The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Silent VPN Auto Installer

Years ago a co-worker worked on creating an EXE that we could distribute that would set up a VPN connection for our users in an unattended fashion…no user input other than to click “Yes” and to acknowledge the completion notice.

Well I’ve been looking for a way to make that auto installer completely silent. Because it is a user based setting, I can’t throw it into my SCCM Task Sequence. It needs to run after a user logs in. But I don’t want the user to see it run. It needs to run silently in the background…no user intervention at all.

I knew that Philip had used the Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) to create the original EXE. The auto installer includes a batch file that I co-wrote back in 2000 to remove any HOSTS file entries for our e-mail server as well as another batch file that modifies the routing table. It’s a pretty slick little file. If it didn’t resolve someone’s VPN issue, then there was something else wrong with their computer or internet connection.

When you run CMAK, it creates a folder that contains any files that you added to the package (the batch files I mentioned, logo/icon files, etc), the EXE that is the file you can distribute (named according to what you called the connection profile), and several settings files (.CMP, .CMS, .INF, .SED…also named according to the connection profile).

But…how to make it silent? I finally found the info in an entry in the help file for CMAK. It was buried down in a section of the help file titled, “Including Connection Manager in custom applications.” The syntax listed there is:

ServiceProfileFileName.exe [/q:a] /c:”cmstp.exe ServiceProfileFileName.inf [Parameters]”

Since I am wanting it to be completely silent, and not include a shortcut to the connection on the desktop, this is my command line to throw into SCCM: 

VPN.exe /q:a /c:”cmstp.exe VPN.inf /s /ns”

Works like a charm.

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March 26, 2008 - Posted by | ConfigMgr | , ,

6 Comments

  1. Hi Jarvis

    I’m having problems using a CMAK via SMS 2003.. i’m following your instructions but getting “The service profile is damaged. reinstall the service profile” when being installed by SMS.

    The basic icon appears but it doesn’t appear to copy over all of the files to the All Users profile. I’m using the /S and /AU arguments with the install.

    Any ideas?

    Comment by Chris | December 16, 2008

  2. I would have loved to have an answer to this question because I’m having the same problem :-) (some months later!)

    Comment by dynek | August 31, 2009

  3. Sorry guys,
    I don’t have access to that VPN file any more…I don’t work at that company any longer.

    Comment by Jarvis | August 31, 2009

  4. Hello Guys,

    Its possible to add a custom .exe(service) with SMAK to install in user side ?

    Comment by Diogo Pinheiro | September 24, 2009

  5. I am trying to use cmak with group policy. I have created the exe and converted to an msi. However this does not work. So I want to make it a silent install. Where do I put the strings? is it in the inf? and where in the inf? at the top?

    Comment by bryan | January 7, 2010

  6. I am closing further replies on this post. It has been way too long since I did this, and I honestly don’t remember enough to provide any helpful information to anyone asking new questions about it. As I noted in a previous reply, I don’t work at that company any more, and I don’t have access to the files any more to try to figure it out.

    Comment by Jarvis | January 8, 2010


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