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Updating existing installation items

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There are two ways to update existing installation items:

  1. Patching (minor update)
  2. Updating (major update)

Updating existing installation items by patching

A software patch is a small piece of software that is designed to solve certain problems with an existing and installed installation item. An important aspect to make the right decision between performing a patch or an update is how this software is removed from the computer.

In other words: when after a software update the original uninstallation commands are used to remove this software, you can consider the update as a patch. But when the original software is replaced after the update and the uninstall commands are changed, the update must be treated as an update installation.

You patch items by following these steps

  1. Copy the patch files

After you determine that the update is to be considered as a patch, you must copy the patch files to the existing source directory used by the installed installation item. Make sure these files are added and not replaced via the existing installation files. If these files use the same name as the existing files, you must create a subfolder and copy these files to this subfolder.

  1. Add new installation commands

Add the required (patch) commands to the existing installation commands and test these commands on a computer with the existing installation item installed. Then you test the same on a computer without the existing installation item installed. Both of these options must result in a successful installation with the patch included. Do not rename the installation item or change the existing installation orders or order. After the installation item has been updated, do not forget to re-implement the installation list.


Updating existing installation items by updating

The second way of updating existing installation items is by performing updates. We view updates as major modifications of an existing installation item. This means that the existing installation will be replaced by a new installation of a higher version. Please note that you will only treat it as an update if the uninstall settings are changed. If after a software update the original uninstall commands are used to uninstall this software, this update must be treated as a patch.

You can perform updates by following these steps:

  1. Create a new installation item

After you determine that the update should actually be considered an update, you must copy the new installation files to a new source folder and create a new installation item. Ensure that the membership options are the same as the existing installation item. Also note that this installation item will be installed on a computer with and without the installed installation item. Determine and set an availability date when the installation item is to be installed.

An example of a new installation item would be:

– Before (existing): Adobe Reader 9

– After (new): Adobe Reader 10


  1. Expire the existing installation item

After the new installation item has been created, you must drop the existing (older) installation item. Set an expiration date before the availability date of the new installation item and set the Activate Uninstall Property to ensure that the existing installation item is removed before the new item is installed.

Also, ensure that the uninstall commands have been successfully tested. Remember to re-implement the installation list to ensure that all changes are updated to all active Agents.


  1. Consider removing the existing installation item

You have successfully removed the existing (older) installation item from all computers. And the new installation item has been successfully installed.

If no future management is required for this (older) installation item, you should export it for a while and consider removing this older installation item. Remember that both installation items are recorded by all Agents who have used the old installation item. The old (deleted) installation item is then registered as deleted and the new installation item is registered as installed.


Deleting existing installation items

To be thorough, we also add how you can delete existing items.

You should pay attention to this:

Before deleting an installation item, ensure that this installation item is not used and is removed from all computers that are running the Agent. Also, make sure that this installation item is not necessary for future use. Deleting an installation item can be started by canceling the installation item and activating the option to uninstall.

Before you remove an installation item from the installation list, we advise you to first export this installation item and make a backup of it. It’s also a good idea to read the user guide if you haven’t done so already.


Easy Software Deployment is een product van Provolve IT.

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