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1) If we install/push msi using group policy can/will we see installation steps/Wizard/options which we can see if start installtaion using setup.exe by double clicking it.

2)Can some provide some good link on this issue.

Thanks

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 4 '09 at 8:24

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2 Answers

Actually, I have never tried. The software push mechanism in Group Policy is designed to take advantage of mst-files, (transform files), which (among other things) work as "answer files" for all the questions you get when performing an installation. There are several tools out there for generating an mst and it isn't hard to do, take a look at http://www.scriptlogic.com/products/msi-studio/ for a low-cost option.

Also, the web site appdeploy.com is dedicated to all things app deployment, and has a lot of info you might be interested in.

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As Trondh says, part of the Windows Installer system is the idea of MST transform files.

A Transform file is a record of all the things that you do when installing that software; which folder to install to, which components to install, which options you pick in setup, which config file you might copy in specially afterwards, etc. You can then take this MST file and run it along with the MSI to make a "silent install" that will install totally unattended with no user interaction via a variety of deployment methods (Group Policy, SCCM, Altiris DS, etc). You'd use a command like this to install:

msiexec /i software.msi TRANSFORMS=software_transforms.mst /qn

There are a variety of pieces of software you can use to capture these transforms including the Wise Package Studio, Acresso AdminStudio, ScriptLogic MSIStudio and so on. Also Microsoft have a couple of free tools for manipulating them directly, you can use things like Microsoft's Orca to edit an MST or MSI directly if you already have an MST and just need to change a couple of values in its tables.

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