Using SEPprep to install the Cloud version of Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition

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Article ID: 158966

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Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (Cloud)

Issue/Introduction

The SEPprep tool is an unsupported competitive uninstall tool that can be configured to uninstall all previous versions of SEP as well as competitive AV software, automatically reboot the system, and then install SEP SBE .Cloud. The process isn't completely silent as the .cloud install does require a minimal amount of interaction.

Resolution

There are two main components involved in the process necessary to install SEP SBE .Cloud using the tool:

  1. SEPprep: Contained in the "Symantec_Endpoint_Protection_SBE_12.1.5_Part2_Tools_EN.exe" download available from the "Download On Premises Manager" link on the Subscriptions tab of the Hosted Endpoint Portal (https://hostedendpoint.spn.com). For further details regarding how to access the download page, see Download the On-premises version of Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition.
  2. Redistributable package: Can be downloaded from the "Add Computers" button on the "Computers" tab.

Once these components have been downloaded the following process will produce a folder with a single setup.exe file which will remove previous versions of Symantec AV and other competitive AV programs, reboot the machine, and install the .Cloud client.

Note: This will not completely remove previous SEP SBE .Cloud installations as the platform agent component will not be removed. If the circumstances require a complete reinstall of a .cloud client then alternative methods should be used.

Creating the Package:

  • Preparing the Redistributable Package
    1. Double click SymantecPackageCreator.exe
    2. If prompted by User Account Control, click "Run."
    3. Choose a destination folder for the installation files by clicking the "Browse" button.
    4. Enter any necessary proxy information by clicking the "Proxy Settings" button (this step is only required if there is a proxy in the environment).
    5. Make sure to check the "Require Active Directory Group Policy Deployment" checkbox.
    6. Click Begin.
    7. This will extract the installation files to the folder designated in step 3.
  • Preparing SEPprep Component
    1. Open the download location for Symantec_Endpoint_Protection_SBE_12.1.5_Part2_Tools_EN.exe and double click on the file
    2. Click Run if prompted by User Account Control
    3. Choose a destination for the files, by default it will select the same folder which contains Symantec_Endpoint_Protection_SBE_12.1.5_Part2_Tools_EN.exe, to designate a specific folder click the "..." button.
    4. Open the location where the files were extracted.
    5. Navigate to the SEPprep folder within the NoSupport folder
    6. The necessary files for the SEPprep utility are all contained in this folder, highlight and copy the two necessary files depending on the type of Operating System on the destination machine.
      • 32 Bit Operating Systems: SEPprep.exe and SEPprep.ini
      • 64 Bit Operating Systems: SEPprep64.exe and SEPprep.ini
    7. Paste the files into the same folder designated in Step 3 of the previous section (Preparing the Redistributable Package).
    8. At this point the folder should contain the installation files from the redistributable package and the two required files from the SEPprep utility and should look like the following screenshot (in this example the files are intended for a 64 bit OS):
    9. Right click on the SEPprep.ini file and click edit, this should open the file in notepad.
    10. Change the following lines:
      • From: AskBeforeRemoval=Y To: AskBeforeRemoval=N
      • From: RemoveSymantec=N To: RemoveSymantec=Y
      • From: ResumeAfterReboot=Y To: ResumeAfterReboot=N
      • From: LogPath= To: LogPath=C:\
      • From: RunAfterRemoval= To: RunAfterRemoval=reg add HKey_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v "Install SEP 12.1" /t REG_SZ /d "C:\SEPInst\SEPsetup.exe" /f
    11. Add the following 3 lines after the last entry in the [Settings] section.
      • RunAfterRemoval=cmd /c "md C:\SEPInst"
      • RunAfterRemoval=cmd /c "xcopy *.* C:\SEPInst /e /y"
      • RunAfterRemoval=shutdown -r -t 30 -f
    12. Add the following line after the last entry in the [ProductNames] section.
      • Symantec Endpoint Protection
    13. When done, the beginning of the SEPprep.ini should look like this:
    14. Save the changes and close the SEPprep.ini file.
    15. Rename SEPprep64.exe (or SEPprep.exe if preparing a 32 bit installer) to Setup.exe.
    16. Rename SymRedistributable.exe to SEPsetup.exe.
  • SEPprep is now ready and linked with the installation package, executing Setup.exe will begin the process, no windows or messages will appear however the MSI Exec process should be running in the background and removing the software. Once done with removing previous AV software, the following message will pop up and the computer will reboot in 30 seconds.
  • After rebooting the install wizard will automatically start when a user with local admin rights logs in. This install is not entirely unattended as a user will have to click next twice to begin the installation, however the rest of the process should not require user interaction. Once finished the machine should have the SEP SBE .Cloud installed and should appear in the Hosted Endpoint Manager under the Computers tab.

Distributing the Package

The contents of the package can be manually copied and executed on a machine by running setup.exe however it is also possible to use the "Push Deployment Wizard" to distribute the package over a network remotely. In order to use this tool, file sharing and network discovery must be enabled on the target machines.

Caution:This process will cause a reboot on all machines which receive the deployment. Also, it is important that users understand prior to deploying that the process is not completely unattended and after rebooting the installer will not finish installing until a user clicks next twice and initiates the installation.

To use this method of deployment:

  1. Open the folder containing "Part 2 Tools" (the same location as Step 4 in the "Preparing SEPprep Component" section above).
  2. Navigate to the "PushDeploymentWizard" folder.
  3. Run ClientRemote.exe.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click "Browse" and select the folder containing the all the files prepared in the previous sections (including setup.exe and SEPsetup.exe).
  6. Click Next.
  7. The next window directs the administrator to designate which computers to deploy to. There are two options, either browse the network via the "Microsoft Windows Network" tree view and select which computers to install and then click "Add" or click on the "Add or Import Computer" button to add computers by IP Address or Host Name.
  8. Once added the tool will prompt for administrative credentials, it is best to use Domain Administrator credentials if available. 
  9. After all machines have been added to the "Computers to deploy to" column, click Finish.
  10. The tool will engage and progress of the rollout will be displayed, when finished the clients should all be distributed.
    Note: This progress does not indicate install completion, but rather successful distribution of the package and execution of the Setup.exe process.

 

 

 

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