One of the greatest things about MDT can also be one of it’s most frustrating. The ability to “automagically” install apps after imaging makes your life much, much easier. Once configured correctly you can really have one and only one image, and you just install apps as needed. This saves you and your coworkers time, money and ultimately gives you almost unlimited flexibility with your deployments. The catch is all that command line syntax you’re gonna need. Whether this part is easy or hard depends a lot on if you have msi files or just a bunch of crummy .exe files.
If your application is an msi file, fear not, they’re stupid easy to install. Check out the example with Adobe Reader below.
msiexec.exe /qb- /l*vx %LogPath%\file.log REBOOT=ReallySuppress UILevel=67 ALLUSERS=2 /I filename.msi
To install the msi file, replace file.log with something like AcrobatReader.log. This will allow you to troubleshoot the installer down the road if there’s a problem. (very handy) Also, replace filename.msi with the actual name of the msi file you’re trying to install. In this example, use AcroRead.msi
msiexec.exe /qb- /l*vx %LogPath%\AcrobatReader11.log REBOOT=ReallySuppress UILevel=67 ALLUSERS=2 /I AcroRead.msi
msi files are great, unfortunately, you’ll find lots of vendors don’t always provide you with msi files, so you’ll need to know the syntax for the installer.
This can be done with a third party msi as well.
Get from Adobe, look for MSI
|McAffee VSE 8.8||
Real nightmare, this seemed to work for me
In case all you have is a pre SP1 iso or .wim.
Good to leave out of image incase you need to apply it at deploy time.
Not my favorite client, but if you gotta install it, you do as you’re told.
|Office (All Versions)||
Once added, config from MDT
Check out unattended.sourceforge.net and ITNinja.com for more help with unattended install commandline magic. It may seem easier to skip all this and keep your apps in the image, but once you have all your apps installing automagically, you’ll be able to have exponentially more freedom with your deployments.
Another note: Sometimes (not always) vendors will be nice enough to code their installer .exe files to have a /? switch that will sometimes (not always) simply tell you how to install them silently. So next time you’re trying to automate the install of some random setup.exe file if you’re in doubt of how to do an unattended or silent install, just ask nicely with the /? switch.