So I installed Acrobat Reader 9.3 via group policy. When the 9.3.1 patch came out, I copied the original 9.3 installation source folder to a new folder, and applied the patch there. Then I created a new software installation in the GPO that upgrades the previous version. Seemed to work fine.

My question is:

How long do I have to keep the original source folders around? That is, I've now got a 9.3 and a 9.3.1 folder, and the files in the 9.3 folder are essentially not needed after all the machines update. Over time I can see the number of folders growing to a large size.

When creating an upgrade installation, how does the choice between performing the upgrade over the top of the existing installation or first uninstalling the previous version affect the above question?


This is one of those grey areas that Microsoft hasn't documented very well, IMO. Here's my experience:

I don't get rid of older version folders until all my machines have been upgraded. It's probably possible to get rid of the folder sooner, but in the interest of erring on the side of safety I wait. Likewise, I don't delete the software assignment for the older version from the GPO until all the machines are upgraded.

I can't really speak to your "upgrade over the top of the existing installation" question because, in all the years I've been using Group Policy software installation policy, I've never had to use that functionality.

  • So when you're doing an upgraded package, you always use the default uninstall / reinstall option? – Boden Feb 19 '10 at 20:27
  • @Boden: That's correct-- I've never had a case yet where I needed an upgraded package to install "on top" of an existing package. – Evan Anderson Feb 19 '10 at 20:52

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