Friday, January 18, 2013

Group Policy Software Installation Not Working

Today a customer had a few Windows 7 workstations which were  not receiving software which is pushed through group policy.  RSOP.msc and gpresult had confirmed that the group policy instructing the software installation was successfully applied to the workstation.  Despite group policy applying, the assigned application would not install.

I then found out that the following events had occurred:
  1. The application had installed through Group Policy in the past.
  2. An Administrator uninstalled the application through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel
  3. The administrator ran gpupdate /force assuming the application would re-install automatically.
This is normal behavior  if an Administrator manually removes an assigned application, it will not automatically redeploy upon computer reboot.  This is because the Software Installation Engine which runs on the Workstation does not know the assigned application has been removed, hence it does not attempt to reinstall.

How do you force the application to be re-installed?

All applications which are assigned through Group Policy get added to the computers registry under:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\AppMgmt

The applications will appear under this policy as a bunch of GUID's.

If you select one of the GUID's it it will have a string value called GPO Name which will display the name of the Group Policy Object.

Delete the GUID of the application which is not deploying.

Run a GPUpdate /Force

Reboot the workstation.

The application will now install