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KACE Desktop Authority 11.1 - Administrator Guide

Administrator's Guide
Product Improvement Program Installation Help Concepts User Interface Validation Logic Configuration Computer Management User Management Reference File Paths
Setup Tool

Power Schemes

The Power Schemes object is used to establish power settings in order to save energy and reduce costs and may possibly save some wear and tear on computer equipment by managing how certain devices use power settings.

Power Scheme settings can be configured to run on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Power Schemes cannot be configured to run on Terminal Servers, Member Servers or Domain Controllers and 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, and 2019 operating systems.

To configure Power settings on Windows 7 machines and above, select the Power Plan Settings tab.

Power Plan Settings

Power plan
Action

Select Create/Modify or Remove from the Action list. The Create/Modify action will create a new Power plan if one does not already exist with the specified Power plan name or modify the existing Power plan if one already exists with the specified name. Remove will delete an existing Power plan if one exists with the specified Power plan name.

Power plan name

Select from existing Power plans Desktop Authority Power Plan, Balanced, Power Saver, and High performance pre-defined power plans.  Enter a new Power plan name to define new configurations. Enter an existing power plan name to update an existing scheme.

Power plan based on

Select one of the existing power plans as the base of your new custom power plan.

Sleep and display settings
Turn off the display

Enter the amount of idle time that must elapse before Windows turns off the display. This time can be set independently for a computer running on battery and when it is plugged in.

Put the computer to sleep

Enter the amount of idle time that must elapse before Windows puts the computer into sleep mode. This time can be set independently for a computer running on battery and when it is plugged in.

Validation Logic

Select the Validation Logic tab to set the validation rules for this element.

Notes

Select the Notes tab to create any additional notes needed to document the profile element.

Description

When adding or modifying a profile object element, the description appears above the settings tab. Enter a description to annotate the element. The default value for new profile elements can be changed by going to the system Preferences.

Pre/Post Engine Scripts

Out of the box, Desktop Authority accommodates virtually every installation's requirements simply by filling in the blanks of the objects in the Desktop Authority Manager. While feature-rich and easy-to-use, the Manager may not provide all of the desired functionality out of the box. That's where custom scripting comes in.

Custom Scripting can be used for automated software deployment, locating and/or copying files, special-case drive mappings or to override the Manager settings.

Custom scripting is relatively easy and can be as simple or complex as necessary -- though it does require programming knowledge in KiXtart, PowerShell or VBScript and often requires a working knowledge of the Windows registry. Custom scripts contain scripting code and may launch additional executables, batch files, or scripts of any type using the "shell" or "run" commands.

Note: Documentation about the KiXtart scripting language can be found at KiXtart.org, the official home of KiXtart.

Pre-engine custom scripts are launched after Desktop Authority's defined configuration settings are read into memory but before these configuration settings are applied. This allows you to "override" variables defined by Desktop Authority with your own custom settings.

Post-engine custom scripts are launched after the Desktop Authority Engine processes the Manager defined configuration settings. This allows you to use drive mappings and other configuration settings after Desktop Authority has applied them to the client.

Custom scripts

A custom script is an ASCII text file written using a scripting language. Desktop Authority supports KiXtart (.kix), PowerShell (.ps1) and VBScript (.vbs). A script may be created using Notepad or any other text editor. The script file may be created within or outside of the Manager.

To create a script from within the manager

  1. Decide at which point the script should run, Pre or Post Engine. Create the element by clicking Add inside the element list on the Pre/Post-Engine Scripts object.
  2. Specify a script file name on the Settings tab. The file name should end with a .kix, .ps1 or .vbs extension depending on the type of script being created. Once the extension is recognized by the Manager, the Edit file button will be enabled.
  3. Click the Edit file button and the new script file will be created and opened within the custom script editor.

Note: If creating a .kix script, be sure to leave all of the default contents of the script file intact and enter your script code between the comment lines.

