Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Right now we have about 12 different pieces of software that we have to manually install on many machines. I want to extract the files from the MSI/EXEs and monitor registry changes. Then I would create an installer that does the work of all 12: place files into the correct locations and modify the registry.

I have tried using various programs to track the changes that installers perform, but none of them isolate the installer in particular so I am left with changes made by ANY program currently running, which is not good enough. Registry changes are easy enough to track. The only other thing to worry about is if any scripts are ran, then I have to automate that and make sure I can get the parameters that the original installers used.

Does anyone have a better solution for this? The installer I want to create needs to run silent/without interaction and basically be a one click solution. Using the freeware tools I can find to log changes during install isn't suitable because I can't determine what changes are caused by the installer.

share|improve this question
Why not use Group Policy to deploy all of the programs? – joeqwerty Jun 7 '12 at 20:10
@joeqwerty We plan to. But it is a dozen installers, most of which aren't MSI, and they aren't silent. – Austin Henley Jun 7 '12 at 20:29

You would be better served with a deployment package like SCCM or Eminentware (now Solar Winds Patch Manager) than to wrap up and deploy your software.

Failing that create an isolated lab system and use a MSI creating tool (WinInstall_LE comes to mind but there are many) and deploy the resulting MSIs via group policy or script.

share|improve this answer

If you create your msi with WIX, you can use a so-called bootstrap, and install other .msi's as part of the install:

Alternatively, if the software you need is available as a merge module, you can include it into your package to install altogether.

Of course this does not help you with the monitoring

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.