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I have a requirement to install a MSI's to our workstations before logon, it's periodically updated and provides updates to our LOB applications.

The problem we are encountering is when setting logon scripts in Group Policy (We wrap the MSI in a VBS installer script to handle machine prep etc.) the users are logging in and launching the LOB application before the MSI is updated. We have seen delays of up to five minutes before the Group Policy script runs.

Any ideas on how we can ensure the MSI is installed prior to user logon?

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2 Answers 2

This can dramatically slow down logons (as expected), but you can force all logon scripts to run before giving a desktop with the GPO policy User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Scripts\Run logon scripts synchronously

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See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc975925.aspx for more details

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OP asks if there is a way to install the package before user logon. He did not ask, how to speed it up. –  Daniel Jun 18 '14 at 6:30
    
That's correct however I'd like to avoid setting it to Synchronous if at all possible. –  ServerMonkey Jun 18 '14 at 6:31
    
He also says: "The problem we are encountering is when setting logon scripts in Group Policy..." - assuming he is installing the software via a logon script. The real problem is that they are launching it before it is updated. This is an inelegant but simple way of solving this. –  Mark Henderson Jun 18 '14 at 6:31
    
@Daniel Mark didn't say how to speed it up, either. He answered the question (with much the same answer you did). –  Falcon Momot Jun 18 '14 at 6:33
    
@MarkHenderson My bad, Windows Explorer does not start until the logon scripts have finished running. I was confused. Thanks for pointing it out. –  Daniel Jun 18 '14 at 6:38

You can use Group Policy Software Distribution. If you deploy the software in the user configuration, the MSI package will be installed during log on. If you deploy the software in the computer configuration, the MSI package will be installed before the log on screen displays.

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(Source: http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/the-guide-to-deploying-software-using-group-policy)

It's important to know, that the software will get uninstalled, once you remove the computer from the active-directory. However, I believe there is an option to specify what happens, when you remove the computer from AD.

A quick search on the internet lead me to some nice how-tos.

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This method seems more reliable however it wants to run the MSI directly where we have a script that prepares the machine which once ready executes the MSI. –  ServerMonkey Jun 18 '14 at 7:05
    
Can't you implement the preparation script into the MSI? –  Nate Kerkhofs Jun 18 '14 at 11:16
    
It checks for Active Directory Group Membership amongst other things but I will investigate further as this would be a nice solution. Thanks for the raising the idea! –  ServerMonkey Jun 19 '14 at 0:24

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