Hi, I'm new to automatic deployment and I'm confused :S

Right now we use GPO's to deploy some MSI packages like Office and Acrobat Reader and that works just fine, and it's also very easy to do.

But we have a bunch of Dell computers that I want to push install drivers to. Drivers from Dell almost never comes in MSI format but they can usually be silently installed using 'setup.exe -s' or something like that, which is fine but I don't know what way is the best to write the installation scripts? My concern is that when I publish a GPO with a login script that just runs 'setup.exe -s', the clients will install this software every time it boots to windows. What's the best way to make sure an application is only installed if it doesn't already exist?

And, is push installs like this easier in SMS 2003 than GPOs? Does SMS keep track of what packages has already been installed to the clients or is advanced installation scripts still needed?

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I figure you got two options, either your GPO pushed login scripts gotta use logic like so:
If <flagfile> exists then quit
Else wshrun setup.exe /blahblah
copy flagfile local

OR, extract the MSIs out of the setup.exe. If there're MSIs buried in those setup.exes you can get at them by launching the EXE. First cleanout your c:\doc&setting\userID\local settings\temp (local settings is a hidden dir) directory then launch the setup.exe, but before going through the setup look in c:\doc&setting\userID\local settings\temp, and you should find the MSI(s) there. You'll likely be able to use those MSIs with some transforms you make and push em' by GPO, thereby leveraging GPO's software management (only installing if not yet installed - removing when necessary - etc...)

Hope that helps...
Answered 09/26/2006 by: fosteky
Purple Belt

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I'd pack all the setup files into an MSI and run the setup locally with a custom action. Easier to deploy that way with the msi-friendly GPO.
Answered 10/06/2006 by: aogilmor
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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