I have the unpleasant task of having to try to install several heavy-weight and complex engineering packages (Algor, IES ROBOT) to a lab of PC's. Unfortunately, the software doesn't come as anything other than your typical 'setup.exe', and the spport people at the manufactures don't want to know when we ask for MSI's.

Repackaging has taken up a huge amount of my time, and has got me no-where with some of this software.

I can _automate_ the setup with AutoIT, and even push the .exe (and autoit script) into an MSI which executes this - but that didn't do anything when assigned to a PC until the administrator logged on - I guess it doesn't work because there's no GUI for the isntaller to work with until the administrator logs on.

Is there any way that anyone knows of automating a setup.exe install that has to be run as administrator?

I'd be happy to do it by:

* Having an assignable MSI which could then logon to a PC to run a scripted install, then logout
* Making a RIS image that could logon as Adminstrator during the Windows installation to install this software
* Automating a series of remote desktop sessions to do it

Any idea's? Anyone?


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The SETUP.EXE may have an embedded MSI lurking within it depending on the packaging technology used to create the package.

Have a look within any directories that get created just be installation. You will have to be quick to copy the MSI out as the setup routine will clean up these files. You could also try passing command line arguments to the SETUP.EXE check out:-


Hope this helps,

Answered 01/29/2005 by: ST170SP1
Senior Yellow Belt

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Look for MSIs for such apps in %userprofile%\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp as the MSI for such exe may be extracted there.

Also you may want to launch the executable from the command line and see whether you can parse arguments to it. You may be able to install silently. With this scenario, you can create an MSI wrapper and use it to deploy such an app if your deployment system handles only MSIs.
Answered 02/07/2005 by: oofemioo
Blue Belt

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If you can extract the msi there is a way of by passing the need for the setup.exe.

In the property table add ISSETUPDRIVEN and give it the value of 1.

Remove the step OnCheckSilentInstall from the InstallExecute sequence.

These two actions will allow you to use the MSI directly and not to have to bother with the Setup.exe any more. To test if the Setup.exe is the older or newer version type Setup.exe /? from the command line while you are in the folder that contains the setup file.
Answered 03/09/2006 by: olaybolx
Yellow Belt

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Worst case scenario for me is to wrap the exe in an msi. Check out [link]http://unattended.sourceforge.net/installers.php[/link] for info on creating automated installations for a bunch of commonly used installers. This website has bailed me out on a number of occasions. Once I get the automated install and uninstall working, I use the Windows Installer Wrapper Writer (do a search for WIWW) to create an msi.

The downfall is that this scenario does not support patching or repairing the installation as a true msi would, but if you're in a bind you might find this option to be the best for you.
Answered 03/13/2006 by: Dr. Soup
Senior Yellow Belt

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