What’s Up with Adobe Flash? (Silently Install Flash)

adobe_flash_player_v10_iconAdobe Flash 19.0.0.185 was released September 21, 2015. This is a critical patch. You can read the security bulletin for vulnerability APSB15-23 here. This is a priority 1 patch. However, many sys admins have noticed that this update to Adobe Flash does not completely remove earlier versions of Adobe Flash.

The Problem

If you installed this new update on a machine with a previous version you may have noticed that the Windows Control Panel will still show two versions of Adobe. This is a known bug with this update of Adobe Flash.

Flash fails to remove the registry key from the previous version when updating so the Control Panel and inventory systems (such as PDQ Inventory and SCCM) show two versions as being installed.

There is a preventative measure you can take to make sure the offending Adobe Flash is completely removed and the new Adobe Flash is successfully installed.

The Solution

1. Silently Uninstall Flash

Since the installer won’t do it for you, you’ll have to get the uninstall out of the way yourself. The Uninstall Adobe Flash package is now available for free from the Package Library. This package is ready-to-go and silently uninstalls without a hitch.

So if you haven’t already, you can get PDQ Deploy downloaded for free and run this package to get your silent uninstall of Adobe Flash underway. (How do I use packages from the Package Library?)

silently-uninstall-flash

2. Install the appropriate Adobe Flash

After uninstalling you’re now ready to silently install Flash. There are a few flavors of Adobe Flash available for silent installation. Make sure you grab the one that is appropriate for your environment.

Adobe Flash: Use this package for computers with browsers such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera.
Adobe Flash for IE: This is the package you’ll need to update Flash on computers with IE running.
Adobe Flash (All IE): Have Windows 8 or 8.1? Use this package to get those machines up-to-date.
Adobe Flash for IE – Windows 10: If you have Windows 10 machines in your environment, this package has your name on it. (If you don’t see this package available in the Package Library you need to update to PDQ Deploy 7 and have Pro or higher access to the Package Library.)
Note: You will need PDQ Deploy Pro or higher. Free Enterprise trial keys are available here and will allow you to try out ANY three packages free.

Try PDQ Deploy
Use only Chrome? Then you’re set. Google Chrome has Pepper Flash built into it so just keep Google Chrome up-to-date.

Inventorying Adobe Flash Installs

Having the Adobe Flash isn’t a security risk, but can be annoying. If you use PDQ Inventory for software inventorying, the Collection Library has been updated with this Adobe Flash bug in mind.

FlashOldCollection

Your computers are properly sorted as having the latest version when it is installed with the following additional filters.

These filters take computers that are showing both the old and new Flash in the registry and sorts them correctly as Flash Plugin (New) (same idea for all versions of Flash available in the Package Library). FlashOldCollectionFilters