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How to deploy MSI package by Using Active Directory

If you are using Microsoft SCCM to deploy and manage software, you don't need this article. The Exe and MSI package are right for you.
If you want to deploy software to all computers in your company or organization by using Active Directory, please download the MSI installation package first.

For detailed information about deploying MSI Package, go to How to use Group Policy to remotely install software in Windows Server.

View screen shots of deploying


Deploy MSI with Windows Server 2019 (or later), 2016, 2012, 2008 and 2003

  • Step 1: Create a Distribution Point
  • Log in Windows Server with an administrator account.
  • Create a shared network folder. For example, create a shared folder d:\deploy on the server.
  • Set permissions on d:\deploy to allow all users to read.
  • Copy the MSI file (for example: SetupOfficeTabMSI.msi) to d:\deploy.

  • Step 2: Edit Properties of MSI Package
  • You need to install the Orca tool before you can edit the properties of MSI package. You don't need to install Orca if you are using Server 2003 SP1 or later versions. If you have not Orca tool, you might click here to download and install it.
  • Right-click the MSI file in d:\deploy, and choose "Edit with Orca" from the popup menu.
  • Select Property in the Tables on the left side. Enter the license name and code into the "PROP_LICENSENAME" and "PROP_LICENSECODE". And no user in your organization needs to enter a license after deploying.
  • Tip: You need to combine several lines of license code into one line, because only one line of content is retained in the "PROP_LICENSECODE" property.

  • Step 3: Assign the Package
    The following methods are suitable for cases without SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and SMS (Systems Management Server)
  • Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. To do this, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • In the console tree, right-click your domain, and then click Properties.
  • Click the Group Policy tab, select Default Domain Policy or other group policy object that you want, and then click Edit.
  • Under Computer Configuration, expand Software Settings.
  • Right-click Software installation, point to New, and then click Package.
  • In the Open dialog box, type the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the shared installer package that you want. For example, \\MyServer\share\SetupOfficeTabMSI.msi ("MyServer" is the server name on the network. ”share” is the network share name of d:\deploy). Important: Make sure that you use the UNC path to the shared installer package.
  • Click Open.
  • Click Assigned, and then click OK. The package is listed in the right pane of the Group Policy window.
  • Close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK, and then quit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  • When the client computers in your company/organization start, the software will install automatically.