I have several test environments (hyper-V) which contain a variety of windows servers. Each machine needs periodically rolling back to a given snapshot and then re-installing with the latest version of our software to test.

The software installs are quite complex MSI's with a fair few option screens. I know that the installs can be driven from the command line, passing in parameters to override the wizard options.

At the simplest level I suppose I could just write a batch file to kick off each install with the required parameters, however the values that are passed in do need to change from time to time (and environment to environment) so a tool with a config file and simple GUI seems like a better idea.

I think what makes it slightly more painful is the multiple environments. For example one environment might contain 4 servers and need a config file with all the server names, service endpoints etc. Another environment might be a 1-box install with all names and endpoints set to localhost.

So, ideally I want to be able to store different setup configurations and use them to run all the required installers with the relevant settings against the relevant machines. Before I go off to write the thing, does anyone know of an existing, simple, free tool that will let me achieve this?


I'd use an mdt task sequence to install the software


Do you have System Center Configuration Manager in your environment? Sounds like what you are looking for.

  • That does look great, but sadly not available to me :-( – MarcE May 4 '11 at 8:24

I would recommend to split the task in two: installation of the software and configuration. The best way to install software are so called package managers. I would recommend Npackd. For the second task you may use something like Chef.

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