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38

I have worked in development as a release manager, build engineer, setup developer and as an application packager in large corporations. This is a review of the best (and worst) conceptual and real-world features of MSI. The most common design problems found in MSI files are presented as a separate answer below. Short summary: In plain language the ...


33

You're seeing the dreaded scourge of asynchronous policy processing. It's not a "feature" (and was default-off in Windows 2000 but default-on in Windows XP and above) and causes exactly what you're seeing-- non-deterministic behaviour with processing some types of GPO settings. In a GPO that applies to that computer, add the following setting: Computer ...


28

Just a few benefits: Can be advertised. So that on demand installation could take place. Like advertisement, features can be installed as soon as the user tries to use them. State management is maintained so Windows Installer provides a way to let administrators see if an application is installed on a machine. Ability to roll back if an installation ...


15

I've done this many times with Flash Player (and other software). What you want to do is: Use ORCA to edit it with any customization that you want and save it as a transforms (or save it as a whole new MSI, whatever works for you). Put that new MSI (and transforms) on your software deployment share. Add this software (and transforms) to your existing ...


11

If you check the checkbox titled, "Uninstall this application when it falls out of the scope of management," on the Software Install policy it will uninstall.


10

Virtualise, seriously


9

This answer is very much a work in progress and a rough outline. Additions, questions and updates welcome. This list is by no means exhaustive. Add a comment with information about troublesome packages. I must also warn that a lot of MSI files contain errors, sometimes serious ones, but trained application packagers will be able to detect this and in most ...


8

What is the likely sequence of events in performing an upgrade to a product in this setting? They will likely make a new publication and revoke the old one. Will they use GPO to uninstall the previous version of the product first and then deploy the new MSI? This is TOTALLY irrelevant for you. MSI that are properly coded WILL trigger at ...


7

ORCA is "offical" but quite lacking in features. We use a collection of tools for our packaging needs. Some of these tool go far beyond just editing an MSI. Super ORCA WiX Advanced Installer Universal Extractor


6

I wouldn't use an MSI to deploy registry settings. An MSI pointed at system settings is a "loose cannon". The MSI thinks it "owns" the key and will be trigger happy removing or reverting it. Here are some details: If you author the MSI badly the component writing the settings will not be marked permanent, and if the MSI is ever uninstalled it will rip the ...


6

It most certainly can be done, but you are not guaranteed of the order they're applied. You can set prerequisites which can help handle the dependency tree, but otherwise it's non-obvious what order they get thrown on machines.


6

You shouldn't have to start MSI's with elevated privileges if you're already logged-on with an Administrator account. The Windows Installer service will elevate automatically (and prompt you w/ UAC, if your OS is configured to do so). If you're not logged-on as an Administator, you'll want to do: runas /user:<administrator username here> "msiexec /i ...


6

The type of tool you're looking for is called an Application Repackaging tool. The process would include capturing an installation (take a machine snapshot, run your installation and make customisations, then run a second snapshot to calculate the differences) then compiling the captured data into MSI format. The following are some free tools to perform ...


5

Standard Installer Command-Line Options /quiet Quiet display option. The installer runs an installation without displaying a user interface. Examples: msiexec /package Application.msi /quiet msiexec /uninstall Application.msi /quiet msiexec /update msipatch.msp /quiet msiexec /uninstall msipatch.msp /package Application.msi / quiet Note The ...


5

You got some good answers here already, but I just want to add the "quick and easy" way : use the "command line builder tool" from Altiris (direct download). I am very experienced with msiexec.exe, but the command lines are so long that it is easy to make mistakes. I prefer to generate the complex ones and eliminate that error source. N.B: hope posting ...


5

This can happen if the application is already installed but msiexec is unable to uninstall it. Most common scenario is a previous manual install with "Only for me" selected instead of "Everyone who logs on to this computer". You can use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301) to trick the PC into thinking that the app ...


5

You could try opening the .msi in Orca or other .msi packager/editor and look at the 'Shortcut and File table' to verify the ShortName and LongName entries are correct and valid. The ShortName needs to be a valid 8.3 filename. For example IMPORT~1.DLL


5

You can create a MST file to transform the official MSI to do what you want. Check out the official documentation on the process at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office-2003-resource-kit/custom-installation-wizard-HA001140170.aspx.


5

Diagnosing 'silent' MSI installation failures can be done like this: Firstly, check your GPO is applying correctly. Use the Group Policy Management Console to run a report on a target machine, and view this report to check that the GPO that assigns the software installation is applying correctly. If this part isn't working right then there's no point in ...


5

It calls home. If it can't call home it will try for 7 minutes and then give up.


5

I just found InstEd, a free MSI editor. Looks OK.


5

The following is what we use, works great as a startup script: on error resume next dim WshShell dim RegKey dim ScriptVerKey Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 'checks to see if registry key exists, if it does, the cleanup runs. RegKey = "HKLM\SOFTWARE\EDU\Cleanup\" ScriptVerKey = WshShell.RegRead(RegKey & "JAVAOldVer") if ScriptVerKey ...


5

This line will uninstall all versions of JAVA: wmic product where "name like 'Java%% %%'" call uninstall /nointeractive


5

Don't know how Python handles passing commands off to Windows/DOS, but using a plain batch file and the start /wait command the batch file stops and waits until the MSI is done before moving on to the next step. For example, to install a main app, followed by a patch only when it's finished, and then a final program once that's finished, drop these lines ...


5

You cant run a exe with msiexec commands. You need to use supported commands for the exe you are deploying. Check out this site www.appdeploy.com/packages for info on switches for software. Regards. Todd


5

Unfortunately, AD GPO software pushes are hard to troubleshoot. Your best bet is to turn on install logging and reviewing the file for what went wrong. Interpreting that file can be tricky and well beyond the scope of this question. Turning logging on is described in KB314852, which describes how to turn on Windows Installer logging via GPO. Open the ...


5

Background Information: Much of the slowness of a Windows Installer session is due to its rollback capabilities. Firstly it creates a restore point prior to install or uninstall (provided system restore hasn't been disabled). Then it will back up all affected files and registry keys during both uninstall and install to ensure that the system can be restored ...


4

Keep in mind that GPO installs run as SYSTEM. This causes unexpected behavior in some poorly written installers. If you really want to simulate a GPO installation, you'll grab a copy of psexec and run psexec -s msiexec -i path\to\msi /qb Chances are that the add-in requires a user to be logged in. You might be able to work around this by using the GPO ...


4

I believe the upgrade is the best-practise method for doing so. I have used this method quite extensively in the past without problems. Add the new MSI as another Package in the Group Policy object, choosing the Advanced deployment method. It should be detected as an upgrade to the previously deployed Flash Player. If it's not you can add it to the updates ...



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