  1. Click the Save button to save your changes or the Cancel button to abort your changes.

To modify an existing script from within the Manager

  1. Select either the Pre or Post Engine Scripts object and then the element to be modified. Click the Edit button.
  2. Once the element is open, click the Edit file button to open the custom script file in the editor. You may now make any necessary changes to the script.

Note: Keep in mind that the script file may also be edited in any other appropriate editor you see fit outside of the Desktop Authority Manager.

  1. Click the Save button to save the changes or the Cancel button to abort the changes.

Using an existing script created outside of the manager

Note: To create a script outside of the Manager, simply load any appropriate text editor and begin typing. Once the script is complete (and tested) it may be added to the Pre and/or Post-Engine object within the Manager.

  1. Create or modify the Pre/Post-Engine script element.
  2. Once the script element is open, click the Browse button to locate the file with the resource browser.
  3. Click Open to select the file once it is located.
  4. Click the Save button to save the changes or the Cancel button to abort the changes.
Custom Script execution

As Desktop Authority processes the custom script elements defined by the Pre and/or Post Engine Script list, Validation Logic is applied to each script, beginning with the element at the top of the list. Prioritize the list entries by selecting one or more entries and clicking the Up or Down buttons to reorganize the list.

Figure 45: Set the order of the script entries for execution

Settings

Pre/Post-engine scripts settings
File name

Enter the name of the custom script file. The script file name must have an extension of .kix, .ps1 or .vbs. Click Browse to locate and select an existing script file from a network share. If the file does not already exist, Desktop Authority allows the creation of scripts directly from this dialog box. Once a file name with a recognizable extension ( .kix, .ps1, .vbs) is entered into the file name field the file may be edited. Click the Edit file button to edit it. The file will be created and/opened for edit in the system editor. If a new script is being created, some comments are automatically added to the file by Desktop Authority.

Dynamic Variables

Dynamic variables, environment variables or macros may be used as part of the custom script file name. These variables are translated during the client logon process.

Example:

File name: $UserId.kix                

For the user Mary Jones, this will translate into mjones.kix when she logs on.

To insert a dynamic variable, press the F2 key and select the variable from the popup list. The dynamic variable will be inserted into the field at the cursor’s current position.

Dynamic variables may also be used as part of the content of a custom script. In order to use the Desktop Authority Dynamic variables within a PowerShell script, use $DA.davariablename. For example, if you wanted to enumerate the user's UserID, the dynamic variable is $UserID. You would format the variable as $DA.UserID in the PowerShell script.

In order to use dynamic variables in a VBScript use DA_davariablename. For example, if you wanted to enumerate the user's fullname, the dynamic variable is $FullName. You would format the variable as DA_FullName in the VBScript.

Administrative rights

Powershell and VBScripts may be run with Administrative rights by using the /admin switch following the file name.

Important: The administrative rights switch (/admin) cannot be used with a KiXtart (.kix) script since Desktop Authority already provides API functions that are executed with admin rights. Standard KiXtart functions do not use administrative rights.

Example:

scriptname.ps1 /admin

scriptname.vbs /admin

\\servername\sharename\scriptname.ps1 /admin

\\servername\sharename\scriptname.vbs /admin

IMPORTANT: When using the administrative rights switch (/admin) to execute a PowerShell or VBScript, the any Desktop Authority dynamic variables used will be evaluated based on the context of the user logging in. However, if PowerShell or VBScript variables are used within the script, they will be evaluated based on the context of the Desktop Authority Client Service user account.

There are not many rules about editing custom scripts, however, remember that each KiXtart script must end with a RETURN statement so that control is returned to the Desktop Authority Engine when the script is finished processing. This is not the case for Powershell and VBscripts.

Desktop Authority provides no error control over custom scripting. A syntax error in a custom script may cause Desktop Authority to unexpectedly terminate.

Note: Quest does not offer support for writing, modifying or troubleshooting custom scripts.

Validation Logic

Select the Validation Logic tab to set the validation rules for this element.

Notes

Select the Notes tab to create any additional notes needed to document the profile element.

Description

When adding or modifying a profile object element, the description appears above the settings tab. Enter a description to annotate the element. The default value for new profile elements can be changed by going to the system Preferences.

