Install Shockwave silently (and then fume over the results)

Adobe Shockwave (formerly Macromedia) is one of those applications that most users know about by visiting a website that asks them to install or update.

We believe that users should not have to install applications (or updates) themselves (they are, afterall, users). Here is a quick way to push out Adobe Shockwave to all your computers, quickly and silently.

Like all free Adobe products, you need to submit a distribution agreement to be able to distribute Shockwave. It’s still el-free-bo, but you need to submit the forms. Each agreement is good for one year.

After approval (it can take a day or two) Adobe will provide a download link for you. The file name (as of this writing) is:


Open PDQ Deploy (it’s free) and create a new installer for Shockwave.

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Let’s create a deployment so that we can choose our targets. Click “Create Deployment”.

install shockwave (formerly Macromedia) silently

After your targets have been selected verify that there are green checkmarks next to their names. This lets you know that the hostnames are in DNS (it does not mean that they are online, however).

If you need to change the account that you will be installing shockwave under you can do this by selecting “Next Step”, or if you are ready to deploy you can simply select “Deploy Now”.

install shockwave using pdq deploy

Shockwave is now installed. If you’re happy with the default behavior that ships with Shockwave (i.e. auto-update checking, sending anonymous usage, etc.) then you’re done.

If you are wanting to disable Auto-update then you’ve got a little more work ahead of you.

Unlike Adobe Reader, Adobe hasn’t provided a Customization Wizard for Shockwave. So if you want to make some of these changes you’ll need to do some tinkering.

(You probably won’t be thrilled with the Adobe provided method, i.e. sneakernet).

You have a couple of options; you can make some registry changes via Powershell or VB Script, among other methods. Some admins have used packaging software to create transforms that can be referenced. Others have gone so far as to repackages Shockwave altogether. 

Note: We recommend against repackaging. There are a lot of moving parts in these installers, not to mention the fact that repackaging Shockwave may violate your Adobe distribution agreement.

Whatever the case, I was disappointed to find that no simple solution existed for stopping the autoupdate during installation. Hopefully Adobe makes a change in the future.

I’m a little flustered. I feel like I’ve not adequately captured the frustration of many sys admins who have posted their frustrations to the Internet Machine.

If, by chance, Adobe has made the change to their installer, then my apologies. Please leave a comment with the installation parameters and I’ll update the post.

If you get frustrated with this product, rest assured, after digging around for a quick Autoupdate solution it became apparent that many a sys admin became alcoholics working with this application.

Speaking of drinking, here is a link to Adam’s ever popular Sys Admin Drinking Game.

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