Admin Arsenal

Silently Uninstall Java

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Mar 25, 2015 4:45:00 PM

Did you know you can silently uninstall Java from all of your Windows computers? PDQ Deploy has pre-built Uninstall packages in the Package Library for Enterprise-level users, (or, of course, you can write your own uninstall package).


Silently Uninstalling Java

There are three Java uninstall packages available in the Package Library. Each package uninstalls Java installations in a particular family. The three families are: Java 6, Java 7 and Java 8.

Each uninstall package will kill browsers and any currently running Java processes before proceeding to the uninstall. This is generally considered a best practice as you can encounter some nasty errors if a target computer has Java actively running at the time of either an install or uninstall. 

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Software Deployment and Group Policy with Jeremy Moskowitz

Posted by Shane Corellian

Mar 23, 2015 1:47:00 PM

If you manage Active Directory and/or Group Policy, there's a good chance you've already heard the name Jeremy Moskowitz. Jeremy Moskowitz is a Microsoft MVP expert on all things Group Policy. He also founded PolicyPak, a necessary add-on for centrally managing applications via Group Policy. 

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Topics: Group Policy

Create Shortcuts on User Desktops using Powershell

Posted by Kris Powell

Mar 19, 2015 1:10:00 PM

Let’s take a fairly common task that many system administrators face: creating shortcuts on all user desktops.

PDQ Deploy and PowerShell go together like eggs and bacon. There are so many things that PowerShell can do by itself, but when combined with the power of PDQ Deploy, the sky becomes the limit for what's possible.

We’re going to assume that PDQ Deploy and PowerShell are already installed.

Using PowerShell to Create a Shortcut on All User Desktops

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Topics: powershell

Silently Install OpenOffice

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Mar 18, 2015 4:13:08 PM

If you're interested in how the pre-built package from the package library for OpenOffice works and how to make customizations to the package, or need to create a package to silently install OpenOffice yourself, watch the video below and read on. 

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Topics: OpenOffice

Silently Uninstall Applications

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Mar 11, 2015 3:24:03 PM

Methods for uninstalling applications will vary from application to application. Because there isn't a standard way to perform uninstalls, you will need to do your homework

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Topics: silently uninstall

Deploy Java 8 Update 40 To All Windows Computers

Posted by Shane Corellian

Mar 6, 2015 1:32:52 PM

Oracle has issued a surprise update to Java 8. Oracle generally sticks to its scheduled release dates (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) however they released a "Limited Update" on March 3rd. As always, you can deploy Java 8 Update 40 from the PDQ Deploy Package Library.

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Topics: java

Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials - Part 2

Posted by Kris Powell

Mar 5, 2015 12:21:00 PM

In continuing with my previous post, Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials Part 1, I’d like to talk about sharing credentials between different machines/users/etc.

To recap my last blog, part 1 of Encrypting Credentials, when you use ConvertTo-SecureString and ConvertFrom-SecureString without a Key or SecureKey, Powershell will use Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI) to encrypt/decrypt your strings. This means that it will only work for the same user on the same computer.

When you use a Key/SecureKey, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES - wiki link) encryption algorithm is used. You are able to use the stored credential from any machine with any user so long as you know the AES Key that was used.

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Announcing PDQ Inventory 5

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Mar 4, 2015 4:19:41 PM

PDQ Inventory 5 is out! Current users: to get the latest update click on updates in the lower left corner of your console. (Note: if your  Pro or Enterprise license is out-of-date you'll need to renew before updating.)  

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Topics: pdq inventory

Java Error 1618 When Deploying Java

Posted by Shane Corellian

Feb 27, 2015 10:23:32 AM

Error 1618 isn't unique to Java. It is an error from Microsoft Installer (.msi) stating that another .msi is currently being processed. You see, the Microsoft Installer, msiexec.exe, can only process one installation at a time. This error will be encountered when one MSI is attempted to be installed while another is currently processing.

Please keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean that another Java installation is occurring. It means that msiexec.exe is currently processing another .msi installation. This could be one of thousands of other applications that use the Microsoft Installer.

Regardless, let's look at how we can overcome this when it comes to deploying Java.

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Topics: java

Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials - Part 1

Posted by Kris Powell

Feb 26, 2015 2:20:00 PM

Like many systems administrators out there, I’ve often found myself with a task that needs to be automated. Automating is great with PowerShell until you need to pass credentials into a script.

At this point, I have seen many administrators put passwords into the body of their script. For testing purposes, this may be forgiven, but in production scripts, putting your passwords in plain view isn’t just a bad thing...it’s a terrifying thing. It should be a cardinal sin. But you can secure a password with Powershell (or at least reduce password visibility).

First, we should touch base on how to supply a credential without having to save it directly in your script.

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Topics: powershell

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