Wednesday, February 02, 2011 4:06 AMWe want to deploy gadgets via group policy to all our windows 7 users.
Thursday, April 07, 2011 5:54 PM
Ok this is a bit of a long winded approach but it does work. I promise!
- Get a hold of Flexara Adminstudio (do a Google search, you can use the evaluation verson for now or buy the full version, or if you have SCCM use the Adminstudio Configuration Manager Edition). It's about a 500mb download.
- Install it and run it once to configure it. Start the Repackager app and do a Snapshot to create a baseline.
- Now get hold of you gadget file. Unzip it using Winzip or something similar to C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Shared Gadgets. (This is the folder for everyone to have the gadget and it is not user-specific. Also works if User Installed Gadgets is turned off in a GPO).
- E.g. if you had a gadget called bigfish.gadget you'll need to extract it to a folder called c:\program files\Windows Sidebar\Shared Gadgets\bigfish.gadget. If you look in that folder you'll see a load of java and xml and so on.
- Run the Adminstudio Repackager again and run another Snapshot post-install. Check the results screen that comes up and clear out anything thats a bit guff i.e. anything that doesn't have anything to do with C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Shared Gadgets. That includes registry, any other folders or files etc.
- Build an .msi package from within the Packager and save it somewhere.
- You can use this .msi to be deployed via SCCM or a GPO as normal.
I tried this earlier on today and it created an msi file that installed the MetOffice Weather Gadget. Came it at about 320kb. I say long-winded but I think from start to finish it only took about 20 minutes. And because the baseline is already done the next gadget will take only a couple of minutes.
Hope this helps.