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MDT's Client Wizard : Application Properties

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Applications you add to the Deployment Workbench appear under the Deployment Workbench/Deployment Shares/Name of your deployment share/Applications node. There are two ways to view the properties of an application. You can right-click the application name and choose Properties, or you can double-click the application name. The properties dialog box of an application has three tabs: General, Details, and Dependencies. (If the application is a Microsoft Office 2007 or Office 2010 application, it will have a fourth tab called Office Products.) The General tab is shown in Figure 1.

The General tab displays the Name, Comments, Display Name, Short Name, Version, Publisher, Language, and Source Directory attributes. When you added the application by running the New Application Wizard, you were asked a series of questions. If you answered the questions or filled in the boxes, the information you supplied then is displayed on the General tab.

The Source Directory field specifies where the target machine should look for application files (like Setup.exe or Install.exe) to install after the OS deployment has completed successfully. Applications\Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2010\ points the target machine to the root of the deployment share (\\DeploySrv\MDTLab$\). From the root it will then look in the \Applications\Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2010 folder, so the complete path is \\DeploySrv\MDTLab$\Applications\Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2010.

Figure 1. General tab, application properties

At the bottom of the General tab are two selections: Hide This Application In The Deployment Wizard and Enable This Application. The first option prevents the application from being listed on the Select One Or More Applications To Install page of the MDT Deployment Wizard. If you have applications that you do not want listed during the deployment process but you do want to install, add the application on the Rules tab of the deployment share properties (CustomSettings.ini). The Enable This Application option is selected by default, but if you have an application that you're not ready to deploy, you can deselect this option. Applications that have been disabled or set to hide will not appear on the list of available applications to install during the deployment process. Changing these settings (enabling an application or choosing to no longer hide an application) does not require you to update your deployment share, so feel free to test these settings out. Just change the option of your choice and then launch LiteTouchPE_xXX again and your new setting will take effect.

The Details tab, shown in Figure 2, allows you to choose either an application bundle or a standard application. (We'll discuss the Application Bundle option last.) A standard application is one you would like to install, and you must complete the Quiet Install Command and Working Directory fields. The Quiet Install Command is the command that performs the installation in quiet or silent mode. A quiet or silent mode is also called unattended mode sometimes; it means that the installation of the application does not require any kind of user input. Working Directory is where the MDT Deployment Wizard will look for the application's source files.

The last setting for a standard application is Uninstall Registry Key Name. The key name identifies applications that are already installed on the target machine so that no attempt is made to install the application if it already exists on the machine. To find the value you need to enter in this field, check the Registry of a machine that currently has the application installed.

Figure 2. Details tab, application properties

For example, let's say you want to find the uninstall key for Microsoft Office. On a machine that has Microsoft Office installed, open the Registry (click the Start button and type Regedit in the Search Programs And Files box and press Enter) and drill down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninsta11. Under the Uninstall key, you'll need to find the subkey that pertains specifically to Microsoft Office.

The first thing you'll probably notice is you're looking at a bunch of GUIDs. So to find the GUID that belongs to Microsoft Office, highlight each GUID until you find the one that has a display name of "Microsoft OfficeOffice 64-bit Components 2010" (the machine we tried this on is running Windows 7 64-bit). When you find the correct display name, copy the information by right-clicking the GUID and choosing Copy Key Name. This will put the key name, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninsta11\{90120000-002A-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}, into your Clipboard. Now open Notepad and press Ctrl+V; then just copy and paste the GUID {90120000-002A-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}, including the curly brackets, into the Uninstall Registry Key Name field.

This setting is not important in all installation scenarios. A bare-metal machine would not have any applications installed, so it would be a waste of time to configure this setting if you are only performing bare-metal installations. But if you are creating a task sequence using the Post OS Installation task sequence to install applications on machines that already have an OS, this setting may come in handy. You might have seven applications that always need to be installed on your users' desktop machines, and a quick fix for a missing application would be to run the MDT Deployment Wizard and choose the Post OS Installation task sequence. This task sequence should be configured with the appropriate uninstall keys for all seven applications. When the task sequence runs, only the applications that do not currently have an uninstall key in the Registry would be installed.

Controlling Application Reboots

If an application needs to reboot the machine before it can continue or complete successfully, you'll want to put a check mark in the Reboot The Computer After Installing The Application box. Never allow an application to reboot during the MDT deployment process. You must allow the MDT to control when reboots occur or you will lose control of your installation and the MDT Deployment Wizard will have problems knowing where and how to continue. It will more or less be lost. When it gets lost, your deployment will fail.


The last two settings on the Details tab pertain to which operating systems this application should be installed on. You can choose This Can Run On Any Platform (the default). Or you can select This Can Run Only On The Specified Client Platforms. You must then select the platforms (down to the service pack level) that you would this application to be installed on.

Finally, the Application Bundle radio button at the top of the Details tab lets you set up dependencies for applications to be installed in a specific order. You configure that order on the Dependencies tab.

The Dependencies tab, shown in Figure 3, lists the other applications that need to be installed successfully before this application can be installed. Click Add and the Select An Item box appears, as shown in Figure 3. In the Select An Item box, expand the folders to browse to the application you want and click OK. The application will then be listed on the Dependencies tab.

Figure 3. Dependencies tab, application properties
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