Software installed via KACE deployement is not detected by windows, yet it works when the executable is found and run. How does this happen?

I have used KACE to install a program called APTRA Interactive TellerNow! on a test machine, in preperation of a wider rollout when we update to a new version in late June.
Being new to KACE, this is the first software deployment I've tried.

I did not see any indication that it had installed, but when running an inventory found that it was listed in the installed software detected by KACE. It is also detected by our remote access tool Dameware. However, TellerNow is not in the start menu, is not on the desktop, and is not in the list of installed software that Windows shows. I can find the program in file explorer, and when running the .exe, the software works. What I can't understand is how other systems can detect software installed that windows doesn't detect. Also, if we will have to manually create shortcuts to the file this negates the whole benefit of using KACE to deploy software. 

Has anyone else run into something like this, and if so, could you indicate what I might be doing wrong.

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Answers (1)

Answer Summary:
Posted by: JordanNolan 3 weeks ago
10th Degree Black Belt

Top Answer

KACE has a couple of methods of detecting software which is why you see a much larger list than when you go to Control Panel/Programs. Sometimes the developer hide the program by setting it as a System Component which hides it from Add/Remove program list.  You can check this by going to:

  • Native 32 or 64 bit app - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{Program name or GUID}
  • 32 bit App on 64 bit OS - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

and look for a key SystemComponent with value of 1. For example, you can see how the KACE agent does not appear in Add/Remove program list because it has this setting.  If you have a 32 bit system, go to the top registry key or the bottom key if you have a 64 bit system and do a search for "KACE Agent" and you will see SystemComponent is set to 1.

Kace also does other scans for files to see if some packages are installed.  For example I have seen it pick up that I have PSTools package on my system and that was just a portable extraction from a ZIP file.  

In your case the reason your package may not be showing shortcuts is it may be configured or running as a "Per User" installation. This is where you have to understand the "perspective" how the software installation is being deployed.  If you run a per user installation you will see shortcuts and icons only on YOUR desktop an start menu and even in YOUR logon's Add/Remove programs.  In this case, the installer was most likely run via the KACE agent, which runs as SYSTEM.  So SYSTEM account has the icons, etc.  This is NOT to be confused with "All Users"

Most installers are "All User" installers, but due to greater security restrictions since Windows 7, many installers are becoming "Per User".  For example, Teams, OneDrive, Chrome, and many other apps have per user installers so you can use the app in your profile, but a System Admin will need to get the Enterprise or Managed versions of the apps so they deploy as "All User" apps.

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