Posts in Category "IT Admin"

FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe Application Error

It’s no question that after getting back from paternity leave, my highest priority was to help resolve a crash that occurred in the update service used by the new Flash Player Background Updater. Many users, including numerous readers of my blog, have reported that they get crash dialogs saying “FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe has stopped working”. I’m happy to say that we were able to resolve this issue and a fix is now available for immediate download.

I’d like to take the time to thank all of my readers and the people who reported the issue in our Flash Player installation forums. It is thanks to your detailed info that we were able to isolate and eliminate the issue.

As a reminder, if you encounter any issues with Flash Player installations, please report them in the Flash Player installation forums.

A few of you have asked me why I couldn’t forward those bug reports myself. The reason is pretty simple: I’m just one of the engineers working on this team. By reporting the issue on the forums, you will get significantly more eyes on the issue right away. We will be able to route your report directly to an engineer who is available to work on the issue. And ultimately, a fix will be available sooner. It is not because I wouldn’t want to personally work on the issue. Thanks for your understanding.

Responses to comments will be delayed

Dear Readers of my blog,

Today, I became a first time father of a baby boy. Although this is a very exciting time in my private life, it is also a time when I will be unable to respond to your comments, questions and suggestions in a timely manner.

If you have questions or issues with Flash Player in general, please post to the Flash Player forums.
If you have questions or issues with Flash Player installers, updating mechanisms or policies around these, please post to the Flash Player installation forums.

Thank you for your understanding and I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Catch you on the flip side. :-)

-Stephen

Changes to Adobe Flash Player Background Updater

Since we first released the new Background Updater for Flash Player, there were two major things that many people mentioned as having the potential for some improvement.

 

The first thing that many of you (as well as other blogs) mentioned was the desire to deploy Flash Player updates through this new updating mechanism on internal networks that have restricted access to the internet. A little more than a week ago, we documented the process how to achieve this and the response so far has been very positive. It’s very exciting to see how many bright people are out there that have this already implemented, or even wrote scripts to automatically mirror the official Adobe backend.

 

The second thing that was mentioned a lot was the desire to not have the installer configure a scheduled task and service if the Background Updater wasn’t chosen as the update mechanism by the user. I’m happy to say that this has officially changed in today’s update to Flash Player 11.2. When you download and install this version, you will notice that when you select the option to be notified of updates or to disable updates, the installer will no longer install a task or a service. If you change your mind, you can always go to the Flash Player Settings Manager in the Windows Control Panel. If you select to be automatically updated, we will again install the service and the task for you.

 

This second point was heavily driven by your feedback on my previous blog post that introduced the Background Updater. Give yourselves a pat on the back on our behalf and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Well done!

IT Admin: Deploying Flash Player via Background Updater

When it came to updating Flash Player, IT administrators used to face a common problem: The users on the systems are usually regular users, but they were prompted to update Flash Player. Since they don’t have administrator rights, an update would always fail. This circle repeated itself once every 7 days, on average, until the IT administrator pushed an update to Flash Player to all affected systems.

A workaround was to set AutoUpdateDisable=1 in a mms.cfg file and to push this file to all systems. The user wouldn’t be prompted to update anymore, but it didn’t make it easier to update Flash Player.

Today, I’d like to introduce a new way to update Flash Player in a corporate environment: With the introduction of Adobe’s Flash Player Background Updater, we made it easier for IT administrators to push updates to Flash Player. A detailed description is available in the Flash Player Administrator Guide. In general though, the way to do this is pretty simple. This is what you need:

  1. A server with the following configuration:
    1. Open port 80 for HTTP requests.
    2. Open port 443 for HTTPS requests.
  2. A valid SSL certificate for HTTPS access on port 443.
  3. The ability to store files on the server in an Adobe-specified folder structure.
  4. The ability to deploy mms.cfg configuration files to clients on the network.

Once these prerequisites are fulfilled, you can start mirroring the official builds from Adobe. For the latest and most up-to-date instructions on how to do this, please refer to the Flash Player Administrator Guide (p17-19).

I’d like to highlight a particularly informative blog post by Tyrone Wyatt. In his post, Tyrone explains how he managed to automate the mirroring of Flash Player builds onto his internal server. I did not get a chance to test this out for myself yet, but it seems like all the right ingredients are present to make this work on virtually any network. If you need some inspiration on how to automate your mirroring of Flash Player installers, I recommend you read Tyrone’s blog post.

The fact that we added this functionality for IT administrators was due to feedback that we received on this blog. Thanks to all of you who requested this feature!

Your opinion is important to us, so don’t hesitate to add your comments in the comment section!