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Keeping Forced-run Apps Available for Reinstall

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Patrick Farrell

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Posted: 20 Nov 2007

ENVIRONMENT: Tested with Windows XP, NetWare 6.5, and ZENworks 7 although it should work on ZENworks 4.x and 6.5 as well.

PROBLEM: We needed a way to force applications to run one time, but still be available for reinstall via Application Explorer.

For example, you need to deploy a new version of the GroupWise Client. You want every workstation with GroupWise to be upgraded to the current version while still being able to reinstall or verify the application if needed.

SOLUTION: Normally one might create an application object for GroupWise with an availability distribution rule that the file version of grpwise.exe is less than the version number you are installing. You would then set that to force run and any machine that had an older GroupWise client would be upgraded. The version of the file is no longer less than your condition and the application icon no longer runs. This is working as designed and normally it works just fine. The problem however is the icon is no longer available to do a verify or a reinstall.

To work around this, do the following:

  1. Create a launcher application called gwupgrade. Make it a simple application (no msi).
  2. Add the GroupWise installation application as a dependency.
  3. Under the gwupgrade application you would put your condition for the file version of grpwise.exe < the version you are deploying now instead of under the GroupWise installer application.
  4. Make sure you also add any other rules that you have regarding deployment.
  5. Associate it with the same users/workstations as the GroupWise installation application.

When NAL next refreshes, gwupgrade will launch on any machines that do not have the current version. It will then call the dependent GroupWise installer application. Having completed successfully, gwupgrade will no longer be available but the GroupWise installer application will.

If you have any questions you may contact Patrick at

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