Managing the desktops’ Operating System and applications is highly critical in any Organization. Managing these includes installations, upgrades and recovery tasks.This article describes some of the basics about OS imaging.
Now a days most of the vendors are providing softwares in MSI format. some vendors are providing softwares in Installshield exe that has embedded MSI’s inside them.
so if we are given these kinds of software then we should not repackage them.
Below are the reasons listed on why we should not repackage an MSI:
When we repakcage an MSI, then the Product code, upgrade codes changes, so when the vedor releases any updates or patches then they wont be applied to the MSI.
We will be losing vendor support for the repackaged MSI’s.
MSI’s are already in distributable format. so we dont get any benefit on repackaging the MSI.
For any Customizations that need to be done on an MSI, create a Transform, .MST file. All the customizations that can be done to an MSI can be done through transform. so create a transform and install the msi along with the transform so that the changes are implemented during runtime.
MSI packages are full of internal references, which cannot be captured and recreated. These internal references are critical to the self-healing functionality of MSI packages and are fundamental to their operation.
Repackaging an MSI may result in uninstall problems and other Windows Installer related problems.
If you find an application that has references to the MSI.DLL file, it is better not to repackage the application.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate how to add prerequisites to an MSI using Wise package studio.
Add Pre- requisites to the MSI Package:
Open MYPackage.msi in Windows Installer Editor; do not convert it to a Wise project file.
In the Installation Expert, select the Build Options under Release Definition
Most of the Vendors create setup.exe using installshield techonologies. During application packaging we try to extract MSI and create tranforms and deploy silently.
For those Exe’s for which we cannot extract MSI’s we create response files and install them with silently with /S switch. we pass the response file with /f1 switch and also the log parameters with /f2 switch.
Example of installing a setup.exe silently with response
Setup.exe -s -f1″c:\example\setup.iss” /f2″c:\logs\example.log”
For more details you can visit the blog How to create a Response file (.iss) …. at http://technico.qnownow.com/2012/03/17/how-to-create-a-response-file-iss/
In the log file we see different Result codes. I have listed the code and the meaning of each code below:
In enterprise deployments you normally use Novell or Altiris or SCCM to deploy applications. After you package applications into MSI format you create a Batch file or command file and point the execution of the application through this Batch file.
For applications that are already in MSI formats you apply the changes on to a transform file. Again you create a Batch file or command file and point the execution of the application through this Batch file.
Normal syntax for executing an msi along with transform is:
Remote Destop Connection allows user to connect to and administer remote computer with full screen support. Sometimes, as the Remote Desktop Connection screen is effectively running within the host Windows system desktop, users who use keyboard shortcuts may get confused with keyboard shortcuts to use when working on remote PC’s desktop, or getting incorrect, erroneous […]
Properties are the Global Variables used by the Windows Installer during the process of installation.
The properties are stored in the PROPERTY Table in the Windows Installer Database.
Windows Installer Properties are categorized into:
3. Restricted Public
As a Desktop Engineer you might come across wide variety of applications in various formats. The most common formats are MSI’s, Setup.exe or Installshield EXE’s. But Adobe came up with AIR which means ADOBE INTEGRATED RUNTIME.
Some applications that are available in this format are Desktop Chatter from Salesforce, Desktube, Dorame, Earth Browser, Google Analytics etc.
In some cases after we install certain applications the system will hang either after installation or during reboot process.
When can the machine hang or BSOD:
The applications such as Antivirus agents, Data protection Agents, EndPoint security Agents that deeply integrate into operating systems may conflict with each other or with the drivers installed on the workstation. This will cause the system to hang or Blue Screen (BSOD).
Nested MSI (Concurrent Installations):
Nested Installation is calling an Child.msi from Parent.msi.
Concurrent Installations is a deprecated feature of the Windows Installer. Applications installed with concurrent installations can eventually fail because they are difficult for customers to service correctly. Do not use concurrent installations to install products that are intended to be released to the public. Concurrent installations can have limited applicability in controlled corporate environments when used to install applications that are not intended for public release.