Excluding files and registry keys
I have some experience of creating .msi packages and I´ve been working with Adminstudio before, but knowing .msi and Windows registry completely is not something I´m best in. So I would like to know your approach, when excluding registy hives and system files. The problem with packaging for me is, that the packaging tool offers a lot of different keys and paths to include or exclude. If I include too much, there will be useless crap within .msi, if I include too little, the .msi wouldn´t work. Is it always enough to include only c:\Program Files (x86)\Desired_Software_Folder and HKLM\Software\Desired_Software_Hive by default?
Once again I came up with this problem. I tried to create an msi package with Appdeploy Packager of a special software with hardware drivers included. This software wrote in lot of different locations and I didn´t recognize them all. I tried to create package 3 times, every time it came corrupted. I gave up, and got back the Adminstudio. Created MSI with monitoring method, it came up fine with very clean registry, so.... Appdeploy is not good enough.
What gets included in our package by default depends on the packaging build/image we are using.If it has unecessary services running, or applications installed like mcafee etc, there are chances files related to these applications will get included.Best way is try to see what all files are not related to your application.Something like log files, uninstall.exe, files related to apps like IE, mcafee, if you are using an image with CCM client installed, you will also get files related to this.Exclude all these files from your package.Same goes for registry keys.
Now I really understand, why creating your own msi is not really the first option you do for mass deployment. It gets ricky, when you import too much files and registry keys in msi, not knowing for sure, are they part of application or not. Packaging small programs is easy, but now when I´m trying to pack big and complex software, there are tons of files and reg hives I need something to do about....