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.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | ConfigMgr | , , | 6 Comments

Panda Antivirus Rant

I’ve made no secret that I dislike our corporate anti-virus software. Had a really good conversation with our guy who manages the system yesterday (Jeff), and he isn’t completely happy with it either…he just ran out of time to evaluate other options before the contract was going to expire and needed to be renewed.

Anyway, I just found out from Jeff that Panda removed the silent install switch from the installer. They did WHAT? For IT guys installing software on lots of machines…the silent install switch is a must. We use it to be able to install software in the background with no user interaction. This makes it easy for us to scale a deployment…to automate it so that we can push the installer to a large number of computers at once without having to be concerned about whether a user sees what is going on or not.

And Panda removed that option. Lovely. Let me add it to my growing list of reasons I dislike Panda Anti-virus.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | tech | , , | Leave a comment