Printers

The Printers object configures printer mappings. Printer mappings redirect local printer ports (LPTx) and printer resources to a shared network printer.

Settings

Printer
Printer type

Select either Network Printer or IP Printer from the Printer Type list.

Shared printer (Network Printer)

Enter the path of the network printer. The path should be specified in the form of \\server\share\. Optionally, click Browse to navigate to the network printer. Press the F2 key to use a dynamic variable. 

Specify /DELETE in the Shared Printer prompt to remove all persistent printer mappings that a user has created on their workstation that corresponds to the same port number specified for the shared printer configuration.

Printer share for driver installation (IP Printer)

IP Printer: Enter the path of the printer driver that will be installed to the client for the IP Printer.

Auto add/remove(printer)/remove(driver)

Select Add, Remove, Remove Printer Driver or "-" from the list.  This allows you to choose from automatically adding or removing a printer or removing a printer driver on a client. This applies to clients with Microsoft Windows 2008//7/8.1/10/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019 operating systems.

Keep in mind that IP Printers are machine specific (local ports). Therefore, everyone connected to the machine will have access to the specified IP Printer.

Set as Default

Select this check box to set any Auto-Added printers as the default printer on the client.

For Desktop Authority to be able to set an auto-added printer as the client’s default printer, the printer name must match the share name exactly. For example: On the server, if there is a printer called "HP4000 Accounting"; it must be shared as "HP4000 Accounting". Alternatively, the printer can be renamed to "HP4000AC" and shared as "HP4000AC".

Printer IP

Enter the TCP/IP address defined on the printer.

Advanced printer settings
Protocol (IP Printer)

Select the printer’s supported printing protocol.

Port number (IP Printer)

Specify the printer's port number when the RAW protocol is selected. Specify the printers queue name if the LPR protocol is selected.

Printer name (IP Printer)

Specify the printer name.

Port name (IP Printer)

Specify the name that will appear in Windows Printer properties port list.

SNMP name (IP Printer)

Specify the community name used by the printer.

Capture LPT# (Network Printer)

Select a port number from the list or type a new LPT port. Valid LPT port numbers are 1 - 9.

Do not capture LPT1:, or set auto-added printer as default, if client has a local printer defined on LPT1: (Network Printer)

Select this check box for Desktop Authority to ignore any requests to redirect (capture) or set an auto-added printer as the default printer if the client already has a printer defined on LPT1. Clear this check box for Desktop Authority to redirect (capture) or set an auto-added printer as the default, regardless of whether or not the client has a local printer defined on LPT1.

Validation Logic

Select the Validation Logic tab to set the validation rules for this element.

Notes

Select the Notes tab to create any additional notes needed to document the profile element.

Description

When adding or modifying a profile object element, the description appears above the settings tab. Enter a description to annotate the element. The default value for new profile elements can be changed by going to the system Preferences.

Registry

The Registry object provides a single point of control over changing values in the registry of the user’s computer. This object takes advantage of the DA Administrative Service, which allows Desktop Authority to modify any Windows 2008/7/8.1/10/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019 registry key/value, even if the user logging on does not have the necessary permissions to modify that particular key/value under their own security context.

NOTE: The Registry object is extremely versatile and, if used improperly, can cause computers not to function properly. The Registry object is designed for use by experienced administrators only. Always use caution when manipulating the registry on any computer, and extreme caution when using a product such as Desktop Authority to make a network-wide change to a group of computers at once. It is highly recommended to first test any registry modification on a specific user or computer (using Validation Logic) prior to rolling the change out to an entire group, subnet or domain.

Settings

Registry action list

Instead of configuring a single registry setting per profile element, the Registry profile object lets you configure multiple registry actions within a single Registry profile element. Click Add from the Registry profile object to create a Registry profile element. This Registry implementation will save you time when implementing multiple registry settings. Group all registry settings together that will use the same Timing and Validation Logic settings. If you prefer, you can stick to the old way of doing things by adding one element to the Registry action list and create several Registry profile elements.

