Promissor Administrator MSI deployment

Extract the MSI by running the installer and looking in temp
Install ORCA
Load the MSI in read only mode
Transform>New Transform
Property Table, New Row, Property = DATAPATH, Value = \\myserver\myshare
Transform>Generate Transform

That sets the data path, but I also wanted to change the permissions to add a ESM group which I add exam users to, much more complex, new transform, then follow http://www.capainstaller.com/upload/scriptingtips/msisecurity.html
I ended up with a
Component: Component = LockFolders, ComponentId = {guid} (ie like {D3541-23423-24DA}), Directory = LockFolders, Attributes = 0
Directory: Directory = LockFolders, Parent = blank, DefaultDir = SourceDir
Add a LockPermissions table, Lock Object = ADMINISTRATOR, Table = CreateFolder, Domain = blank, User = ESMGroup, Permission = 268435456
And that line repeated for each group, so add BUILTIN Administrators at least

Not actually tested this with a real test yet, but it installed correctly


Using Group Policy and MSIs to copy files to computers with WiX

For some reason, unknown to the public, Microsoft doesn't make it simple to copy files to computers. You can write a script to run on startup, but it runs on every startup, and seems to cause the fast logon to be bypassed.

WiX creates MSI files from XML, and isn't too complex to get started with, although at the other end of the spectrum it's used to make the Office 2007 installer.

We'll need some GUIDs, I used http://createguid.com/

I've only spent 2 hours on this, so it's probably all wrong, please correct in the comments:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<Wix xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/wix/2006/wi'>
<Product Id='guid 1' Name='product name' Language='1033'
Version='' Manufacturer='company' UpgradeCode='guid 2'>
<Package Id='*'
Comments='copies file to all users app data'
Manufacturer='company' InstallerVersion='200' Compressed='yes' />

<Media Id='1' Cabinet='product.cab' EmbedCab='yes' />

<Directory Id="TARGETDIR" Name="SourceDir">
<Directory Id="CommonAppDataFolder">
<Directory Id="INSTALLDIR" Name="dirname">
<Component Id='component name' Guid='guid 3'>
<File Id='idname' Name='filename' DiskId='1' Source='filename' />

<Feature Id='MyFeature' Title='My 1st Feature' Level='1'>
<ComponentRef Id='component name' />

Save that as something.wxs

Notes: Package Id='*' makes WiX generate a GUID each time, not sure if the same would work with guid 3. No idea if Feature or Media are needed. CommonAppDataFolder can be changed, there's a list at http://www.nateperry.org/w/index.php?title=Wix:Examples#Directories

Put 'filename' in the same dir as the above.

Download WiX, install. From command line run:

"\Program Files\Windows Installer XML v3\bin\candle.exe" something.wxs
"\Program Files\Windows Installer XML v3\bin\light.exe" something.wixobj

And you should end up with an msi file in the same dir to add to your GPO


The Evolution of Religion

In the beginning any religion worked out, if you predicted anything right you were worshiped. Then we began to record things, keep track of predictions. The religions that got more things right won out, survival of the fittest. Religions merged, mutated, created new offshoots.
Over time we learned more science, now the religion that predicted that not paying the sarcrifice to the god to make the sun rise ended up with no followers, gradually religions predicted less and less, signs that god existed were explained away as natural phenonemn.
Today the only religions that haven't been abandoned are ones that predict nothing, have no proof that god exists, in fact make a point that no proof is needed. The only god left is the one that isn't falsifiable