04: How to manually update Paks

If a preconfigured PolicyPak or a PolicyPak you create has a bug or error, it’s a simple procedure to take the updated Pak and update the GPO. This procedure shows you how.

PolicyPak: How to update Paks video transcript

Hello, everybody. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, former Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, we’re going to talk about how to do an update of an existing Pak.

For example, let’s say you had a Pak – in this case it happens to be “Flash Settings” – and it turns out there’s a bug in the Pak. Either there’s a bug in a Pak that you created, or there’s a bug in a Pak that we created. If there’s a bug or some other update of the Pak, no big deal. Let’s explain what’s going on underneath the hood so you can fix it and update it.

First and foremost, let’s say you clicked “Edit…” for this Group Policy Object, and this is the old version, the one that you’ve already got in place. If you go to “PolicyPak/Applications” here, for instance, the bug in this particular Pak happens to be here under “Advanced.” We’ve already got this thing selected to “Never check for updates (not recommended).” We’ve already got it set to this setting, but that’s the setting with the bug. What does that mean? What do we have to do?

What we’re going to do is we’ll go ahead and close this out, and we’re going to update our Pak.Remember, there are two locations that a Pak DLL can be stored in. One of them is called local storage, and that lives under “Program FilesPolicyPakExtensions.” The other place is going to be the Central Store. No matter where your extension lives, that’s what you’re going to fix.

For instance, let’s go back to “Flash Settings.” If we look again here, it says this guy is being pulled from “Local storage.” Now I recommend that most organizations use the Central Store, but in this example I happen to be using local storage. The point is that this DLL has got the bug. The one that I’ve already got in place, the one you’re already using has the bug.

What are we going to do?Let’s say there’s an update available or you make your own Pak and you fix it, what do you do next? It’s very simple what you do next. You can’t see what I’m about to do here. I’m going to drag and drop my latest, greatest Flash here. In other words, let’s say you get a patch from us or you update it yourself, what’s in here really? Remember, PolicyPakPaks are really two things? There are the DLLs and there are the XMLs. Really all we care to do is update the DLLs.

Let’s say there are a couple of updates here. We go ahead and we’ll just copy those in. We’ll replace the old ones with the new ones. You can see I’ve got the latest, greatest file dates there. Let’s go back in and now let’s re-“Edit…” that same Group Policy Object, go back to “PolicyPak/Applications” and look what happens immediately. We note inside the MMC that there’s a newer version, there’s a newer DLL you just put in local storage – “Local storage (newer).”

When you double click, it actually says, “Hey, wait a second. Do we want to do this?” The reason why it’s asking you this is if you think about it, when we updated the Pak a couple of things could have occurred. The first thing that could have occurred is we could have added a bunch of cool new features or we could have added 12 checkboxes or we could have added a bunch of things, and that’s fine.Now in that case, it’s a no-brainer. Of course, you would say that you wanted to continue.

Now the other side of the coin is let’s say we deleted a whole tab or we got rid of a bunch of settings or we changed the wording around of a bunch of things. Now in that case if we continue onward, what happens is that those settings that no longer exist in the original Group Policy Object are going to be obliterated.

Let me say that again. If there’s a tab that you deleted, all those setting that are in the tab, they’re going to be gone because they don’t exist anymore in the configuration Pak in the first place. I do cover this in excruciating detail in the manual. I do really want you to read that, but this is a quick-and-dirty example of how to do an update.

If you read the wording here it says, “Do you wish to select a different DLL?” If you select “Yes,” you’re kind of saying no. Let me say that again. If you click on here and you say “Yes,” you’re actually saying that you don’t want to continue. We did that by design. The idea is that we wanted to make sure that you really knew what you were doing here to update an old version to a new version. Again, I do cover this in the manual.

The point of the story here is when you copy in the latest, greatest DLL file, you actually click “No” here. By saying “No,” you’re committing to saying yes. I know the wording seems a little weird, but the point of the story is by saying “No” that you don’t want to select another DLL that you are saying yes, the one that you’ve selected is OK.

If you go back to “Advanced,” all your settings are still there if the Pak doesn’t really have any major changes. I didn’t delete the “Advanced” tab. I just added a new setting here under “Never check for updates (not recommended).” You don’t even have to make any settings changes. You just have to click “OK.”

I want you to watch what happens when I click “OK.” Right here where it says “Local storage (newer),” when I click “OK” it will change to“Local storage.” That is now the latest version. You’ve now updated that Pak from the previous version to the latest version.

When you’re doing your testing, if we do tell you that there’s an update in a particular Pak – like there’s an update here in Flash – then this is the procedure. Step one, update your DLLs either in the local or Central Store.

Step two, find the Group Policy Object that have the Paks that you’re using. Go in there. You’ll see that it tells you that there’s a newer version. You’ll double click it. You’ll say “No,” which is giving approval to go ahead and go into the Group Policy Object.

You don’t have to make any changes. You just click “OK” and you’re good.At this point now what has happened is that the bug that was in that little definition of that particular setting is now updated and you’re good to go.

That is, in fact, how you update a Pak from an older DLL to a newer DLL – either the ones that you create or the ones that we create. I hope that makes sense and if you have an questions, we’re here for you.

Thanks so much. We’ll talk to you soon.

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  • 26-Jun-2019