If you are looking for a way to install a program or an application on a remote computer in your network without user interaction, I will show you how to do that in this article.
There are many ways to perform a remote installation;
in this article, I will show you how to install software on a remote computer with the PSexec tool
PSExec tool is a free Microsoft tool that allows you to execute programs and commands on other systems, complete with full interactivity for console applications, without manually installing client software.
Here are the prerequisites you have to consider to perform a successful remote installation;
- Download the PSexec tool;
- Download the MSI package of the application you want to install;
- Ensure that the Windows 10 firewall on the remote computer does not block “File and Printer sharing” traffic;
- You need to have the administrator account password on the target PC, if not in the same domain;
Step 1: Download The PSExec Tool
Download PSExec tool from the Microsoft webpage, then extract the executable into a folder (Ex: C:\SysinternalsSuite\)
Step 2: Download The MSI Package
Download the MSI package of the application you want to install.
Important: Not all applications support silent mode when running the Setup.exe installer, and hence you need to download the MSI package instead.
Let’s say you want to install the Google Chrome browser.
You need to download the MSI package from the Chrome download page;
Step 3: Configure The Remote Computer Firewall
Make sure that the Firewall on the remote computer allows “File and Printer sharing (SMB-In)” traffic on port TCP 445.
You can test if port TCP 445 is open using the PowerShell command “test-netconnection“
Step 4: Run The Script
- Open a command prompt as an administrator;
- Copy the MSI package on the remote computer using this command:
Copy c:\users\username\downloads\GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi \\ENDUSER-PC\C$
Where “ENDUSER-PC” is the name of the remote computer.
Note that you can also use the IP address of the remote computer instead of the computer name.
- In the command prompt, change the current directory to “C:\SysInternals”;
- Run the following command to start installing Google Chrome on the remote computer;
PsExec.exe \\ENDUSER-PC\ -i -s msiexec.exe /i "c:\GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi" /qn /norestart
PSExec will launch the GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi installer on the remote computer, which will install Google Chrome in quiet mode (/qn) without user interaction.
Mistakes to avoid when remotely installing Software on Windows
- Not checking system requirements: Before installing any software, it’s essential to check the system requirements to ensure that the Software is compatible with the target PC’s operating system and hardware.
- Not testing the installation process: Before installing Software remotely, it’s a good idea to test the installation process on a test machine to ensure that everything works as expected. This will help you identify and fix any issues before deploying the Software to production machines.
- Not having proper permissions: To install Software remotely, the user must have appropriate permissions to access the target PC. The installation process may fail if the user does not have the necessary permissions.
- Not checking for conflicts: Installing new Software on a computer with conflicting Software can cause unexpected problems. Before you install any software remotely, ensure there are no conflicts with existing Software.
- Not communicating with end-users: When you remotely install Software on a user’s computer, it’s important to communicate with the user to let them know what to expect. This can include letting them know when the installation will take place and what steps they need to take, if any.
- Not having a backup plan: Even with careful planning and testing, things can go wrong during the remote installation. It’s essential to have a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong. This can include having a plan to roll back the installation or having a backup image of the computer.
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