I have added a software package to my networks Computer Configuration in the Group Policy Management Editor for SBS 2008. I've noticed that even after adding the package, and rebooting a machine on the network several times, it doesn't seem to be installing. I would imagine that this is because I need to make sure the MSI is set to install silently/quietly.

Any ideas on how one would go about doing that?


Your first stop when troubleshooting Group Policy-related problems should be the client computer's Application Event Log, followed-up by the Resultant Set of Policy tool.

The Windows Installer will automatically run in a limited user interface (read: silent) mode when invoked from Group Policy-- there's nothing you have to do to the MSI files. (If the MSI author was malicious or stupid, though, they might be calling Custom Actions that present UI even when running in a limited UI mode, but that's not likely...)

I suspect that you have one of the following going on:

  • Your clients have defaulted to asynchronous policy processing which is notorious for making GPO-based software installation unreliable and non-deterministic. See Group Policy installation failed error 1274 for some details.

  • Your clients can't access the path where the MSI file is located (either because of permissions, name resolution, or inaccessibility because of network topology / configuration). The client's Application Event Log will tell you that.

  • The GPO isn't actually applying to the clients. The RSoP tool will tell you that.

  • The MSI is set to a language other than the client's OS-default language and the tick-box in the software assignment's properites hasn't been set to cause the clients to ignore the language. (Apple iTunes and QuickTime have this problem.)

Likely the client's Application Event Log is going to tell you what the problem is.

  • Very nicely explained the relation between different components and tools +1 – Unreason Aug 26 '10 at 13:39

Where is the package stored? Is it on a network share? Do the targeted computers (or the AD group "domain computers") have read access to it?

  • +1 This is what I was missing. You and Evan saved the rest of my day. Thanks. – Unreason Aug 26 '10 at 14:15

Are there any computers in the OU (or a child OU of it) that the GPO is applied to? If not a policy in Computer Configuration won't work. Either link the policy to an OU that contains the computers you want the software to be installed on, or switch to using a User Configuration install policy.

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