All of my companies applications are packaged as .msi files. Is it possible for the windows installer to use an answer file to make the msi installation unattended?
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It is possible. Are you looking to install the .msi packages along with an operating system? If so, what operating system, and what tool are you using to deploy with.
Answered 10/09/2008 by: Amerit99
Senior Yellow Belt

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No, I am not looking to install them during the OS installation. I am trying to install them on running systems (all windows XP). Eventually, i want to do this through active directory. But for now, i'm taking baby steps.....first i just want to start with creating an answer file to use with an installer to answer the default prompts. I'm also dabbling with WinInstall, but due to time and $ contraits, that will probably come a lot later.

If it is possible to use an answer file with an msi file, how do you create the answer file? Is there a specific syntax framework to follow? Also, how doe the windows installer know to use the answer file....is there a special msiexec switch that tells the windows installer to use a provided answer file?

PS...i apologize if i put this in the wrong forum....I put it here because i figured this would be the best place to gather insight on unattended installations.
Answered 10/09/2008 by: superManDan30
Senior Yellow Belt

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A "unattended" install with an "answer" file would be: a transform with the msiexec.exe "/qb" switch.
Answered 10/09/2008 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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Yep, just type the filename.msi /? and you get a list of the available switches to use for the install. (See Below) Then you could always just script them together one after another to install all your separate programs without having to do each one individually.

Install Options
</package | /i> <Product.msi>
Installs or configures a product
/a <Product.msi>
Administrative install - Installs a product on the network
/j<u|m> <Product.msi> [/t <Transform List>] [/g <Language ID>]
Advertises a product - m to all users, u to current user
</uninstall | /x> <Product.msi | ProductCode>
Uninstalls the product
Display Options
Quiet mode, no user interaction
Unattended mode - progress bar only
Sets user interface level
n - No UI
b - Basic UI
r - Reduced UI
f - Full UI (default)
Help information
Restart Options
Do not restart after the installation is complete
Prompts the user for restart if necessary
Always restart the computer after installation
Logging Options
/l[i|w|e|a|r|u|c|m|o|p|v|x|+|!|*] <LogFile>
i - Status messages
w - Nonfatal warnings
e - All error messages
a - Start up of actions
r - Action-specific records
u - User requests
c - Initial UI parameters
m - Out-of-memory or fatal exit information
o - Out-of-disk-space messages
p - Terminal properties
v - Verbose output
x - Extra debugging information
+ - Append to existing log file
! - Flush each line to the log
* - Log all information, except for v and x options
/log <LogFile>
Equivalent of /l* <LogFile>
Update Options
/update <Update1.msp>[;Update2.msp]
Applies update(s)
/uninstall <PatchCodeGuid>[;Update2.msp] /package <Product.msi | ProductCode>
Remove update(s) for a product
Repair Options
/f[p|e|c|m|s|o|d|a|u|v] <Product.msi | ProductCode>
Repairs a product
p - only if file is missing
o - if file is missing or an older version is installed (default)
e - if file is missing or an equal or older version is installed
d - if file is missing or a different version is installed
c - if file is missing or checksum does not match the calculated value
a - forces all files to be reinstalled
u - all required user-specific registry entries (default)
m - all required computer-specific registry entries (default)
s - all existing shortcuts (default)
v - runs from source and recaches local package
Setting Public Properties
Answered 10/10/2008 by: Amerit99
Senior Yellow Belt

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Have in mind that properties provied at command line would not get "remembered" during a repair so it will be "safer" to use a transform instead for property definition.
Answered 10/10/2008 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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