One problem I continually have with packaging software (and maybe I'm just confused) is that some MSI-based software will ONLY do a silent install via a setup.exe commandline. One such example is Crystal Reports 2008. It is an MSI-based installer, however, it will not work with traditional MST transforms. Instead I need to run a command-line to silently install it (according the their own documentation).

The problem I have is that I am using AD Group Policy for deployment, where everything must be an assigned MSI. Obviously I can't deploy a command-line. So I create a simple MSI "wrapper" to launch the setup.exe command-line. Unfortunately I end up with a situation where my MSI is calling a command-line which then launches the "real" MSI. This obviously causes problems with dual installers running.

How can I get around these issues? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
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Enable verbose logging and run the setup.exe In the verbose log you would see what properties that are passed to the MSI during execution which you should be able to add to a transform. Look for launch condition that would prevent the MSI from being executed without the setup.exe.
Answered 05/11/2008 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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you are quite correct some msi's need to run the setup.exe as the dialogs are embedded in the setup not the msi.

in reality this is because the vendors are typically from an ancient civilisation that hasn't kept up with the times.

you can often get around the setup.exe by extracting the msi and adding the ISSETUPDRIVEN=1 property assuming the exe doesn't contain the dialogs and need them to be populated. If you are sure there is no advertising then you can capture the msi (but its a last option.)

Alternatively you can easily script deployment using WMI and or utilise AD Zap based deployment (which is somewhat limited)
Answered 05/11/2008 by: jmcfadyen
Fifth Degree Black Belt

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