Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silent installs and MDT 2010

The initial rollout of MDT was well received by the rest of my IT department but as with all things the new toy eventually led to new requests for changes. At the top of the list was to make the application installs silent or hands-free. It didn't take long to discover that there was no silver bullet to fix that problem. There are multiple installer programs, differences between .msi implementations, secret flags, and in some cases a matter of hunting down hidden alternate downloads of application installers. In this post I'm going to describe how I streamlined my testing and at the bottom I'll list all the install flags that I'm using currently.

The first you'll need a good testing platform. I recommend either a Hyper-V or VMWare VM so you can just do snapshots and then restore the state back after each test.

Next you'll want to create a Custom Task in MDT 2010 that will just run 1 application. You'll be able to manually run this task from your virtual machine while inside windows. Otherwise you'd have wait for the whole OS install, etc each time you want to test a new command line syntax. To get to the Task you just go to your deployment share, Scripts folder and run litetouch.vbs.
"\\yourservername\deployment$\Scripts\LiteTouch.vbs"


Third, go to www.appdeploy.com and search their knowledgebage for your application. Their package knowledgebase has a good user contribution database made from the blood, sweat, and tears of your colleagues in the field. Take for instance Adobe Reader X. The package KB article is linked here: http://www.appdeploy.com/packages/detail.asp?id=1976
Once there, click the Command Line section and you'll see what options you have for non-interactive or silent installs. There are multiple entries for most of them as the method sometimes changes with newer versions of the software or some users just like different options to be selected instead. If you make good use of virtual machine snapshots you'll save yourself tons of time testing these out.

WHENEVER possible, use the noreboot or suppress reboot. MDT hates it when apps reboot by themselves. Just set the reboot flag under the application properties in MDT instead.



For some applications you'll have to download special versions of the installer and for others you may have to do an msi extraction first. Below you'll find my list of applications that I use and what flags work for me.

7-zip 64 bit
msiexec /i 7z465-x64.msi /quiet

windirstat
windirstat1_1_2_setup.exe /S

CutePDF (made a batch file)
ECHO Installing converter
converter.exe /auto
ECHO Installing cutepdf
cutewriter.exe /silent

Malware Bytes
mbam-setup.exe /SP- /SILENT /NOCANCEL

Symantec Endpoint protection 11.0.6
Just create a self-installing image using the Centralized admin console

Microsoft Windows Live Messenger
WLSetup-web.exe /q /NOToolbarCEIP /NOhomepage /Nolaunch /nosearch /AppSelect:Photo,Mail,Messenger

Microsoft .net 4.0 framework
dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe /passive /norestart

Microsoft Office 2007/2010

Adobe Acrobat X Reader
AdbeRdr1000_en_US.exe /sAll /msi /norestart ALLUSERS=1 EULA_ACCEPT=YES

VMWare Player 3.0
msiexec /i "vmware player.msi" REBOOT=ReallySuppress DESKTOP_SHORTCUT=0 QUICKLAUNCH_SHORTCUT=0 /qn

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (recommend doing an application bundle with SP1)
setup\setup.exe /q /norestart

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (recommend doing an application bundle with SP1)
setup /q /norestart

Roxio Creator 10.3
setup.exe /qn Reboot=ReallySuppress

SQL Server 2008 R2
Let the GUI build out an unattended file for you.
Then use this syntax:
setup /CONFIGURATIONFILE=CompanyInstallSettingsR2.ini /INDICATEPROGRESS /SAPWD="password"

Microsoft TMG 2010 Firewall Client
msiexec /i ms_fwc.msi SERVER_NAME_OR_IP=yourTMGServer ENABLE_AUTO_DETECT=1 REFRESH_WEB_PROXY=1 /qn /L*v c:\fwc_inst.log

SnagIT 9.x
Build out a batch file
snagit.exe USERNAME="INSERT USER NAME HERE" TSC_SOFTWARE_KEY="INSERT KEY HERE" TSC_LICENSEMODE="Full" /quiet

That's all folks! Good luck.


1 comment:

Peter Dal Santo said...

Hi. This was really helpful for some installations I was trying to Automate. Thank You.