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MSI Repackaging. Jeremy Schafer jschafer@rutgers.edu 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

MSI Repackaging

Jeremy Schafer

jschafer@rutgers.edu

Enterprise Systems and Services

agenda
Agenda
  • What are MSI packages?
  • Why would you want to use them?
  • How do you make them?
  • Tools / Links
what is an msi package
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
msi version information
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
why would you want to create msi packages
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
why would you want to create msi packages6
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
software using msi technology
Software using MSI technology
  • Microsoft Office – Administrative Point
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader – Installation Tuner
  • AutoCAD 2005 – Network Installation
  • Etc…
repackaging easy part 1
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
repackaging easy part 2
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
package process
Package Process
  • Snapshot before install
  • Install software/settings
  • Snapshot after install
  • Now you have an MSI package you can use
repackaging hard part 1
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
repackaging hard part 2
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
repackaging hard part 3
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.
tools utilities
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
links
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