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I get a lot of requests to install programs (mainly exe, some MSI) on remote PCs, currently I have to ask the user to logoff and then use a remote control app to logon and install the program, this is OK but users are telling me that I'm not getting round to them quick enough, they basically find a program and say I want this installed this afternoon. Is there a way to run the setup on my PC but target theirs so they don't need to be interupted?

PS Windows XP and Windows 7 are in use.

Thanks S

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You need a system management solution. Those (amongst other things) can deploy software to client computers.

In a Windows environment, the ideal choice would be Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (also known as SCCM), but there are of course lots of other available solutions.

Be aware, though, that those are enterprise-grade products, and are usually priced accordingly.

If you need to deploy MSI packages, you can also use Active Directory GPOs; they're quite limited in what they can do, but can be very useful.

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+1, SCCM sounds perfect, except that he also sounds like its not an enterprise where there are standards in place to prevent a user from needing, then getting upset that software isn't installed in the same day. –  DanBig Feb 16 '10 at 19:45
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You also need to work with your management to set an SLA, or at least informally set expectations. Same-day software installation isn't realistic in some (maybe even most) environments.

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Seconded; sounds like your users are in the habit of treating you like a doormat! I'd also recommend starting to say "no", especially to the more unreasonable requests. Customer service doesn't mean saying "yes" to everything after all. –  Jimmy Shelter Feb 16 '10 at 20:11
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You can try PsExec to remotely execute commands on user machines. Usually, you can execute msiexec.exe command-line tool with some options like /qn for silent install.

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I recently started using WSUS Package Publisher (https://wsuspackagepublisher.codeplex.com/) to push applications and updates to clients. They install through the Windows Update system. And it's free!

You need to have a running WSUS Server with SSL enabled.

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