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MSI Repackaging. Jeremy Schafer [email protected] Enterprise Systems and Services. Agenda. What are MSI packages? Why would you want to use them? How do you make them? Tools / Links. What is an MSI package?. A database file including all aspects of the installation

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MSI Repackaging

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MSI Repackaging

Jeremy Schafer

[email protected]

Enterprise Systems and Services


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Agenda

  • What are MSI packages?

  • Why would you want to use them?

  • How do you make them?

  • Tools / Links


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What is an MSI package?

  • A database file including all aspects of the installation

    • Registry / Files / Shortcuts

  • Similar to Redhat’s RPM spec file

  • Uses Windows Installer Service and msiexec.exe on Local Computer

  • Can include files inside of package if using Wise Installer/InstallShield


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MSI version information

  • Version 2.0

    • Windows 95/98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003

  • Version 3.1

    • Windows 2000SP3, Windows XP

    • Windows Server 2003

    • Download from Windows Update


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Why would you want to create MSI packages?

  • Standardize on the way applications get installed in your organization

    • Eliminate Mistakes in installation

    • Allows Continuity for Users

  • Integration with Active Directory

    • Reduce installation costs because deployment of software can be automated across a group or all machines in your network

    • Upgrades of software are easy / automated


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Why would you want to create MSI packages?

  • Healing of applications for users that randomly delete files for critical applications

    • Reduce support costs because applications wont break

    • Impress your users with your super IT magic

    • ssh.com example


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Software using MSI technology

  • Microsoft Office – Administrative Point

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader – Installation Tuner

  • AutoCAD 2005 – Network Installation

  • Etc…


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Lets Try Plan A….


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Repackaging – Easy Part 1

  • Start the installation of the Software

  • Wait for the software to prompt for user input (typically place for installation)

  • Find the MSI package along with accompanying files.

    • %TEMP% or c:\windows\temp


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Repackaging – Easy Part 2

  • Load Into Orca

  • Create MST for software deployment

    • Modify Clean MSI package for your organization

      • Modify PROPERTY table

        • Set Install Directory / Configure Software

      • Change Registry Keys


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Well, that package doesn’t use the MSI technology

Lets Try Plan B….


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Package Process

  • Snapshot before install

  • Install software/settings

  • Snapshot after install

  • Now you have an MSI package you can use


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Repackaging – Hard Part 1

  • Setup the machine for Discovery

    • Vmware / Ghost / RIS

    • WinInstall LE / Wise Installer / Etc.

    • Patch to lowest level of target machines

    • Don’t install VirusScan

  • Take snapshot of machine


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Repackaging – Hard Part 2

  • Install the software manually doing only what is necessary to install the software

  • Don’t open program unless necessary because user settings will be captured

  • Limit the interaction and time between snapshots

  • Rediscover the machine.

  • **WinInstall LE will not survive a reboot


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Repackaging --- Hard Part 3

  • Now you have a raw MSI package. You will need to clean up the MSI package before you deploy it.

  • You can use WinInstall LE or Orca to manipulate your MSI package.

  • TEST. TEST. TEST.


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Tools / Utilities

  • WinInstall LE

    • Initial Release part of Win2K OS CD

      • Located \valueadd\3rdparty\mgmt\winstle

    • Owned by OnDemand Software (was Veritas)

  • Windows Installer SDK

    • ORCA

    • MsiZap

  • Wise Installer for Windows / InstallShield


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Links

  • Application Deployment forums http://www.appdeploy.com

  • Windows 2003 Platform SDK (Web Install) http://www.microsoft.com

  • MSI forums on Google Groups

    • microsoft.public.windows.msi

    • microsoft.public.platformsdk.msi


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Questions?


  • Login