8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2011 6:14 AM by jmac

    Best known method of distributing a MSP?




      We used the Office Customization Tool to create an extra MSP with which we add Access to some Office 2007 Professional installations. All is done on Windows 7 clients. We're using LDMS 9.0 SP2.


      For a while now we are trying to distribute this MSP with LANDesk. As of yet, we haven't found a way which works without a hitch.


      We've tried:


      - Distributing a batch file, which uses msiexec to apply the MSP

      - Distributing a VBScript, which uses the Installer.ApplyPatch method to apply the patch

      - Making a Custom Definition and deplying that via Vulscan or a Repair Task


      None of the above seem to be reliable enough. The batch file fires, but after that, no one knows what happens. The VBScript gives more control, but has issues of its own (cannot be run as Current User) and the Custom Definition is hard to configure correctly.


      Question: is there a best known method for distributing this kind of MSP? If so, is this documented ans where can I find it?


      Thanks in advance!



        • 1. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

          Before you even start testing with LANDesk, be sure you can do everything you want manually and that the update works as expected. Then monitor what happens in a successful install in the event logs. MSIExec should write errors to the event logs to give you an indication as to why it failed. Likely, its either the command you used (typo or unsupported) or the path to the msp that is wrong.


          Something like this probably won't work.


          msiexec /update patch.msp /qr-!


          This might


          msiexec /update "C:\Program Files\LANDesk\LDClient\sdmcache\folder\patch.msp" /q


          Also, be sure to test your batch files in a visible mode and not silent so you can see the error.


          If your script needs to run in a user's context, then a visible dialogue might be unseen. The tell tale sign is to watch taskman when you launch your batch script and watch for msiexec to appear. If no logs are written to the event logs and msiexec just stays idle, then that is your likely a good place to start. If it starts and ends immediately, then likely a bad path or command switch.


          More resources here.


          • 2. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

            Why msiexec command line switches can not be used in an MSI distribution package:



            • 3. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

              Good document and applies mostly to pre ldms 9, so stay with your batch scripts for less problems with MSI's.

              • 4. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

                Thank you all for your ideas.


                MSIExec can actually install MS'P's by using the "/p" switch, this works OK.


                We've checked the MSI logs and no problems occur when installing the patch manually.


                Our problem revolves around LANDesk not having native support for distribution of MSP's using Software Distrbution. Same goes for running scripts as current user, but that's another discussion.


                Batch files are all nice, but you don't have control over what they execute. That's a whole lot of custom scripting if you want to have control over the installs which are fired up by the script.



                • 5. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?


                    Have you tried the LANDesk enhanced package builder? This may allow you to create a mixed approach method to call the msiexec commands and create vb or batch executions at different intervals.

                  Another program I have used in the past to overcome similar problems is Autoit. It works in a similar way to the enhanced package builder by allowing you to time execution sequences very well and gives you the ability to compress other files into a single .exe for deployment.


                  These two methods may not be 'best practice' in the eyes of some but I've found both of the options very useful when tackling unusual deployment scenarios.

                  • 6. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?



                    No, I haven't looked into the LANDesk Enhanced Package Builder. Never heared of it actually. I'll look into it, thanks!


                    I know AutoIt and it has it's purpose, but it can do the same as I can using VBS or PowerShell.


                    Thanks anyway :-)


                    It certainly is obvious software distribution has it's gaps in distributing software when more flexibility is needed.



                    • 7. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

                      Sorry my bad, I put in the wrong msiexec switch.


                      The reason the msi option in landesk doesn't work the best (in any version) is because landesk passes the commands to msiexec and the process that does that, doesn't understand all of msiexec's switches. 9 is a huge improvement over previous versions providing all you want to do is a basic silent install.


                      Have a look at the attachned scripts. With minor tweaking, they are good to go.

                      • 8. Re: Best known method of distributing a MSP?

                        The problem with running as the current logged in user is that the user will need admin rights. If that isn't a problem in your environment, you can change your distribution package to run as the user rather than system.


                        See the attached pic.