We're pleased to announce the availability of Beta 3 for PDQ Deploy 1.5. You an get it here and try out the new features and changes.
- Schedules can be configured to stop deploying to successful computers, or to computers that have failed a number of times past a certain threashold. This has been one of our most requested features and we're glad to have it available.
- Computers will be deployed to in the order that deployments were created. Prior to this beta, it was possible for a deployment to "jump the queue" and deploy to a target before an earlier deployment got the chance to.
- Schedules can now be set to always use the "default" user, so that they will change if the default user changes. This setting is now the default.
- Allow multiple deployments to the same computer. This will allow more than one user to deploy to the same computer at the same time. This will be expanded in beta 4 to remove the dreaded "Failed to clean-up target directory" error when a prior deployment is still locking files on the target.
Feel ready to give it a go? Download the beta from here and sign up for e-mail updates when new versions are available.
We're pleased to announce the first beta release of PDQ Inventory 1.0.2. It's available now for download.
There are a couple of larger features that should be highlighted:
- Active Directory collections are now available.
For those of you moving from AA Console, this will probably be a welcome addition. Computers that are in Active Directory are automatically placed within these collections, which are themselves automatically generated.
- New data grids.
We've moved over to the same data grids which we introduced in the last PDQ Deploy beta. These grids have a number of nice features for filtering and grouping, as well as doing a better job of printing.
- Copy and paste of scanners and scan profiles.
- Additional options for deleting computers during an AD Sync.
Deleting computers during a sync has always been a bit problemmatic, and now we have 2 deleting options. One option is for when you have a mix of sync'd and manually added computers, and the other for when you have only computers from Active Directory.
- Computer tools can now be used from reports.
Not all reports can use computer tools, because each row doesn't resolve down to a single computer, but most reports will work fine.
In addition to these features there are a number of bug fixes. You can get all of the juicy details in the Update Notes.
As always, we hope you enjoy the changes and we look forward to getting your feedback.
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In my previous blog I discussed how you can use PDQ Inventory to send messages (via msg.exe) to your computers using the Remote Command feature. Today I will show you how you can do the same thing in PDQ Deploy. If you are using the free version of PDQ Deploy then you should probably use a script (a simple batch file will do).
I created a batch file with the following command:
msg * /TIME:%1 %2
The variables (%1 and %2) aren't necessary if you want to just hard code the timeout value (%1) and the message (%2) you want to display. I am using the variables to illustrate that you can use the same script to send many different messages. Othewise you'd have to change the script for each message you want to send. The only caveat to using the variables is that you need to encapsulate the Message part of your MSG command in quotes. The image below is the Installer window showing that I am calling the SendMessage.bat (contents above) and passing in the Timeout (%1) and Message body (%2).
Below you can view a video example of sending this message using the free PDQ Deploy.
In an upcoming article I will demonstrate how to use PDQ Deploy Pro to send a message before or after a deployment. This can be useful when you want to send a "heads up" message to your users that an installation is going to begin or to let them know when an installation is complete.
We all remember the days of net send, right? It was a handy little tool back in the day. Since net send went away there seems to be a perception that it isn't as easy to send a message to Windows' computers anymore. B.S. If you want to send a message to some or all of your computers you can use the free PDQ Inventory or PDQ Deploy. Today we'll look at how to do this in PDQ Inventory.
Let's say I want to send a message to all of my Windows computers which reminds the users to reboot their computers at the end of their shift. Go ahead and open up your PDQ Inventory console. In the example below I right-click my Online Systems collection (I mean, why try to send a message to a computer that's offline?) and select Tools / Remote Command
In this case I simply type in the following to my command field:
msg * /TIME:120 Please restart your computer before you leave for the day
The splat (*) tells msg.exe to send the message to every session on the target computer. Obviously the /TIME:120 argument tells msg.exe to display the message for 120 seconds or until someone acknowledges the window. Check out the video example below.
We will show you how to do this in PDQ Deploy in our next blog.
Installing Mozilla Thunderbird across your network is remarkably easy. The options for deployment are pretty much identical to its sibling, Firefox. Check out Shawn's blog from earlier this year about performing a silent install of Firefox.
The easiest way to deploy Thunderbird is to pass the command line argument of
By doing this you will be installing Thunderbird with all the default options.
If you don't want to change the default options (such as where you want the shortcuts residing) then you can create an answer file for the installation. The answer file is a standard .INI file and your command line argument would be
/INI=<full path to INI>
When using the /INI argument using the full path is critical, as relative paths do not work.
Here is an example answer file that I called Thunderbird.ini. In this example I specify that no Thunderbird shortcut should be placed on the Desktop.
The example below is a screenshot from PDQ Deploy 1.5 beta 2.
The image below is only important if you are performing the installation via PDQ Deploy 1.2.9 or earlier AND you are using your INI file on a remote file server.
*** If you are using PDQ Deploy 1.2.9 or earlier AND you are going to have your INI file on a network share you will need to pass your credentials again when you actually deploy the software. This is due to the "Double Hop" security feature in Microsoft Windows. Unless you have Delegation enabled (not likely) you will need to pass your credentials again***
Of course if you are using PDQ Inventory (it's also free) you can easily determine which systems have Thunderbird already. ;-)
Our bosses questions seem to be played on a bad repeat cycle. It reminds me of those 80's DJ's who would fall asleep on the graveyard shift thus keeping WHAM and Men Without Hats playing in a loop. Well, not so much a "loop" but a spiral down the toilet that inevitably ended up as an inner circle in some feces-splattered music hell.
That is how we can all feel with the same questions from our bosses. Here is a question that I have heard in varying forms over the years:
- How many computers have Microsoft Office? And don't just tell me, send me a report!
Well, this question is easy enough to answer by simply opening up PDQ Inventory and highlighting the Systems With Microsoft Office collection.
OK, we can send our boss a screenshot but that will only piss him off. Let's create a report. Watch this video to see how we create a very simple report in PDQ Inventory.
There you have it. Reporting your Inventory is simple, powerful and in many ways, it's free. And it doesn't stop here... you should be thinking, "hey, I need to deploy Microsoft Office to all of my computers. Well, with PDQ Deploy, we gotcha covered. Check out Shawn's blog about deploying Office 2010.
So pull up those trousers or gird up your loins or whatever you do to dramatically announce that you're about to do something important and get down to creating some reports in PDQ Inventory. You'll thank me.