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Windows Thread, MSIs install via Group Policy but not that reliably in Technical; Clients: Win XP Server: 2008 We're installing a lot of applications via group policy. In the past, on other networks, ...
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    eean's Avatar
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    MSIs install via Group Policy but not that reliably

    Clients: Win XP Server: 2008

    We're installing a lot of applications via group policy. In the past, on other networks, I've never had problems with reinstalling 25+ computers simultaniously from one server - even over wireless. It's slow, but I leave them over night and by the next day they're done!

    On this network (much larger: 200+ computers) if I try to install even 10-15 some applications will fail to install.
    It's not always the same app and not the same computers. Last time I reinstalled a room Bodywise (300MB) failed more than any other app. This time it was IE8, WMP (MSI wrapping an EXE) and Zig Zag Tudors (6MB)!

    What's annoying is that Windows thinks the application is installed. There are no errors in the event log and if you try to install the program again, it will bring up the repair/remove dialogue. Normally if an app fails it will keep trying to reinstall it.

    I thought it was dodgy networking - in the first room computers took ages to get an IP but in the 2nd room I tried they were getting IPs in 1second and network speed is 80mbps.

    Some ideas I've had.
    • Load balance accross multiple servers - I've used DFS as path names so we could easily set this up in the future.
    • Have packages installed as admin installs - so the cabinet files are extraced on the server rather than compressed in the msi. Does anyone know if this makes any difference?


    Anybody got any idea if these might work or a better idea?

    Thanks.

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    ricki's Avatar
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    Hi

    Are the number of allowed users on the share set a server should be ok with huge numbers of connections. You could also have a dns or active directory problem or it could be a dodgy msi.

    Try a dcdiag and netdiag no your servers and see if you get any errors.

    Try some nslookups and check dns is working.

    I think IE8 can be deployed through wsus.

    Also check the times and dates and regions of the servers and the clients are the same this could stop kerberos working and so would not authorize ntfs permissions.

    Check the eventlog on your server

    I sometime also get switches bugging out sometimes and they need rebooting because they are hot or have had a surge.

    Good luck with this one.

    Richard

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    eean (28th May 2010)

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    ricki's Avatar
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    Hi Sorry I forgot goes a package deploy correctly if you set it to run direct from the share instead of the DFS. If it does it could be a DFS setting or issue.

    Richard

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    eean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricki View Post
    Hi Sorry I forgot goes a package deploy correctly if you set it to run direct from the share instead of the DFS. If it does it could be a DFS setting or issue.
    Hmm. Don't know. Without making a new gpo and manually putting in all 100 apps then deploying it into a room it's a bit hard to say.
    I'll have a look at those things. It's a tough one as it works for most apps most of the time. Why can't problems be binary - either working or not!

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    Just a thought, if you're deploying a 300MB+ package to many machines this going to create a lot of network traffic and secondly I wonder if it's a timeout issue. I believe it's around 10 minutes per application.

    In theory, if you setup a GPO in GPMC, split your computers into various sub OUs, then drag and drop the policy in turn it would be interesting to see if this solves the problem.

    I'm pretty sure if you deployed something like Adobe Flash or Shockwave throughout this would create zero problems due to the small app sizes.

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    ricki's Avatar
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    Hi

    I have had very strange things happen with DFS in the past when replication was not working correctly on servers and depending on with domain controller the computer talks to depends if it picks up everyone. A the DFS is in active directory this be be a problem.

    Richard

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    Hi

    I have a strange one at the moment with my new flash msi where it installs and works but it needs a hard reboot. I know the msi is not 100% but as it works on 90% of machines correcly and installs of the others its gone out.

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricki View Post
    Hi

    I have a strange one at the moment with my new flash msi where it installs and works but it needs a hard reboot. I know the msi is not 100% but as it works on 90% of machines correcly and installs of the others its gone out.

    Richard
    ive given up on using msi to deploy flash as it never seems to remove the old one properly and can give wierd results i now script the msi with the flash uninstaller running first

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    eean's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your thoughts - apologies for the delay in my relpy. We've been lucky enough to be on holiday this week.

    if you're deploying a 300MB+ package to many machines this going to create a lot of network traffic
    Well, that was my initial thought when Bodywize (300mb) failed more than any other app. But in the next room it was ZigZag tudors (<10mb).
    and secondly I wonder if it's a timeout issue. I believe it's around 10 minutes per application.
    Do you know if that leaves a trace in the event log? These apps claim to have installed correctly.
    In theory, if you setup a GPO in GPMC, split your computers into various sub OUs, then drag and drop the policy in turn it would be interesting to see if this solves the problem.
    Sorry. Don't understand what you mean here.


    I have had very strange things happen with DFS in the past when replication was not working correctly on servers and depending on with domain controller the computer talks to depends if it picks up everyone. A the DFS is in active directory this be be a problem
    I'm using DFS but only on one server, so replication shouldn't be a problem? Only got one DC on this site (yikes! I know! Will hopefully get another soon.)


    Thanks all. Any more theories on this mystery are welcome!

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    [QUOTEOnly got one DC on this site ][/QUOTE]

    200+ machines and only 1 server could be your problem. When deploying an app to all the machines look at the performnce indicators in task manager on the server, see if anything is bottlenecking, hard disk access and network utilisation could be the problem. Saying that I deploy all of our apps from one server but we have 2 domain controllers and 380 ish clients the roles are split evenly across the 2 servers.

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