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Educational Software Thread, MSI creation packages for small budget? in Technical; I've already read a few pointers on this and it seems that a few of you hold WinInstallLE in the ...
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    contink's Avatar
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    MSI creation packages for small budget?

    I've already read a few pointers on this and it seems that a few of you hold WinInstallLE in the same "high" regard that I've come to see it in so I'm asking for a little assistance on finding a suitable alternative.

    Usage is for a Server 2003 environment with XP on all the other PC's so I can do deploys but because this is a small school of 200+ children the budget is in the £10k mark for everything.

    Primary's don't get the same money as the secondarys much as I wish they did :P

    So, any suggestions out there?

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    WiX is free. Microsoft's first open-source app believe it or not. Not massively easy to use though. Theres a tutorial here:
    http://www.tramontana.co.hu/wix/

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bob_
    WiX is free. Microsoft's first open-source app believe it or not. Not massively easy to use though. Theres a tutorial here:
    http://www.tramontana.co.hu/wix/
    Thanks for that... just realised though that I need to be a little more specific.

    I'm looking for software that will help me to transform various old school setup.exe type installations into MSI's so I can use them as part of a GPO installation.

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    You could use the MSI wrapper on the wiki?

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    @Geoff is the MSI Wrapper easy to use or will it take time to get to grips with?
    I'm looking at a few of our old installations here and they could do with a new MSI.

    Wes

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Its easy to use, just a couple of screens of next next next.

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    WinInstall LE will do what you want I think. It works by taking a snapshot of the hard drive and registry, installing the program, taking another snapshot and comparing the difference. It then compiles it into an MSI and Robert is your father's brother.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    You could use the MSI wrapper on the wiki?
    Perhaps I'm being dense here but which wiki where?

    I've tried the one on here but had no luck finding any mention of a MSI wrapper...

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    It's in the essential software list.... 8)

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Ah... ok thanks folks... no idea why the wiki didn't find that when I did the search then...

    Thanks again for the assist.

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy
    WinInstall LE will do what you want I think. It works by taking a snapshot of the hard drive and registry, installing the program, taking another snapshot and comparing the difference. It then compiles it into an MSI and Robert is your father's brother.
    I have tried WinInstall LE and whilst it seems OK for simple applications, it can't cope with more complex installations, such as SIMS or Mcafee v8.

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyw
    @Geoff is the MSI Wrapper easy to use or will it take time to get to grips with?
    I'm looking at a few of our old installations here and they could do with a new MSI.

    Wes
    Using WIWW is very easy, compared to repackaging which can range from trivial to horribly complex depending on the application. The only tricky part about using WIWW is working out how to do a 'silent' command line install of your application so that WIWW can create the MSI wrapper for you. If the app won't install silently then WIWW is no use. You can of course use something like AutoIT to automate an awkward installation which insists on interacting with the user, then compile the AutoIT script to an EXE and wrap the whole caboodle in an MSI. Yuck! but it does work, I've had to do it a couple of times (thanks Clicker 4), when initial attempts at repackaging failed.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    On the back of this topic I'm realising very quickly that what I now need is a decent reference book or "How to" guide that deals with all aspects of MSI's and especially the issues that arise when trying to debug an MSI so you can get it working.

    Any assist, as always, gratefully received..

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    Re: MSI creation packages for small budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    On the back of this topic I'm realising very quickly that what I now need is a decent reference book or "How to" guide that deals with all aspects of MSI's and especially the issues that arise when trying to debug an MSI so you can get it working.

    Any assist, as always, gratefully received..
    I was looking for something similar a while ago, but couldn't really find anything that sounded appropriate.

    I usually use appdeploy.com and msdn for most things windows installer.

    I find running an ICE validation will usually point you in the right direction.

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