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MDT 32 & 64 bit Applications

Last response: in Business Computing
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December 3, 2012 10:28:09 AM

Using MDT, is it possible to have both 32-bit and 64-bit Applications for their matching Operating System counterparts?

Thanks

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December 3, 2012 12:41:14 PM

I'm a little confused by your question, can you please elaborate on your specific circumstances/situation?

I think your answer is yes, but I need specific details as to what you are trying to accomplish :) 
December 3, 2012 3:06:11 PM

Gladly, I am using MDT to make custom images for deployment, but having both 32-bit and 64-but means that some applications (or programs) don't work on the 64-bit image as they are 32-bit. so my question is, can I have both software versions or would MDT just get confused?

:) 
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December 3, 2012 3:29:34 PM

I would not try to install a software package created on one architecture on another, even if the software is 32bit.

First problem will be that 32 bit software installs in c:\program files\ on 32 bit windows and c:\program files (x86)\ on 64 bit.

Beyond that, there will probably be small subtle differences that the installer makes but wouldn't be detected in an imaging scenario.
December 3, 2012 3:31:24 PM

Hold on, I think I misinterpreted the question.

I wouldn't try putting both versions as they will sometimes have install locations that are too locations and would possibly end up grabbing each others' files.
December 3, 2012 3:38:10 PM

It depends on how you have the software deployment setup. CAN you do it? Sure - but the best practice rule is not to. No need going over this, mi1ez did a good job of summing it up.

Instead, have you considered supplementing your process with Group Policy?


Edited for clarity.
December 3, 2012 5:10:54 PM

DearlyDeparted said:
Using MDT, is it possible to have both 32-bit and 64-bit Applications for their matching Operating System counterparts?

Thanks



Yes, you can have both 32 and 64 bit applications install during an MDT task sequence. You have to build the logic into your task sequence in order for it to work the way you want.

First, always use a x86 bit version of WinPE. x86 can deploy both 32 and 64 bit applications whereas the 64bit can only deploy 64bit. From there, you will want to run a WMI query in your group, or per application, to determine if the OS being deployed is 32 or 64, or depending on how you want to identify the architecture.

For example, you can query WMI for either hardware type requirements and determine whether to deploy 32 or 64 bit, and then set a flag that it is that architecture for all the applications from that point forward. Or you can run a WMI query per each application install if you have a 64/32 bit option. I have plenty of 32 bit apps I install on my 64bit systems.

Basically you want to work on writing WMI queries to build the logic to install your applications and do whatever other customizations you need to have done in your task sequence.
December 3, 2012 5:12:46 PM

cscott_it said:
It depends on how you have the software deployment setup. CAN you do it? Sure - but the best practice rule is not to. No need going over this, mi1ez did a good job of summing it up.

Instead, have you considered supplementing your process with Group Policy?


Edited for clarity.


Using group policy would be a last resort as it is a step backwards from modern application deployment methods. Prior to WAIK/MDT/SCCM as a Microsoft solution, group policies would have been ideal. Today you would want to avoid them as much as possible for application deployment if you have the ability to use WAIK/MDT/SCCM.
December 3, 2012 5:32:03 PM

riser said:
Using group policy would be a last resort as it is a step backwards from modern application deployment methods. Prior to WAIK/MDT/SCCM as a Microsoft solution, group policies would have been ideal. Today you would want to avoid them as much as possible for application deployment if you have the ability to use WAIK/MDT/SCCM.



I agree with this and highly recommend using MSCCM for deployment, app management, asset intelligence, etc. (have used it successfully in the past to manage a 500+ workstation site). Still, I try not to assume as to what each person has purchased and rather make general recommendations, but I should have at least asked - would have made more sense. It's become a bit second nature with my line of work to just assume they have what is mentioned and the bare minimum to support their infrastructure.


Although, if he does have MSCCM I would suggest using MSCCM for deployment and use MDT to build the master image. Unless things have changed and MDT now does zero touch installs. Though at this point, it's going off topic.

Thanks for the info though.
December 3, 2012 5:41:45 PM

I avoid using MDT outside of SCCM. People recommend it for driver management but if you understand how to do drivers, there really isn't a point in using MDT separate from SCCM for the master image.

SCCM comes with Build & Capture and 2012 now makes it even easier to service your master images offline.

MDT is free though and since the OP mentioned using it I decided to mention SCCM since it is one of the best management tools on the market.

I've managed multiple environments with SMS & SCCM, ranging from 1,000 systems up to 17,000, containing multiple sites and child primaries. Very complicated application for people to learn and utilize correctly... and worth every penny for larger shops.
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