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When adding an msi-file for an update within main version number 9, 10, or 11 to the same gpo, the gpo editor does not detect that this is a new version of the same thing (like it does when updating the flash player, also from Adobe). I always manually added the old files as packets to be replaced by this one, and chose method 'replace' instead of 'update', to be on the safe side.

Amazingly when switching from 9 to 10, or from 10 to 11, it does auto-detect that the new file is just a newer version of the same thing, enters the old packet one into the list of packets being replaced by this one, (and selects 'update' instead of 'replace' as method do do it).

Example:
If 10.1.5 and 11.0.2 are already in one gpo, and 11.0.3 is added, it detects 10.1.5 as being updated, but not 11.0.2.

Why is Adobe configuring the files for this auto-detection only for big version steps, and not for small ones? If anything I would have expected the reverse!

So I tried an update within 11.x without manually adding the old as packet being replaced. Afterwards event-viewer reported:

application management event id 305
The reinstall of application Adobe Reader XI (11.0.03)
from policy sw_AcroRead_test succeeded.

The windows installer treats this as a reinstall, not as an update!

I strongly dislike such surprises, because I have seen gpo deployments creating a mess if not done right.

Questions:

  • What is the right way to do this: reinstall, update, or replace?

  • Do these msi-files contain some magic that auto-detects old versions and always does the same thing, regardless of what's set in gpo?

  • Is it ok to not tell the gpo that these files are just different versions of the same thing? Doesn't this cause problems?

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