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Found out propable cause for gpo installation errors

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Hi folks,

I have just managed to deploy Paint.NET 3.36 via Group Policy (GPO). However, there were some obstacles which I had to manage before I succeeded, so I thought you might like to know...

First I created the MSI packages using the /createMsi argument (on my local workstation). When I tried to add the msi package to the Group Policy, my Server however came up with an errror "unable to read installation properties from the package, check if this is a valid package..." (roughly translated, as I am using a german server OS). This occured for both the 32 and the 64 bit package...

Using the event log, I found out that the error reason thrown by the MsiInstaller was "Invalid drive C:\" (my server has no drive C: due to some installation issues years ago etc. - well this had not been a problem so far). So I started examining the msi package with orca (from the windows server sdk). In the "properties" section I found the "TARGETPATH" variable containing the absolute path "C:\Programme\Paint.NET"... What the...?

Well I tried around with the other possible arguments in collaboration with /createMsi, but the variable remained an absolute path. So I tried editing the msi package with orca (%ProgramFiles%\Paint.NET and [ProgramFilesDir]\Paint.NET), but this also lead to a failure. Then I simply deleted the variable (not the value!) and ... it worked! Installation and uninstall via GPO succeeded.

So, is it possible to leave this variable out (or set a relative path) in future releases when /createMsi is used?

Kind regards...

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So, the TARGETPATH property was evaluated on your workstation, not the server. Just include the TARGETDIR that you want on the command-line when using /createMsi.

Not having a C drive is an extremely rare property for a Windows system. GPO deployment is intended for the scenario where distribution is to a large number of homogenous clients. Unless you're doing that, you should just run the setup program as-is, possibly using /auto for automated/unattended installation instead. You didn't specify what systems were hooked up to your group policy, if any. Were you installing Paint.NET on the server ... ?

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

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