Introduction

Windows installer supports properties that can be provided via command line. Deployment via group policy objects in the domain does not support properties be supplied via command line. Instead, .mst file must be used.

This document describes how to create transformation and use it with GPO.

The following video shows how to create an Organizational Unit along with a GPO to deploy OBRM with .mst to computers on a domain.

About Orca

Orca application is a database table editor for creating and editing Windows Installer packages and merge modules. This tool is only available within the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers and is provided as Orca.msi file.

After installing the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers, go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0\Bin, and double-click Orca.msi to install the Orca.

Create transformation

  1. After Orca was installed, right-click the .msi package, and select Edit with Orca.

  2. Go to Transform > New transform.

  3. In the Tables list, select Property table. Right-click anywhere on the Values view and select Add Row.

    1. A window will appear where a new property SOSUSER can be added, with the value of the field being the actual username.

    2. Repeat the following for all parameters:

      SOSPROXYPASS=ProxyPassword SOSBACKUPSET=File1|Folder1|…|FileN|FolderN SOSBACKUPNOW=1|0 SOSSCAN=0|1|2 (0 - Do Not Scan, 1 - Scan Just Personal, 2 - Scan All) SCHEDULEDAILY=Time in 24-hour format SCHEDULEHOURLY=Run every X hours. Use whole numbers from 1 to 23 SCHEDULEUSER=Windows admin username with domain. You should specify it even if SCHEDULEINTERACTIVE is false to make a schedule task run correctly SCHEDULEPASS=Windows admin password SCHEDULEINTERACTIVE=Task should be run when user is logged out. SCHEDULEUSER and SCHEDULEPASS must be supplied SOSPASS=Backup account password

  4. Go to Transform > Generate Transform.

    1. Select name and path to save your transform.

    2. Add transformation to GPO software installation package.

      1. Go to Group policy object editor, and add new software installation package:

      2. Use advanced deployment method.

      3. On the Modifications tab, add path to the .mst file created for this .msi package.

      4. Click OK.

Central deployment without .mst

There is also a way around .mst for deployment in case you are unwilling or cannot use for any reason.

There are various central deployment applications, like LANDesk for example.

In order to pass parameters to .msi, you may use common batch file with a command line inside.

Using environment variables

In case of central deployment you may want to use some environment variables specific to each matching the application is being installed. For example, you may want to include the Documents folder into backup set for every user.

For this purpose, you may use %USERPROFILE% environment variable.

Since we use the .bat file, we have all of them at hand.

So we could simply write something like setup.msi SOSBACKUPSET=%USERPROFILE%\Desktop|%USERPROFILE%\Documents, and this will be parsed at once by Windows, and .msi will get SOSBACKUPSET=C:\Users\Anton\Desktop|C:\Users\Anton\Documents.

To see all environment variables, run SET from the command line.

Silent .msi installation

Add the /qn parameters to the .msi parameters list to install silently.

notification_important If you install using the .bat file, make sure you run it as administrator.