ZCM Adaptive Agent Deployment Script Wizard


Problems with deploying the ZENworks Configuration Management Adaptive Agent?

This script wizard was designed to build a script that can be used to successfully deploy the ZCM Adaptive Agent in most situations when a standard deployment would probably fail. When an agent deployment fails, it normally causes IT over head to visit the workstation that failed to determine the cause of the failure and to manually install the agent. This script will help minimize visits to those workstation to perform a ZCM deployment.

Problems Encountered When Deploying Adaptive Agent:

  1. Simple File Sharing is enabled. In a new ZENworks environment with no Active Directory, IT would need to visit every workstation to disable Simple File Sharing to allow the ZCM server to deploy the agent to the workstation. In an existing ZENworks environment, a Group Policy would be needed (or application object) to make this change to the workstations. This means you must first wait for this change to deploy to your workstations before you can begin the Adaptive Agent deployment.

  • ZENworks Asset Management and/or ZENworks Patch Management are installed onto a workstation as well as the ZfD agent. The ZCM Adaptive Agent will remove the ZfD agent, but it does not remove the ZAM or ZPM agents from the workstation. In environments that currently use ZfD, an application object is required to perform this installation. This also requires coordination of the agent removals prior to the ZCM Adaptive Agent deployment.

  • Not all workstations are connected to the network when a deployment is initiated from ZCM causing IT to constantly check inventory to confirm they have gotten the agent deployed to all workstations. So if a user’s workstation is not on when the agent is deployed initially, that workstation will not get the agent when the user returns to work thus causing IT to constantly perform a discovery over a long period (typically a month) to find those workstations and get the agent deployed.

  • Sometimes an environment can just be in chaos, some workstations’ users will have the proper rights to do the agent removals and install, others won't. Over time, local admin passwords can be different and not documented, so IT is unsure what the password is for a particular workstation.

  • In early versions of ZCM, the updating to the current version of the Adaptive Agent on workstation does not deploy to all workstation.

  • A deployment of ZCM was done with out removing ZAM or ZPM leaving those agents installed and running. This causes two inventory scanners and/or two patch management scanners to run on the workstation. The fix? Uninstall the old agent and the ZCM Adaptive Agent and reinstall the Adaptive Agent.

This script wizard solves all of these problems. The script that is built is intended to run from with in a network login script. So you can be assured that if the user logs into your network, they will more than likely be running your network login script. Since it runs from the logins script the problem with Simple File Sharing do not exist. The automated removal of the previous ZENworks agents (ZfD, ZAM, ZPM) will ensure the workstation is properly prepped before the ZCM Adaptive Agent is installed with out having to coordinate the removal. This means that IT does not have to wait for the completed processing of an application object to get started on the ZCM Adaptive Agent deployment. Users whose workstations are not turned on at the time the deployment is started will get the agent the next time they log into the network. No monitoring of the network discovery needed. The script can be built with administrator credentials to install on the workstations with users who do not have local administrator rights. The script performs version checking to ensure that the workstation has the specified version installed, if it does not, it will install it. The script that is built can also remove and reinstall the ZCM agent if needed.

Currently available features in the ZCM Script Wizard:

  • The ability to enable or disable prompting of the user before beginning either the install of the uninstall.

  • The ability to enable or disable messages on the workstation showing the progress of the script.

  • Independent removal of the ZENworks For Desktops agent

  • Independent removal of the ZENworks Asset Management agent

  • Independent removal of the ZENworks Patch Management agent

  • Prompt user for reboot or do not prompt user for reboot or suppress reboot.

  • Deployment of the ZCM Adaptive Agent

  • Removal of the ZCM Adaptive Agent

  • Reinstallation of the ZCM Adaptive Agent

  • Installation of the ZCM Adaptive Agent using a registration key

  • The ability to remove or install software as a different user

  • Local administrator password detection

  • Auto Login functionality to automate beginning to end

  • Error reporting to either a log file or a Syslog server

  • Customization of messages presented to users.


How To-Best Practice
Comment List
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  • Script was written for XP deployments, not Win7 deployments. None of the ZCM deployments I have done have been to existing Win7 machines, so I have never taken the time to enable support for Win7. Currently I have only deployed ZCM to Win7 has part of the image pushed to the workstations.

    I am in the middle of writing up a new version of the script to distinguish between WinXP and Win7 and leverage the differences in the commands used to run the agent install. Since I am also adding a few new features people have asked for, and it has also been a pretty busy summer, I may not have something until late September.

    I have had some success using the script to deploy to Win7 at some small accounts. What I have seen is the little pop-up that wants you to confirm running the install. It does not always show it's self very well and may just be a minimized pop up. You may also want to confirm proper file access to the agent installation files. Also, keep in mind that using the Administrator login functions in the script will not work. Right now the RunAs command does not pass through properly, and the use of the AutoLogin feature is 100% incompatible with Win7 (mostly because the Run registry key entry used in the process works only as the Administrator, not as any other user in Win7 ... it's a nifty feature of the OS).
  • Provogeek dude, that is one awesome script. It must've taken you ages to write it. We also use AutoIT to script the auto installation of software (including our ZFDagent 6.5) but no where near the scale that you've done.

    Anyway, I wanted to know how your latest script wizard with support for Windows 7 was coming along. We are testing ZEN 11 SP1a and at the moment, deploying the agent is proving to be an absolute nightmare. Will your new script builder support the ZEN 11 agent?
  • The update is still a work in progree. I have had reports of success using the script when you disable the OS checking feature on win7. But you also have to run it as an admin.