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Using ZENworks to update Windows Media Player

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Updated: 1 Jun 2005

John I. wrote: I need to upgrade my Win XP sp1 computers from the default Media Player v.8 to v.10.

I have tried to snappshot the upgrade twice with no success.

My last attempt didn't seem to set the application up for all-user access. I was prompted to go through the install again when I logged in as a regular, non-admin user.

Unlike other apps, Media Player seems to load and register differently.

I can't imagine I'm the only one who needs to do this, or has had this trouble.

Thanks for your help!

Anyone got some advice for John? Let us know.


Michel Py

I think that ZENworks Snapshot should not be used to capture the installation of big setup packages. Take a look at this article to install Media Player 10.

But Snapshots are great to capture and set the preferences!

Peter Esch-van

Use the silent install option.

Run before distribution script:

"%SOURCE_PATH%\MP10Setup.exe" /q:A /c:"setup_wm.exe /Q /R:N /NoMigrate /DisallowSystemRestore"

Settings are pushed through group policies.

A good source for unattended setups:

Adam Osterholt

We are distributing Media Player 9 to our Windows 2000 desktops by using the Windows Media Player Enterprise Deployment Pack. You can find information about it here.

You run the deployment pack and it creates a customized MSI to deploy the program. Just create an application object from the MSI and everything should work fine. We have not experienced any problems at all.

You can also administer the installation after install with group policies.

Christian van Driel

I had the same issue, and resolved it as follows:

  1. Download the full setup of Media Player 10 from Microsoft's download page.
  2. Extract the Self-Extracting EXE to a folder on your server.
  3. Set up a ZENworks application to run setup_wm.exe
  4. Set parameters to "/Q"
  5. Set Working directory to the folder where you unpacked the EXE.
  6. Give the workstation's Read and File Scan access to the folder on your server.
  7. Associate the app to your workstations.

This worked for me, and does a full install of Media Player 10 on XP SP1.

Craig Wilson

The online docs seem to describe in detail the required parameters to install it silently.

Louis Göhl

Download the MediaPlayer 10 software and start the setup with the following commandline options:

MP10Setup.exe /Q:A /R:N /c:"setup_wm.exe /Q /R:N /NoPID 

You can find more info here:

Bjarne Munk

Snapshotting Windows Media Player is probably not a good solution. I believe that WMP can be rolled out silently using a force run application object, which launches the WMP installation package. When this is possible it should be preferred over using Snapshot. My experience is from rolling out WMP 9.0 to computers running Windows 2000 profesional and Windows XP Professional with SP1. In this context the solution was as simple as adding a switch to the call of the WMP-installation:

Windows 2000: MPSetup.exe /Q.  
Windows XP: MPSetupXP.exe /Q. 

In fact we still launch a simple program of our own from a force run object for rolling out hotfixes from Microsoft (we will, of course, consider switching to ZENworks Patch Management when we find the time for a closer study of this solution). From this work it is our experience that almost all the fixes and updates from Microsoft inform about relevant switches when they are launched with the /? switch. This is also the case with the new WMP-package (MP10Setup.exe) and this also informs that the /Q switch can be used.

The disadvantage of this suggestion is of course that you will not pre-fill the initial choices in the first launch of WMP. The users will have to make these choices themselves. If you need this functionality, I will still suggest that you perform the rollout as described above, and try to make the choices for the users by Snapshotting only the changes in the Registry which occur when you initialize WMP on your test computer. These Registry changes could either be added to the force run object which rolls out the WMP, or to another object, which is rolled out afterwards. We don't have this need in connection with WMP, but we have good experience in using this approach in several other contexts.

I hope this will help you getting the work done!

Doug Rutherford

Many of the various updates to the WindowsXP OS are not very good candidates for snapshots. In these cases it is usually better to run the setup program provided by Microsoft in silent mode rather than try to replicate their behaviour with a snapshot. In the specific case of Windows Media Player 10, you can do something like this:

  1. Create a simple application object.
  2. Have the app object distribute the Media Player 10 installer (MP10Setup.exe) to the target PC's hard drive.
  3. Set a post distribution script that will execute the following commands
    cd /d c:\Installs\wmp10 
    MP10Setup.exe /q:A /c:"setup_wm.exe /Q /R:N /P:#e /DisallowSystemRestore" 

This should correctly install WMP10. I tested it on a WinXP SP1 system to upgrade WMP9 to WMP10 while logged in as a non-admin user. If you wish, you can find more information on WMP setup command line parameters here.

Paul Gear

My opinion is that Microsoft WSUS ( and is a more appropriate tool for this. It seems to work very well.

David Poole

You can snappshot it because of Media Player's DRM capabilities. What you need to do is download the MP10Setup.exe from here.

Most Microsoft install applications have command line parameters, such as silent install or verbose and a response file.

You would need to create a NAL object that has Secure system rights when launching and then pass the command line parameters for silent install and the response file.

Step 1. Download mp10setup.exe (from the Microsoft website).

Step 2. Extract to a directory on your network using the /C /T:<fullpath> command line options.

Step 3. Place the mp10setup.exe in this same directory.

Step 4. Create a "WMP.cmd" file with the following in it (replace %extractedwmp% with the directory everything gets copied to during setup (eg. C:\Install\WMP)):

  rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 128 %extractedwmp%\WMP10.inf

   start /wait %extractedwmp%\mp10setup.exe /Q:A /R:N /C:"setup_wm.exe /Q:A /R:N"

Save this file in the same directory as your extracted WMP files.

Step 5. Call the WMP.cmd file from ZEN with Secure System rights (admin) to Windows by selecting "Run as secure system user."

Paul Rafael

John I know exactly what you are going through. While you can install WMP 10 by launching the executable with command line parameters, you get Microsoft's default installation instead of a customized install. If you find yourself in this boat I have a solution for you.

The reason you are having problems is because of WFP (Windows file protection). If you use a program like sysinternal's filemon and set it to monitor the system32 directory during your application distribution, you will notice that when you replace some files in the system32 directory they get replaced again shortly thereafter with their original versions.

Windows keeps a copy of those files in the system32\dllcache directory. The solution to your problem is to update the cached version first. There are two problems;

  • ZENworks provides no nice way to force certain files to be updated before others ( this would be a nice feature ).
  • These aren't the only backup of these files.

If you search the hard drive you'll find that there are other copies of these files (a backup of the backup) under %*WINDIR%\RegisteredPackages. A little more searching will reveal another copy under %*WINDIR%\RegisteredPackages\$Backup$, so in fact these need to be updated first.

What I did was to identify all of the files that were using Windows file protection by distributing the original application I captured, then I searched for these files. The hierarchy in WFP is:


In order to force ZENworks to update certain files first, I simply re-sorted the AXT file so that files got pushed out in this order. Then re-created the application object from the sorted AXT. I was actually going to write a little utility to do this sorting, but just haven't found the time yet.

This solution will work and will give you all of the flexibility you are accustomed to when creating ZENworks application scripts. I updated over 2000 Windows XP SP1 workstations from Media Player version 8 to Media Player version 10.

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