Add

Click Add to add a new registry setting to the Registry action list.

Import

Click Import to import existing registry (.reg) files.

Edit

Select Edit to modify the currently selected registry action.

Delete

Select Delete to remove the currently selected registry action.

Cut/Copy/Paste

Registry actions can be managed by using the standard Windows Cut/Copy/Paste actions to maneuver them into child profiles or parent profiles. Drag and Drop actions may also be used for this purpose.

Move up/Move down

Registry actions will be evaluated on a client in the order they appear in the Registry action list, from the first Registry element to the last. The order of the Registry actions can be modified by using the Move Up and Move Down buttons. To move a registry action, you must first select it, by clicking on it. Once it is selected (it will be highlighted), press the Move Up or Move Down button based on which way you want to move the setting.

The order in which the Registry actions are displayed in the list is the order they will get processed in. For example, if there are 2 registry elements and they each have a registry action list, all actions for the first registry element will be processed and then all actions for the second registry actions list will be processed.

Configuring a registry action

Once you have configured the registry action, click Confirm to save the settings or Cancel to abort the setting changes.

Action

Select an action from the list to define how the registry setting is to be updated. Registry keys can be created and removed. Available actions are:

  • Write Value
    Store the specified data to the specific Hive\Key\Value. If the key does not already exist, it will be created.
  • Delete Value
    Remove the specified value from the specific hive\key.
  • Add Key
    Create a key in the specified hive.
  • Delete Key
    When the Delete Key is selected you have the option of deleting the key regardless of whether subkeys exist or not using the Delete Key even if subkeys exist option. Selection this option to delete the key and any associated subkeys. If this option is not selected, the key will not be deleted if any subkeys exist.



    This option cannot be performed on the Software\Microsoft or Software\Classes keys.
Hive

Select the hive on which to perform the action from the list. The following hives can be selected:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    Contains preferences for the user currently logged in.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Contains computer specific information about the type of hardware, software, and other preferences on a given PC.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
    Contains all file associations, OLE information and shortcut data.
  • HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT
    Contains default profile preferences.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG
    Represents the currently used computer hardware profile.
Key

Enter the specific key to be added or updated in the registry. Keys are subcomponents of the registry hives. Dynamic variables are available for use in defining the key.

Type

Select the value type to be stored in the registry key.

Valid types are:

  • REG_BINARY
    The entry field for binary data is similar to the entry field in RegEdit. Use the actual hex values as entry.
  • REG_DWORD
  • REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN
  • REG_DWORD_LITTLE_ENDIAN
  • REG_EXPAND_SZ
  • REG_FULL_RESOURCE_DESCRIPTOR
  • REG_LINK
  • REG_MULTI_SZ
    Enter each piece of data or expression on a new line.
  • REG_NONE
  • REG_QWORD
    Select the type of data to be entered, Decimal or Hex.
  • REG_RESOURCE_LIST
  • REG_SZ

The Type list is not applicable when the Action field is set to either Add Key or Delete Key.

Value

Enter the name of the value for the registry key that will be written. Value is not applicable when the Action field is set to either Add Key or Delete Key.

A value is not required when the Action field is set to Write Value. If no value is specified, the data will be written to the key's default value.

Data/expression

Type the data you would like stored in the specified value. This field may contain static text, Desktop Authority Dynamic Variables, KiXtart macros or any combination of the three. Press the F2 key to select a dynamic variable from the list.

If you want to create a new value with no data, or to erase an existing registry value’s data, leave this field blank. The value will be created with no data.

Force use of 32 bit registry locations of 64 bit operating systems

Check this box to force the 32 bit registry location to be used instead of the 64 bit location when executing on 64 bit operating systems.

Validation Logic

Select the Validation Logic tab to set the validation rules for this element.

Notes

Select the Notes tab to create any additional notes needed to document the profile element.

Description

When adding or modifying a profile object element, the description appears above the settings tab. Enter a description to annotate the element. The default value for new profile elements can be changed by going to the system Preferences.

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