Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there some way I can use the Software Installation GPO in Server 2012 to deploy things like Java and Adobe Reader? Problem is these are .exe setup files and it seems that Software Installation GPO requires a .msi file.

I have read about .zap files but Server 2012 does not seem to support these, .msi files only.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You'll need an .MSI to deploy through GPO. There are ways to convert your .exe to .msi, or wrap your .exe in an .msi, but both products you mention have .msi packages available.


How do I deploy Java using Active Directory across a network?

Adobe Reader:

Distribute free Adobe Reader in volume

For the Adobe Reader, you'll need to fill out an "application" to receive a link to the downloadable .msi.

If .msi packages weren't available, you could use something like PsExec to deploy the .exe.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Cheekaleak, I have applied for the Adobe Reader (and Flash) .msi installers. Also obtained the Java.msi and tried that, unfortunately that fails with error: 1603 Fatal error during installation... Hang-on just found the solution to that, there is a file which needs to be copied as well. Nope still fails, will come back to this tomorrow. – NickC Nov 25 '12 at 0:38
Now works, it seems if the user loggs on too quickly windows 8 cancels the software deployment. Just had to reboot and let the machine sit for a minute before logging on. Thanks for your help – NickC Nov 25 '12 at 0:45
Thanks for pointing that out Cheekaleak, I hadn't noticed that marking answers as accept was important but now I do. Cheers – NickC Nov 25 '12 at 15:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.