish by morning. The next morning about 6am I would get up and see if everything finished and then install any other 3rd party software to attach to Autocad. Usually that finishes within a few hours and everything is ready to go by about lunch time. (This is for the remote sites) Our local site usually finished everything at about 10pm - that was with a start time of about right after lunch.


I tried to include all the info I could think of so if I missed anything let me know.


Here were some of my thoughts:

- What if we copied all of the installs to each machine hard drive ( Under the root of C:\ ) and ran them from there? Instead of creating a deployment

- What if we did first thought, but did each computer a few at a time over a week? would the 2015 autocad users still be able to work and edit autocad files if the 2016 users edited the same files?

- Could we use our kacebox (Dell K1000) to deploy the install? If so can we trigger the kacebox to do the uninstall and the install? Would it use the deployment? if so how?

- If we can't use the kacebox is there any other deployment software (that's free) do the autocad uninstall and deployment and be able to schedule only a few machines at a time at night while no one is at work?


I had someone tell me a while back at their old company they would leave their computers on that night (leave at regular time 5pm), come back in the morning (8am), reboot their machine, and it would go through a configuration stage of about 20 minutes (similar to the windows update configuration screen after updates). After that they logged in and all their new icons were on the desktop and all the old icons were gone. Since then the employee has left and never gave me any contact info for him or his previous company I never got a chance to see what they were doing.


Any advice or recommendations would be creatly appreciated. I'm at a loss of what to do at this point - I tried to contact Autodesk support about this, but basically all I get is "Use the deployment and follow our instructions online" which helps me none because that's what I'm doing now and it's not working fast enough.

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Community Chosen Answer

/c \\dr-acad\programs\installs\autodeskinventor2016x64\Img\Setup.exe /qb /I \\dr-acad\programs\installs\autodeskinventor2016x64\Img\Inventor2016.ini /language en-us

Answered 03/23/2016 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Ahh right, I see how you are managing this now.

    I guess as you are starting with the base state of a user already logged in rather than how we were attempting this by providing credentials with the relevant permission but the machine at the login/ home screen.

    Perhaps this is the adjustment we need to make instead of trying to work around it.

    Thanks for the quick reply.
  • I have an autologin kscript to take care of that part prior to running this.
    • Without being to cheeky any chance of sharing this?

All Answers

this is for a 64 bit os for a 32 bit os drop the 64 after hklm

We have a policy that pops up the 2 deletes is to remove that so it goes directly to desktop.

I had to use a bat to put the legal notice back because the length of it overran the kace's script buffer.

Answered 03/23/2016 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Wonderful! Thank you very much!
I install our autocad as a Kscript (running as an admin) vs a managed install.  I store the files on a network share and call it from there.  If you use an MI it runs as system and connecting to shares is more difficult as system.  Also scripts tend to run when you tell them.  MI's are influenced by the client inventory updates to check the software installed and if you are not forcing inventory updates during the phases the kbox can be behind on what software is installed and what is removed.  This will hold up MI's from running since they are triggered by the software item they are tied to.

You can create a batch file for your MI and have it do a net use to map to the share and then call the install on the next line and then finally do a net use /delete to end the mapping.

Answered 03/03/2016 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Does it take a long time for your installs to run? I'm loading autocad, navisworks manage, building design suite, etc. so there's a lot to the install. Would I be better to run 1 at a time via the kscript? If so do I actually need to still go through and click through the install on each computer or will I be able to streamline the process and let it do everything for me so I do not have to touch it?

    Can you paste in the kscript you're using so I can copy it to my environment and test if you don't mind?

    That's my ultimate goal to just let it uninstall the old version, install the new version, and then reboot and I don't have to touch a thing (except for testing after it's done).

    Thank you for your help
  • My team has been having similar issue trying to deploy this. We have a BAT file that runs the Autodesk IMG from a shared network location and maps and removes the network drives when needed through the net use command. We have tested the use of this command manually ( 1. by launching it as a local/domain/admin user by hand and 2. also launching as system user via a system CMD prompt pulled up using PS Tools)

    However the second we try and get this BAT file to run as a script in KACE console it will fail around halfway through the installation process leaving no log information.

    For the record our script is along the following lines:
    net use * /delete /yes
    net use q: share-location password user details
    REM Changing to drive where the installation exists.
    REM Running the setup in quiet mode with a basic UI (qb), /I to install BDSP must specify the ini file (Img\2016 v1.ini), /lang... to
    REM specify the language
    q:\Img\Setup.exe /W /Q /I z:\Img\2016v2.ini /language en-us

    REM Remove Drives
    net use * /delete /yes

    Script Type is an Online K Script being Run as local user.
    The Allow run without a logged in user box is checked.

    Any advice or perhaps a sudo code of your working script would be appreciated.
    • see new answer
    • So how are you guys inputting all the info like the product key, serial, selecting options, etc? Do you create the deployment and then run the setup file in the deployment folder with the kacebox?
      • I have the autodesk files I downloaded from the web on my tech station, connect to the share I want to run the install from by doing a \\server\share in the run box so I can see the share Run the setup.exe and choose create deployment. enter all your information and add any files and include the updates. there are many customization you can do. It will put the admin install files on the share and place a batch file in the root of the install. do properties on that batch file and use whats in the target for the install call of your script. from experience do not copy it from the original location it was created in, it does not play well when moved or copied. If you want it in more then one location I recommend running the admin install multiple times and change admin install target path each time.
      • Cool - Thanks for the info. I found out that the deployment doesn't like being moved after I copied it to about 12 machines at a remote location and tried to run it. Waited about 25 minutes before I figured out it would never pass that initializing stage without recompiling it first....
      • it puts a lot of pointers in the ini's and they are a pain to find all of them.
      • I gotcha. Is there a way to trigger an uninstall of all autodesk software and then restart after it is complete via the kacebox? That would save me a lot of headache and time instead of having to go to each machine and manually do it.
      • I can echo SMal. We use a network licence server and point all the machine to it in the initial deployment. Moving the location of the licence server is a damn pain so try and keep it simple.
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      • if you created this as an admin deployment look in a directory named SMS_SCCM scripts and there is an uninstall txt file there.

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