Monday, July 21, 2008

Pointsec for PC: Upgrading

This morning I was looking at our download point where we grab our Pointsec for PC software and I found that a new version had been released. My clients are currently running 6.3.1 HFA 2 (HFA stands for Hot Fix Accumulator), and now HFA3 has been released. Of course now I need to upgrade all of my clients to make sure that they have the latest version.

The first step in my process is to test. You don't ever want to roll out software to a group of customers without making sure that your process is going to work. The easiest and fastest way to make sure that it's going to work properly on your own machine is to copy the contents of the 1_Pointsec for PC folder into your work folder. I downloaded the zip file, expanded the 1_Pointsec for PC folder and copied the contents into c:\program files\pointsec\pointsec for pc\work. After a few seconds all the file disappeared from my work folder and after another minute I saw the installer start running. I was asked to reboot and everything I was fine. I was now running 6.3.1 HFA3.

The next question is how to upgrade my clients. The best thing to do is call Pointsec support and ask for their advise, which is what I did. The person I spoke to recommended that I use a logon script to run an MSIEXEC command on each of the computers running an older version of Pointsec. He pointed me to the administrator guide on page 163 where it says
"msiexec.exe /i "pointsec for pc.msi" REINSTALLMODE=vomus REINSTALL=ALL REBOOT=ReallySuppress /q"
That is the recommended way of doing the upgrade, but I don't really have a way of running a login script on all of my clients. For one thing, it seems like a lot of work since I would have to get one of the Windows admins to actually write the script. The script would have to check if Pointsec was installed on the machine and then run the .msi. I just didn't want to do it that way, so I decided to use the upgrade path instead. According to the admin guide, you can use this option for any computer running Pointsec for PC 6.2 or later. So I rolled back the changes on my virtual machine, installed 6.3.1 and waited for the encryption to complete.

Once the encryption was complete, I had a fully functioning installation of Pointsec with no hot fixes. I went into my local computer settings and changed the upgrade path from what was set in there to another folder of my choosing. The reason for this is that I don't want all my clients to download and install the upgrade until I'm sure that it works. I then copied the .msi file and the modules folder from the 1_Pointsec for PC folder into my new upgrade folder and waited patiently. After a while, I saw the installer start on my client and was prompted to reboot. I now have Pointsec for PC 6.3.1 HFA 3 running on my machine without having to visit the client or mess with a login script.

The last thing you want to check out is that something gets put into the log files so that you'll know if all your computers have upgraded properly. I checked the logs on the central server and found this message to confirm that everything worked alright.

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