I'm looking at deploying some software via GPSI and the current version of the software is distributed as a .exe so I need to convert it to an MSI file.
furthermore, why does MS still distribute some of its software (WMI Tools) as .exe
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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 these tasks, in order:
As for your second question: You will find that sometimes vendors will supply an MSI wrapped in an executable, so if you run the .exe you might be able to dig out the MSI from a temp directory.
I've used Advanced Installer and AppDeploy Repackager and have gotten good results.
Check out WinINSTALL LE:
You have to install the program, and it will watch what happens and create an MSI installer. I usually make my installs on a clean VM so that it doesn't catch background activities of programs I usually use.
Heh, I'll try and answer my own question.. I'm also going to look at The AppDeploy Repackager. It looks like it will do pretty much the same thing as Joseph mentioned. I'll see which one does the job with less stress on my part :)
IMO WiX may be the best way, since repackager working with snapshots tend to record unrelated changes, as far as you don't spend some time setting exclusions...
Using the Wixtool makes the creation of an MSI quite convenient instead of writing lots of xml containers ;)
I copy here two lists from a couple of webpages I found.
A long list of deployment software, including repackagers, with descriptions added: http://www.installsite.org/pages/en/tt_corp.htm
Here I copy only the names mentioned in this webpage:
One more list from: http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/exe-msi-deploy-exe-based-installer-microsoft-world/
Probably not all of them are repackagers.