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Automating VDM installation

While most of our Customers are relying on commercial tools such as Microsoft System Center to automate VDM installation or replicate their “golden images” within virtualized environments, there is definitely space for a self contained approach that should work with physical as well as virtual machines:

Remote software installation:

  1. Assuming here that you have a single license file “LICENSE.VDL” for all computers that need VDM.
  2. Install VDM on a test computer and import that license file. It is placed next to VDM.exe and read on VDM start.
  3. Configure VDM settings for your test user and confirm VDM is working properly. In case troubleshooting of this install is needed, check troubleshooting steps here: LINK.
  4. Copy the VDM folder to your target machines. Default directory on a 64-bit system is “C:\Program Files (x86)\VDM” and “C:\Program Files\VDM” on a 32-bit system. License file is expected to be part of this copy process, as it is inside the VDM folder.
  5. Execute VdmSetup.exe from the “..\VDM\System32” folder on the target machine with the “-i” switch to install VDM on the target system. Use “-u” command line switch to uninstall; reboot is required right after, so VDM files can be removed. Note that remote execution of either option, “VdmSetup -i” or “VdmSetup -u“, requires elevation of privileges, which is automatic with local installation and requires some additional scripting when executed remotely, as there will be no elevation prompt.
  6. VDM configuration is done per user and is located at “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Teknica Software, Inc.” key within Windows Registry. You can either use user profiles to propagate these same settings to your users configured on your test system, or export that Registry key to “*.reg” file and imported it to individual users as needed. No administrative privileges required.

Remote software update is very similar:

  1. Run “VdmSetup -u” on the target system and reboot
  2. While preserving LICENSE.VDL, delete the contents of the original VDM folder and replace it with new binaries.
  3. Run “VdmSetup -i” on the target system. At this point VDM is ready. All VDM settings per user are preserved.

While there are several options to accomplish remote execution, PowerShell’s “Invoke-Command” is probably best suited for this task.

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