8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2009 3:59 PM by Mindcrime

    Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

      I'm wondering what the best method to forcefully upgrade a problematic agent is? We still have machines that are four or five agent revisions behind and I haven't been able to upgrade them remotely. I'm about to send our desktop guys after these clients, but I'm wondering what method I should tell them to use when upgrading these machines.


      I know forcing an uninstall via command line and then reinstalling the up to date agent after that is an option, but I'm wondering if there is another alternative that I haven't considered. I'm probably not as familiar with the frminst switches as I should be. Any help here would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

          Hi Mindcrime,


          Check PD22236 (go to the service portal HERE and click on search the KnowledgeBase). Page 27 lists all the option available. An upgrade usually works so it may be worthwhile to find out why it isn't.


          Hope it helps.



          • 2. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?
            Sailendra Pamidi

            The frminst* log files will help identify why the upgrade fails.- this log is under Windows\Temp\Nailogs folder.

            • 3. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

              I was refered to this post by someone I assisted earlier. Usually a "Deploy Agent" while checking the force install over previous version will work via the EPO console. If that doesn't work, if you have a way to run a command line tool remotely to a computer you can make a batch file that will remove and reinstall the agent. Now if it is JUSt the agent you want to remove and reinstall here is an example of a batch file to use. This will cover both the 3.6 and 4.0 agents.


              ****Start Batch****

              copy "\\Server Location\Framepkg.exe" c:\

              if exist "C:\Program Files\Network Associates\Common Framework\frminst.exe" goto :1

              if exist "C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\frminst.exe" goto :2



              "C:\Program Files\Network Associates\Common Framework\frminst.exe" /forceuninstall /s

              if exist "C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\frminst.exe" goto :2 ELSE goto :3



              "C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\frminst.exe" /forceuninstall /s



              c:\Framepkg.exe /install=agent /forceinstall /silent


              ****End Batch****


              This will locate the version of the agent you are running and do the forced removal. After it's complete with the removal, it will do the forced reinstall which also wipes out any previously installed Agent settings.


              I use the Dameware Remote Command tool to push this batch to users and it does it all completely silent.


              If you want to do more beyond this, like removing VSE so that your agent can pull down a fresh new install from the EPO server via a deployment task, there are a lot of other commands to add to the batch file which I could also provide if needed.

              • 4. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

                So many ways, so little time to explain


                1) Automatic Response for Rogue System Sensors (for unmanaged machines)

                2) Push via ePO (Detected Systems or System Tree)

                3) Manual install (access to computer either via remote control or physical)

                4) Group Policy startup scripts

                5) SMS (not familiar with this at all)

                6) My favorite, Remote Command Line tools.  Dameware was mentioned but if you want free and probably better, use Sysinternals PSTools (google it).  This is my preferred method for machines that won't upgrade via the normal means.

                What I do is store my custom FramePkg.exe in a public share then run (with domain admin creds): psexec \\computername \\path\to\share\FramePkg.exe /install=agent /silent

                This will 99% of the time for me upgrade the agent.  If not, I sometimes force an uninstall using the same method (psexec.exe \\computername "C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\FrmInst.exe" /Silent /ForceUninstall)  Obviously this implies the installation location using standards for x86 based machines, but you can create a batch file for this and get all fancy with if statements to determine the correct location)


                In my travels I have created quite a few batch files to automate tasks like this and similar using pstools to perform remote actions.  It has saved me tons of time over and over.


                There are many ways to accomplish the upgrade and/or install and I'm sure I have missed a bunch.  In the end, you will likely use all or most of them.



                • 5. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

                  I've attempted the psexec route, which I'm familiar with and have used in the past, but I'm getting an error each time... it's wanting access to MFEagent.msi and can't locate it. Am I missing something?

                  • 6. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

                    Ok, yes, I do know the answer to this question as I just had a few of these myself that I had to fix. This is a registry issue. There is a key in your registry that was not removed when your Agent was uninstalled so it is still seeing that installer in the registry. The only part that is NOT fun about this is that the key is named differently on each computer. Hopefully you wont have this issue on multiple computers because that would be a lot of manual removal.


                    There are 2 possible locations you can find this key in, it may or may not be in both locations, but you can either manually goto these locations or do a search for MFEagent.exe. The 2 possible locations are...





                    The key name seems to be randomly generated, for example, my key name under the HKLM location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\1BEB800E36BA1C64DBD3803D 1A8F2ED6, but when you click on the key that this file location is, you will see McAfee Agent for the product name.


                    To fix this, just delete the entire key, this will stop the installer from trying to reference this file any longer and you will be able to do a clean install of the Agent. Let me know if you have anymore questions.



                    • 7. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

                      I'm hoping the response from sthayden answers your question about MFEagent.msi as I have never run into this.  If that is the case, however, this could be why you're running into problems.


                      In my experience, if I can't win the battle, I get the "windows installer cleanup" app from Microsoft and use it to remove traces of the old agent then you should have no problems reinstalling.  The only drawback of this is you need physical access to the machine.

                      • 8. Re: Best method for forcefully upgrading agents?

                        sthayden, you're an effing badass. That totally fixed me.


                        Jeff, many thanks to you for your input as well - I really appreciate it.