Troubleshooting Deployment Errors
The single greatest problem administrators have in using PDQ Deploy to deploy software is missing or incorrect install parameters. Of those issues, the most common error is not running the installation in silent mode. By default, most installations require end-user interaction. However, many applications can be installed in what is known as quiet, silent or unattended mode which does not require user input. An installation run in silent or unattended mode will install the software either with a default set of properties (such as file locations) or with options provided on a command line. When deploying .MSI, .MSU and .MSP files, PDQ Deploy automatically generates the required parameters to run silently. You can modify additional MSI properties via the Parameters field. For other supported install files, silent options can be found from several different sources. For help with silent install options refer to Silent Install Options.
NOTE: For a listing of supported install file types, see Supported Install Files.
In rare cases, an application may still require end-user interaction. In these cases you may change the deployment package’s Run As option to Deploy User (Interactive) so that end-users can provide the needed input.
Another challenge administrators may encounter is using PDQ Deploy to deploy software that is installed in a User context. For example, some applications are actually intended to be installed per user and not per machine. These applications install their respective applications in the %APPDATA% folder instead of %ProgramFiles%. If an installation requires access to the %APPDATA% or %TEMP% directories (these are user-level directories) or to HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then the local user must be logged on to the target computer rather than the administrator because these directories are user-specific. In cases when you want to install user-level applications, use the Run As option Logged On User.
The same holds true when implementing user-level changes to the registry. PDQ Deploy may be used to export registry settings via .reg files to target computers. However, HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) settings require that the local user be logged on to the target computer rather than the administrator; otherwise, the registry settings are simply imported to the administrator’s registry. As in the previous scenario, you must use the Run As option Logged On User to implement user-level changes to the registry.
In other cases, administrators may encounter challenges when install files require access to local resources such as mapped drives or printers because these resources are defined per user and, therefore, aren’t immediately accessible to the PDQ Deploy target service, PDQDeployRunner. In these cases, the issues are most effectively addressed at the system level.
For example, if Copy Mode is set to Pull and the install files are on a network drive, the best way to give the PDQDeployRunner service access to the network drive is to configure the Repository using a UNC path rather than a local mapping. This avoids all potential problems.
Similarly, if you need to create printers, instead of using PDQ Deploy, use the Active Directory Group Policy wizard to install the printer when the user logs on to his or her local workstation.
Video: PDQ Live! Troubleshooting Deployments
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