When deploying machines in our enterprise we run through a series of checks before deployment. Some of these include:
- Verify required files and folders have been copied to the computer
- Verify all required applications have been installed
- Verify some registry and file configurations have been set up for the intended user
- Verify the machine is in the correct OU in the Active Directory Domain
I assume this is a pretty standard thing. We use a combination of WDS, GPO, and SCCM to deploy Windows XP to the machine and install some software. However, before the machine can be deployed to the user we need to go through a somewhat manual process to verify that the machine is ready to go.
Is there any software out there that you can create a checklist of things to test and it runs automated on the machine? Right now we use an HTA that I created, but maintaining it is a bear and I'd like something a little more robust. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
We have Windows XP clients currently (moving to Windows 7 soon) and mostly Windows 2003 servers (a few 2008).
In order to clarify what I'm looking for, I'll explain more about what our current HTA does, and what the ideal app would do.
Gather Information about the End User
- Gather username of the user [entered into a textbox]
- Gather the role of the user [chosen by a drop-down box]
- Gather what office the end user will work in [chosen by a drop-down box]
When you click the "Run Checks" button a series of checks run. The above 3 variables are used to determine exactly which checks should run and what their expected values should be.
- Verify that all the required software is installed (the Role gathered above is used to determine which software is required for this specific user)
- Verify that the computer sits in the proper OU (the Office gathered above is used to determine the proper OU for this computer)
- Verify that some registry values are set correctly (turn off Windows Tour, enable UNC, etc)
- Verify some files exist (Shortcuts on the desktop to our intranet and some internal apps, etc)
- Verify some user settings (location of My Documents folder, etc)
- Verify a local folder matches a template folder on the network
- Install any missing apps
- Create/Read/Update/Delete registry keys and values
- Create/Read/Update/Delete files and folders
Right now this is all custom written (in VBScript, ugh). What I'd like to find is an application where I could create templates of fixes and have each saved in an XML file (or some other human-readable file format). Then I could create a new Check Group by selecting some of those checks that I want to run, and save that check group out so that I could easily rerun the specified checks in the future.
EDIT 2 One more thing that would be nice is if we could run these verifications at any time. For instance: a computer that has been deployed for a year. Open up this application and check that the proper applications are installed, the updates are installed, and the files on their machine that we sync are the current versions.
I guess I'm looking for more than just a pre-deployment app. I'm just looking for a Verification application that could be run at any time (perhaps even by the end user?).
... Maybe this is something I have to build myself, but if something exists out there already I would prefer to buy that instead of spend all my time making it.