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automating an installation (.msi)

by shades44 / June 14, 2004 3:02 AM PDT


I want to automate an installation and what i have is the source code
of the web application and the .msi installation file. By automate i
mean automatically answer whatever input prompts the setup dialog may
have and make it run passively so that i end up with the program
installed (according to predefined settings) without having to sit
through the installation. Now being new at this i considered a few
alternatives, namely editing the msi with ORCA (to see if it was
possible to dictate the course of the installation - by simulating
'yes'/'no' clicks and text input), and i considered just creating a
new setup project in Visual Studios .Net and making a new .msi setup
file out of the source code. The second alternative i guess would mean
that everytime i want to run the installation with different
predefined settings i would have to create a new .msi file.

If creating a new msi is the only way then i will have to create a
setup project and include a merge module in it that is given to me.
What I am unclear about is how to tell what the msi has to know about
the merge module. Is it self sufficient? as in do i include the merge
module in the files (with the project in the solution explorer) and
forget about it or is there more to it than that? any light shed on
this would be appreciated or even any references that would be of

Thank you.

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Collapse -
Re: automating an installation (.msi)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2004 4:02 AM PDT

Frankly, your installer needs a quiet install mode.

Or go find REGMON and FILEMON to see what the installer does and what files are affected, then write your own installer.


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Re: automating an installation, get AutoIt
by ChuckT / June 14, 2004 4:59 AM PDT

Look for a program called "AutoIt" It is freeware.

Here is what is said by the developer, see if this seems to answer what you want to do:
"AutoIt is a simple tool that can simulate key presses, mouse movements and window commands (maximize, minimize, wait for, etc.) in order to automate any windows based task (or even windowed DOS tasks).

AutoIt was primarily designed to assist in automatically installing software that cannot be automatically installed by other means. This is most useful during a PC rollout where hundreds or thousands of client machines need to be automatically installed. However, AutoIt is not limited to software installation and can be used to automate most simple windows tasks."

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