Deploying Desktop Connector 14.9.0 (with Autodesk 2022)

Published by Aaron Maller on

We’re in the midst of our Autodesk 2022 Product rollout, on our Parallax machines, and this coming week i am taking my first trip in 15 months, to fully deploy/update a Client’s office, in Atlanta (road trip!). Needless to say, we had prepped all of our software packages over a week ago, including Desktop Connector 14.8.0 (which renamed from BIM360 to Autodesk Docs, since we last updated at 14.0, so we wanted to rip than band-aid off and get it done).

Imagine my surprise (on Friday) when i saw David Baldacchino’s tweet, about the installer not having a silent flag for automation (thanks for the heads up, David!). Evidently, version 14.9.0 was released last week, and I had missed it. And, as David points out in his tweet, the installer (while its named the exact same thing as 14.8.0’s) is an entirely different animal:

Desktop Connector Installers

Note that the _Versions suffix on these installers are not there when you download them. I put those on ours, for version tracking on the installers. These are ALL named DesktopConnector-x64.exe when they are downloaded (a massive source of frustration for me, with application installers). You’ll notice the new one is much larger than 14.8.0 (which isn’t an issue, but worth noting), but more importantly: When you run it, it doesn’t install DC right away: It unpacks to C:\Autodesk, unlike the old DC installer:

Within the unpacked Folder named (take a breath) Autodesk_Desktop_Connector_14_9_0_1430_Win_64bit, youll see a structure that very closely represents the new 2021/2022 Deployment Structure, its just not “configured” as a Deployment, itself.

The GOOD news is, it is all Relatively pathed, so you can move this folder to your server, and name it something not stupid. We relocated and named ours the DC14.9.0.1430 directory you see a few images above.

With the “new installer” setups, you CAN run them silently even if they don’t have a full on Deployment config, by engaging the Setup.exe found in the folder, and passing it the arguments:

Setup.exe -i install -q

Note that some of the other “standalones” like the Navis Exporters, it seems like you want to pass -o as an argument (to accept the EULA) but that doesn’t seem necessary here. It might not be on the Exporters either, but we did.

Note: Here is where things get a little sideways, with this new Installer and using this method: They get angry, if Desktop Connector is currently installed and running (sigh). This is pet peeve number 02, on this installer. If you have to give yourself an oil change, make sure you turned your own car off, before pulling the drain plug.

You have two options for handing this, it seems (our samples are shown as Pragmatic Praxis Deployment Definitions Files, but you can do the same with SCCM / PDQ / MDT / BAT / PS1 / Whatever):

The first is to leverage Taskkill /F /IM DesktopConnector.Applications.Tray.exe to shut down the instance of DC that is currently running. This will let the 14.9.0 installer “run over” the old one, and install the new one. Its not pretty, but it gets you there.

Leverage /taskkill to unceremoniously squash the running instance of Desktop Connectors App Tray

The second option, is to uninstall all the Desktop Connector version that’s currently installed, first.

Uninstalling Desktop Connector Prior

This brings me to pet peeve number 03, of other peoples installers: Installed Version of the program, vs the GUID: All of the Desktop Connectors are named “Autodesk Desktop Connector” even though they are different versions, and have different GUID’s. This means you would have to iterate through all of the Uninstallers.

What’s more, if Desktop Connector IS installed, obviously only one of those GUID’s will be correct for your machine. In our environment, this means the rest of the “uninstallers” would throw an error that the GUID doesn’t match, which is not awesome. This is why I am always happy to see Programs that register themselves as the specific versions they are installed as.

All that to say: We are going with the Taskkill method, and the Silent Installer relocated to the network.

It didn’t/doesn’t take a Herculean effort to make this work (and its functional) but it was a bit of a detour, two exits before the destination. So, just be aware that between 14.8.0 and 14.9.0 the method for silent deployment has to change. If you are having users simply download and Install, it wont be an issue (although the dialogues and process are slightly different).

Aaron Maller

Aaron has been in Architecture since 2004, and has been working in implementation since 2005. Aaron is great at evaluating practices and looking for efficiencies. He strives to work in “minutes” that can be saved, and is passionate about critiquing workflows.


Dave Plumb · 2021-05-03 at 13:13

Can we delete those annoying 14 other languages from the SetupRes\locale folder?

    Aaron Maller · 2021-05-03 at 13:49

    @Dave: To be honest, i havent tried. But they only total 60kb, so i dont know that there is an added benefit to it (for Desktop Connector, anyway).

Craig Putnam · 2021-06-01 at 12:15

Thank you for this! I was gearing up to spend a few hours (that I don’t have to spare) rewriting my silent installer, but you’ve already done the hard work. If you’re ever in Salt Lake City, I’ll buy you a beer.

