I have an issue where I do not want to display any dialogs for my end user to prevent any unnecessary help desk calls. Our company is just beginning to explore repackaging in .msi format with installshield/wise. One of the things we are finding is that when you repackage an app with any current user setting (HKCU or local profile), the install is completely silent as specified the first time it is installed. However, ever subsequent user that logs in and tries to run the app gets a dialog telling them the application is installing. I am assuming this is the msi default behavior becuase the msi is trying to 'repair' itself and since this is the new user's first time running the app they are missing the current user settings. However, I do not want any dialogs to display. Is there anyway to remove the dialog that says the app is installing in this scanario? If not, is there an alternative way of doing this? As a last resort, can we change the message that is displayed to something like 'Setting initial user settings on app x...etc..'. Thanks for the help.

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You are right in that this is the default behavior, and it is there to insure the consistency and integrity of an .msi installed app.

The first option would be to see if the repackaged app actually needs to have the HKCU keys included. You have to test on an app by app basis to know. WinZip is one where they should be included ( see http://itninja.com/blog/view/at-command-line-problems-after-ie-4+7 ).

If you find that the app must have the HKCU entries, then I highly encourage you to carefully read this post by jmcfadyen:


He really knows his stuff, and there is no better explanation of how to take advantage of this behavior but minimize any issues it may cause. The basic idea is that you organize your feature structure so that when self healing does need to occur on HKCU, it happens only on HKCU and not the entire .msi. This makes the self heal take seconds, instead of (potentially) minutes, and lessens a user's aggravation.

I have been using this technique for some time as a standard operating procedure.

BTW - welcome to AppDeploy.com. We hope you keep coming back. The site just keeps getting better and better, and broader participation is one of the reasons.

Craig --<>.
Answered 04/16/2005 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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Thanks Craig, this is exactly what I was looking for! I appreciate the help.

Answered 04/26/2005 by: spiscitelli
Yellow Belt

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