Hi All,

Have been reading about all the stuffing around that people are having
to go through to try to get Flash player v9 installed where v8.0.24.0
was already installed by Group Policy. I haven't found a simple answer
yet, so here's what worked for me.

Problem:

If the Flash v8.0.24.0 ActiveX MSI with a digital certificate date
earlier than 31 March 06 was installed by Group Policy, it cannot be
uninstalled or upgraded by Group Policy.

This is because the MSI does not uninstall silently, even when told to
do so - it shows an "uninstall complete" dialog box. The uninstall runs
both when uninstalling, and as part of upgrading to v9. If the
uninstall is occurring as part of the Windows boot, the dialog is
hidden as the uninstall occurs prior to the Ctrl + Alt + Del prompt,
and the computer appears to have hung (just sits there saying
"Installing Flash 9" type thing).

The problem is described in detail in this newsgroup post:

"Flash 8.0.24.0 MSI may not uninstall correctly in Group Policy" -
[url]http://groups.google.ca/group/macromedia.players.flash/browse_thread/thread/e8bae42a6e8cd630/29bc4fc013dec33c[/url]

Solution:

Adobe suggests a solution in their TechNote 4a8d52ae -
[url]http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/knowledgebase/index.cfm?id=4a8d52ae[/url]

However, this solution requires running multiple non-MSI apps in
sequence, something that is not easily done in Group Policy Software
Assignment.

Instead, as the above post says, Macromedia released a fixed
(uninstalls silently) version of the 8.0.24.0 MSI. The version number
is the same, but the digital certificate date (right-click on MSI file
- properties - digital certificate) is 31 March 2006, or 1 April 2006
in the case of the one I got. Get this MSI via the Macromedia / Adobe
redistribution licensing site -
[url]http://www.adobe.com/licensing/distribution/[/url]

So, what I did is:

0) Already have v8.0.24.0 bad MSI assigned to computers via Group
Policy. works fine, but won't uninstall and thus won't upgrade.

1) Specify a new software assignment, using the good 8.0.24.0 MSI. When
specifying this, select Advanced, and then set it to:

a) Be called something like "Macromedia Flash Player 8.0.24.0 v2"
(optional)

b) Upgrade the bad 8.0.24.0 MSI

c) Do not uninstall the bad 8.0.24.0 MSI, but just over-write it

This means the computers will install the good 8.0.24.0 over the bad
8.0.24.0, without uninstalling the bad one. The name used in step (a)
will show in Add/Remove programs.

2) Wait a few weeks, until you are sure all computers that have the bad
8.0.24.0 have been upgraded to the good one.

3) Specify a second software assignment of Flash v9.whatever. When
specifying, set it to:

a) Upgrade the good 8.0.24.0 - probably set by default

b) Not upgrade the bad 8.0.24.0 - probably need to remove the default

This will uninstall 8.0.24.0 as part of the upgrade, but as it's the
good 8.0.24.0, the uninstall works, the v9 install works, and all is
well.



After all of this, Add/Remove programs shows only the v9, and the flash
version test in IE shows v9.

Note that you can't skip step 2 - if you specify both software installs
at the same time, Windows says "aha, I have 2 updates for the same
thing, I'll just apply the latest one", tries to install v9, and it all
goes to custard.

Snipe: As usual, top marks to Adobe for ing up MSIs, not
understanding version numbers, and generally making crappy software.

:)

Lukas