Custom Action Command Line syntax

Hello All,

I am trying to add an exe as a custom action to an msi. The msi on its own is working just fine, and I can install the exe manually with no issues. After setting it up as a custom action, I can still run the new configured msi with no errors. however the problem I have now is that the msi was setup to install with zero user interaction. Now with the custom action I am forced to accept all the settings (which are defaults).

In the command line of the custom action I had setup the follow line:
-install -silent
which still requires user interaction
I then tried -LIMITUI=0 -UILEVEL=2
didn't work either.

So I'm starting to wonder if I am even on the right track.


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Answers (6)

Posted by: milindsm 13 years ago
Blue Belt
Does the executable that you are using as a custom action take these (-install -silent) as arguments. Check if that executable has different way of specifying silent mode.
BTW, if the exe is not an installation package or redistributable for that matter, and if it is waiting for some user interaction then you'll definitely face this problem.
Posted by: happyshak 13 years ago
Senior Yellow Belt
some exe setups have different silent switches. You can try /verysilent or /quiet . Or try with below method.
Install the software manually and check hklm->software->microsoft->windows->currentversion->uninstall ; in this check for the key related to exe and in that check for quiet install and uninstall string . You may get silent switches related to it.

Posted by: yuri 13 years ago
Orange Belt
You need to figure out if the executable supports commandline arguments (check the vendor's site). You could also try arguments like:
/q or -q ('q' stands for quiet)
/a or -a ('a' stands for automated)
/s or -s ('s' stands for silent)

If this is not the case you might want to consider making a snapshot of the executable..
Posted by: g_vera 13 years ago
Senior Yellow Belt
Thanks for the replies. I called the vendor to see what commands they recommend and they told me that they only support manual installations with user interaction. So pretty much I'm on my own for any customization.

So I took the suggestion of creating a snapshot of the exe and turning it into an msi. So I proceed to create a custom action to install a nested msi. Worked just fine. Except my new problem is that I can't uninstall the nested msi from add/remove programs. I tried uninstalling the main msi then the nest msi and vice versa but no success. The main msi uninstalls just fine. The other one doesnt, but doesnt give me an error message either.

Any suggestions...(newbie here).

Posted by: pjgeutjens 13 years ago
Red Belt
So I took the suggestion of creating a snapshot of the exe and turning it into an msi. So I proceed to create a custom action to install a nested msi. Worked just fine

If I were you I'd work the other way around, take the MSI for the vendor install and add everything you captured in your snapshot to it using a transform.
Another option is to arrange the (un)installation sequence outside the MSI alltogether, using scripting.
As you probably noticed, not a big fan of nested MSI's [;)]

Posted by: anonymous_9363 13 years ago
Red Belt
my new problem is that I can't uninstall the nested msiTHAT is one reason why nested MSIs are deemed A Bad Idea. How are you deploying the final "package"? If it's via a system like SCCM/SMS, you can simply install the first MSI separately. If it's via some media, you could build a set-up stub in your MSI authoring tool (e.g. using WiseScript in Wise) or, at worst, build a robust script to install both MSIs and "convert" it to an EXE using one of the many script-to-EXE conversion tools.
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