Friday, April 22, 2011

Acad2012DX.msi - DirectX Installer for AutoCAD 2012 Deployments

As promised, I've uploaded a ZIP file to my downloads site which contains Acad2012DX.MSI and README_LICENSE.TXT.  The MSI was compiled using Symantec Wise Package Studio and was tested on a Windows 7 client using System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

computer_network_administrationBackground:  For those that don't read my blog (you lucky person), or haven't read my book (oh, the pain!), there is a small but important issue with trying to push a prepared AutoCAD 2012 deployment installation using SCCM 2007.  It requires that .NET Framework 4 be installed prior to running the unattended setup (e.g. setup.exe /W /I /Q AdminImage\deployment.ini), as well as pre-installing the DirectX library components. 

The DXSETUP.exe installer won't usually install via SCCM 2007 with the /SILENT switch however.  The workaround I've used is to package the DirectX components from the AutoCAD installation media (or network deployment share) and run the "DXSETUP.exe /SILENT" request internally using synchronous/ignore-exit-code.  If you try to run the Deployment setup.exe through SCCM without having .NET Framework 4 and the DirectX libraries (only those from the AutoCAD media, it won't help to install the library from a Microsoft download), the advertisement will fail but returns a 0 exit code.  That means it reports back as "successful" when nothing was actually installed.

Phew!

So, it's easy enough to push .NET Framework 4 installations with SCCM 2007.  That's not the annoying part.  The DirectX libraries are what trip most people up.

All I ask is that you abide by the README_LICENSE.TXT file and assume the responsibility for testing this and not deploying it into a production environment without successful testing first.  Please let me know how it works for you?  Even though it is officially, and legally "unsupported" I would like to know if it works or not for you.  Thanks!

6 comments:

Peter said...

I am not having these problems at all, whats your environment? I havent tested on XP yet, my problem is to transfer the content from the distribution point to the clients before installation wont work because of all the IIS transfer security settings which dont allow a lot of the sample files contained in the deployment.

Did you manage to solve that or do you install all clients directly from the distribution point shares?

skatterbrainz said...

You can't deploy the DirectX component via the AutoCAD deployment share using Config Mgr. It reports "succeeded" but will actually fail. I have tested this over a hundred times (literally) on XP, Vista, Win7, and using Config Manager 2007 SP2 and R2 and R3 as well. It is a known and documented issue (refer to the Autodesk Network Deployment Guide for AutoCAD 2012)

I never cache to the clients with an AutoCAD deployment because the UNC source path is hard-coded in the deployment .INI. You will spend a lot of time downloading the cache and it will end up running the installation from the hard-coded UNC path anyway. Better to use a deployment share or a split DP source (deployment files in non-replicated share and small setup.cmd or setup.bat in a replicated share).

The problem described in this particular post is only about the DirectX issue. I simply repackage it and the .MSI gets pushed ahead of the main AutoCAD 2012 deployment. Works perfectly for me. If you aren't having this issue that's pretty interesting and unlike the documented behavior, but it means less work for you also. Cheers!

Adam said...

Any plans for a 2013 version of the DirectX MSI? Or is the code-base similar enough that it would be safe to re-use the 2012 msi file?

I can't thank you enough for righting this deployment script, btw. Great stuff sir!

David Stein said...

You don't need it with 2013 anymore. The Deployment building wizard does a great job of handling DirectX and .NET 4 as well as making it easy to deploy through System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (and 2012).

aidbish said...

so for 2013 on a windows xp box,repackaging of the directx is now not required
is this confirmed?

as i see its still stated as required on autocad documentation

David Stein said...

I will verify this on XP and post a follow-up.