How to use Group Policy to remotely install software in Windows Server 2008
This guide will show you how to deploy ClaroRead using Windows Server 2008. This guide assumes you are familiar with how to operate your Windows network, that you have already setup Windows Server 2008 and have configured your users and groups in Active Directory. Windows Server 2003 is very similar.
We use Microsoft Windows Installer MSI files for all our installers so they work well with Windows networks and they all install in a similar way. You can use this guide for ClaroView, ScreenRuler and so on. On the ClaroRead installation disk for the UK we include eight voice installers, as these are quite large in size and will take some time to install, you may want to consider only installing two or three of these voices.
Some of our programs have pre-requisites – redistributables and other files that must be installed before or with the program. For example, ClaroRead Plus requires the Visual Studio 2005 C++ Runtime and Microsoft XML 4.0. You should also add these to the installation over the network if these are not already installed. The readme.txt file found with your installer will contain any necessary information, or contact us directly.
Setting up a share
The first step to distributing ClaroRead across a network is to provide a shared location from which clients can access the ClaroRead setup files. If there is not already a shared folder set up for this purpose then one can be created in the following manner:
- Create a folder in a suitable location with a suitable name
- Right-click on the new folder and select Properties
- In the properties dialog select the ‘Sharing’ tab and then click on ‘Advanced Sharing…’
- Tick ‘Share this folder’ and then click on the ‘Permissions’ button
- Add the ‘Read’ permission to users or groups that should be able to install ClaroRead
- ‘OK’ all of the dialogs and open the new folder in Windows Explorer
- Create any further folders desired to make it easier to manage the file system
- Open the ClaroRead CD in Windows Explorer and navigate to ‘\Programs\ClaroRead’ or ‘\Programs\ClaroReadPlus’ depending on the version.
- Copy all files in this folder to the new shared folder
Setting up the distribution script
Once the files are in a suitable shared location use the following steps to distribute them across the network:
- Open up the ‘Group Policy Management’ window by going to ‘Start Menu > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management’
- Expand ‘Forest: [The Forest] > Domains > [The Domain]’. Right-click on ‘Group Policy Objects’ and select ‘New’
- Enter a suitable name for the new policy (e.g. ClaroRead Install Policy) and leave ‘Source Starter GPO’ as ‘(none)’
- Click on the new policy and then select the ‘Settings’ tab from the right-hand pane. In this tab are 2 configuration headings: ‘Computer Configuration’ and ‘User Configuration’. Right-click anywhere in the panel and select ‘Edit?’
- Expand ‘User Configuration > Policies > Software Settings’, right-click on ‘Software installation’ and select ‘New > Package?’
- Select the network location of the ClaroRead installation files
- In the dialog that appears select ‘Assigned’ and click ‘OK’
- The selected installer will appear in the ‘Software installation’ panel. (This might take a couple of minutes to happen)
- When the package does appear, double-click on it to open properties and then select the ‘Deployment’ tab.
- Tick ‘Install this application at logon’ and select ‘Basic’ for the user interface. Click ‘OK’
- Repeat steps 5 to 10 for the other 2 installation files in the shared folder (msxml and msxml6).
- Close the ‘Group Policy Management Editor’ window and return to the ‘Group Policy Management’ window. Right click on the domain name in the tree and select ‘Link an Existing GPO?’ from the drop-down.
- Select the new policy from the list and click ‘OK’
ClaroRead should now install on users’ computers when they log in.
This page was last updated on 30th March 2020.