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Autologon During Unattended NT Installation

If the unattended.txt file has OEMBlankAdminPassword = 1 then the system will support logging on with a blank password for the first time only it then disables itself.

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Launching MSI Packages From The Command Line

There are a number of ways to launch Windows Installer setup (MSI) and from a batch file is a common one- here are a few combinations you may try when launching MSI installations from the command line:

The MSI command lines shown install the software silently with only a progress bar displayed (no prompts), it creates a log file for the installation in the temp directory and installs the software for use by all users (not just the current user).

  • The installation is carried out and the command window is closed when complete:

%Comspec% /c c:\WinNT\System32\MSIexec.exe /I "\\Server\Share\Path\PackageName.msi" /QB- /LIWMOE "c:\temp\PackageName-Install.log" ALLUSERS=1

  • This uses the Start command and the /w (wait) switch to start a new window and keep it open until the command completes:

%Comspec% /c Start /w c:\WinNT\System32\MSIexec.exe /I "\\Server\Share\Path\PackageName.msi" /QB- /LIWMOE "c: \temp\PackageName-Install.log" ALLUSERS=1

  • This /K switch will cause the command prompt window to remain open after completion. If your package shuts down the computer this should not be a problem, otherwise the command prompt will remain up. Try adding the command EXIT to the end of the batch file to close the command window:

%Comspec% /k c:\WinNT\System32\MSIexec.exe /I "\\Server\Share\Path\PackageName.msi" /QB- /LIWMOE "c:\temp\PackageName-Install.log" ALLUSERS=1

  • Finally, we have the old fashioned way. This just calls the executable manually and relies on the command interpreter being located in the path (which it normally is) and uses all default parameters in doing so:

c:\WinNT\System32\MSIexec.exe /I "\\Server\Share\Path\PackageName.msi" /QB- /LIWMOE "c:\temp\PackageName-Install.log" ALLUSERS=1


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Searching for Automated Installation Help


Besides our own Package Knowledge Base, the vendor's web site is an obvious place to look. Disappointingly, very few vendors keep deployment in mind when desigining their installation and documentation. Newsgroups are a great place to dig, as well as a good old Google search. Here are some keywords you might try along with the name of the application you are working with:




"sms package"

"network install"

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InstallShield Setup Silent Installation Switches

Those setup.exe files generated with InstallShield inherently support the creation and use of answer files that may be used to silent install applications. Although it has no logic to handle anything not expected by the answerfile (more or less dialogs, more or less options in a dialog) it can be a helpful means of installation for some applications. The supported switches are as follows:


Runs setup in debug mode. The -d switch also includes a [pathonly] option for specifying the path of the Setup.rul file. For more information, refer to the Visual Debugger help file.


Specifies an alternate compiled script. Unless the compiled script (.ins file) also resides in the same directory as that of Setup.exe, the full path to the compiled script must be specified. _setup.dll must also reside in the same directory as your .ins file. For example, setup -ftest.ins will launch setup using Test.ins instead of Setup.ins.


Specifies an alternate location and name of the response file (.iss file). If this option is used when running InstallShield Silent, the response file is read from the folder/file specified by[path\ResponseFile]. If this option is used along with the -r option, the response file is written to the folder/file specified by[path\ResponseFile]. If an alternate compiled script is specified using the -f switch, the -f1 switch entry must follow the -f switch entry.


Specifies an alternate location and name of the log file created by InstallShield Silent. By default, Setup.log log file is created and stored in the same directory as that of Setup.ins. If an alternate compiled script is specified using the -f switch, the -f2 switch entry must follow the -f switch entry.


Causes Setup.exe to generate a Management Information Format (.mif) file automatically at the end of the setup. Do not include a path - the .mif file is always placed in the Windows folder. [filename] is optional. If you do not specify a filename, the resulting file will be called Status.mif.

-m1[serial number]

Tells setup to place the indicated serial number in the created .mif file.

-m2[locale string]

Tells setup to place the indicated locale in the .mif file. English (ENU) is the default; refer to Microsoft documentation for a complete listing of locale strings.


Causes Setup.exe automatically to generate a silent setup file (.iss file), which is a record of the setup input, in the Windows folder.


Runs InstallShield Silent to execute a silent setup.


Prevents a network connection and Setup.exe from closing before the setup is complete. This switch works with setups originating from a Windows NT server over a network. Please note that SMS must be uppercase; this is a case-sensitive switch.


Prevents Setup.exe from checking the available memory during initialization. This switch is necessary when running a setup on a machine with more than 256 MB of memory; if it is not used, Setup.exe reports insufficient memory and exits.


Runs the setup as an uninstallation without reading the script.


Provides more detailed information when a Setup.exe error occurs.

Please note the following:

Setup.exe command line parameters are not case sensitive; upper case or lower case letters can be used.

Separate multiple command line switches with a space, but do not put a space inside a command line switch (for example, /r /fInstall.ins is valid, but not /r/f Install.ins).

When using long path and filename expressions with switches, enclose the expressions in double quotation marks. The enclosing double quotes tell the operating system that spaces within the quotation marks are not to be treated as command line delimiters.

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InstallShield Error Codes (Setup.log)

Setup.log is the default name for the silent installation log file and its default location is the same folder where Setup.ins is located. You can specify a different name and location for Setup.log using the -f2 switch with Setup.exe.

The Setup.log file has 3 sections:

[InstallShield Silent]

Identifies the version of InstallShield Silent used in the silent installation. It also identifies the file as a log file.


Identifies the installed application's name and version, and the company name.


Contains the result code indicating whether or not the silent installation succeeded. An integer value is assigned to the ResultCode keyname in the [ResponseResult] section. InstallShield places one of the following return values after the ResultCode keyname:

0 Success

-1 General error

-2 Invalid mode

-3 Required data not found in the Setup.iss file

-4 Not enough memory available

-5 File does not exist

-6 Cannot write to the response file

-7 Unable to write to the log file

-8 Invalid path to the InstallShield Silent response file

-9 Not a valid list type (string or number)

-10 Data type is invalid

-11 Unknown error during setup

-12 Dialogs are out of order

-51 Cannot create the specified folder

-52 Cannot access the specified file or folder

-53 Invalid option selected

For a successful installation, the log file should look similar to the example below:

[InstallShield Silent]


File=Log File


Name=KiXscripts Editor


Company=RWK Systems, Inc.



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