    Aaron Maller · 2021-06-01 at 12:51

    Very welcome! Ill get out there at some point. 🙂

Craig · 2021-06-30 at 20:55

PDQ Users: Step CMD: %WINDIR%\System32\Taskkill.exe /f /im DesktopConnector.Applications.Tray.exe
Success Codes 0,128

Philip · 2021-08-31 at 14:41

Have you figured out a way to silent uninstall the newer version of Desktop Connector? I have tried the following without success.

“C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AdODIS\V1\Installer.exe” -i uninstall –trigger_point system -m C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{ECB4E0FE-696E-30EC-BE5D-F72C9CC9705F}\bundleManifest.xml -x C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{ECB4E0FE-696E-30EC-BE5D-F72C9CC9705F}\SetupRes\manifest.xsd

MsiExec.exe /qn /norestart /X{688CA783-F06F-4737-BB88-D503DF583ADA}

    Aaron Maller · 2021-08-31 at 15:12

    Hey Philip! I’ll have to fire up a VM and test it out, and then get back to you. We dont deploy every single version of DC, but also we have been just taskkilling and running the new installer. I havent had to work through the uninstall, yet.

    Aaron Maller · 2021-09-04 at 12:59

    Returning back to this now, Philip- So, i havent had a need to specifically run the UNinstaller, but we did just roll out, over the top of 14.9, without incident (and silently). I assume you have a different reason for needing to uninstall?

      Philip · 2021-09-07 at 13:03

      Correct, I am able to update the versions fine, but there are some situations when I need to remove desktop connector completely from a machine silently through a script and I can’t get it to work using the information that is stored in the Uninstall registry keys.

        Aaron Maller · 2021-09-07 at 13:15

        That makes sense! I have my VM all up to date now. Let me take a look. 🙂

        Aaron Maller · 2021-09-07 at 14:13

        So, i am able to make it work with the MSIExec and the GUID’s stored in the Registry. I tried it for 14.9, and it worked like a champ. Which version did you try that isnt working correctly?

          Philip · 2021-09-07 at 14:57

          I was working on 14.12, but now I am on 14.13. I think I finally figured it out though. I don’t need to use msiexec, but just the AdODIS installer.exe with the –silent at the end just like you would for the install. So the command for a silent uninstall for should be:

          TASKKILL /F /IM “DesktopConnector.Applications.Tray.exe”
          “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AdODIS\V1\Installer.exe” -i uninstall –trigger_point system -m C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{9360D216-409D-305B-B188-FD2064AB8DB5}\bundleManifest.xml -x C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{9360D216-409D-305B-B188-FD2064AB8DB5}\SetupRes\manifest.xsd –silent

          Aaron Maller · 2021-09-07 at 15:59

          Thats cool! We got it to work with the msiexec, but its good to know you can just use the ODIS method too!

Bart Laureys · 2021-09-10 at 03:09

Maybe a stupid questions but for the silent intallation of 14.13 the silent switch “Setup.exe -i install -q” didn’t work for us
So is it enough to install just the 2 msi’s under
Or is AdODIS also necessary?

    aaron maller · 2021-09-13 at 14:12

    Can you explain what “didnt work for us” means? What specific error are you seeing? I wouldnt start hacking up the deployment to get at the MSI’s, when the -q silent mode does work for most people. I would troubleshoot whats happening on your systems that isnt allowing it to work, personally.

    Philip · 2021-09-14 at 10:34

    Bart, we use setup.exe –silent to push it out silently using PDQ.

    That is supposed to be two dashes and not one.

      aaron maller · 2021-09-14 at 10:36

      Just to clarify- For us, its a single dash intentionally. Not sure why its different from the other arguments, but it did seem to be different, and ours is working here.

        Ed · 2021-10-20 at 21:25

        Because with ODIS, “-q” and “–silent” parameters have the same function, though each requires a different number of dashes. You can use either option.

        Separately, including the “-i install” parameter works the same as leaving it out, as it is the default function.

Raudel · 2021-09-16 at 13:49

Using PDQ Deploy to install 14.13 update, using Taskkill and Setup.exe -install –silent resulting in error “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail.”

Theo · 2021-09-20 at 00:32

Any one know of the “new” /norestart command for the latest version when running silently, logs showing after all dependencies installed restart is called. if useful to any here is my current install and uninstall using sccm. i unpack the original download then run the following (as if you were creating a deployment)
Install ( also include a suppression for update, as found in autodesk site admin guide.

regedit /s .\SuppressNotification.reg
Taskkill /IM desktopconnector.applications.tray.exe /f
“%~dp0Setup.exe” -i install –silent

uninstall uses uninstall strings from registry
Taskkill /IM desktopconnector.applications.tray.exe /f

“C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AdODIS\V1\Installer.exe” -i uninstall –silent –trigger_point system -m C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{9360D216-409D-305B-B188-FD2064AB8DB5}\bundleManifest.xml -x C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ODIS\metadata\{9360D216-409D-305B-B188-FD2064AB8DB5}\SetupRes\manifest.xsd

MsiExec.exe /X{3F11B982-D694-48AE-8418-6CD6B4CE39C0} /quiet /norestart

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