Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Deploying AutoCAD 2010 via GPO (Bringing it all together)

Posted by graycat on 16 June 2009

Now we’re a good four posts into my trial and tribulations of deploying this application via GPO, I thought it’d be a good time to round it all up together in what should hopefully be my last post on this subject for a while. Ok, I may do a complete “how to” once it gets out of the testing phase but one step at a time, ok?

The basic process of installing this application unfortunately requires more than just the deployment package from AutoDesk. To successfully install AutoCAD 2010 you will need to also install the following:

  • DirectX 9.0c and its latest updates.
  • 2008 C++ redistributable library / package
  • the missing files from the deployment

This also have to be installed in the above order with the AutoCAD package slotting in nicely before the missing files. To do this I’ve split the deployment into two GPO’s – the first installs DirectX and updates it to the latest version whilst the second installs both the C++ and AutoCAD msi packages before running a startup script to pull the missing files. To make sure these GPOs run in the right order (ie: AutoCAD doesn’t try installing before its got DirectX etc) I’ve use a WMI filter to control the second GPO.

For those of you familiar with GPOs you will no doubt be familiar with WMI filters. If you’re not familiar with them already, they can be summed up as a local check on the PC for a defined condition to be true before the GPO will activate. A lot of cases will look for an installed applicaiton (Office 2003 if you’re installing the 2007 compatability pack for example) or many other things.

In this case I’ve used the WMI filter to look for a directory under C:\Windows that only arrives after the DIrectX update. Here’s the filter:

Select * from Win32_Directory where name = ‘c:\\Windows\\Microsoft.Net\\DirectX for Managed Code’

It’s set in the root\CIMv2 namespace incase you were awake and wondering about that. 🙂

Once you’ve set the DIrectX update / deployment GPO up successfully and controlled the AutoCAD GPO via this WMI filter it should all install fine. I’ve moved on to testing this on a large group of live production machines and these little changes have really helped. The only tweaks I do have are for neatness of scripts and installs (eg: the copy script needs to hide the copy section from view) but that’s minor and more to do with me being picky.

Hope that helps somewhat with your endeavours of deploying this application via GPO.

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2 Responses to “Deploying AutoCAD 2010 via GPO (Bringing it all together)”

  1. brettsbl0g said

    Hi Graycat,

    Thanks for info on DirectX silent deployment. It’s a shame Microsoft have never offered a MSI based DirectX deployment!

    I have also been working on deploying AutoCAD 2010 products recently and you may be interested to know that your missing file issues can be avoided by ensuring the AutoCAD Language Pack (AcadLP.msi) is deployed along with the product MSI.

    This information can be found in the “AutoCAD Network Administrator’s Guide” which is found on the product CD. Details below:-

    First .msi for AutoCAD 2010
    \\server123\Deployment\AdminImage\x86\acad\acad-MyDeployment-for-GPO.msi
    with the following transforms added in the modifications tab:
    \\server123\Deployment\AdminImage\x86\acad\acad-MyDeployment.mst
    \\server123\Deployment\Tools\gpo.mst
    Second .msi for the language pack
    \\server123\Deployment\AdminImage\x86\acad\en-us\AcadLP.msi with the
    following transforms added in the modifications tab:
    \\server123\Deployment\AdminImage\x86\acad\acad-MyDeployment.mst
    \\server123\Deployment\Tools\gpo.mst

    I hope this helps explain why the files are missing.

    Kind regards,

    Brett

  2. graycat said

    Many thanks for the tip, Brett.

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