100% Unattended Self Extracting Archive

Posted on 2007-10-11
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi.  I've got a piece of VB6 software that copies files out to all machines on our network (about 400).  It can also execute msi's and exe's remotely by shelling out to a remote execution tool.

I need to copy a large (50Mb) 'Library File' to all machines.  My approach was to produce a self-extracting archive (5mb exe) configured to run in silent/unattended mode requiring no user intervention.  After researching several options Winrar looked best.  The exe file was produced with all the SFX options that looked necessary and it tested OK.

The problem is that the 'Library File' I need to copy out is in use on about 50% of the machines and the self-extraction throws up an error message on the remote machine (Please Close/Reboot/Restart Application) then brings up a Winrar error window.  Gammadyne's Self Extracting Archive Utility (SEAU) has an option to allow locked files to be installed on reboot but still requires user intervention on initial self-extraction.

Any suggestions would be greatly accepted. Thanks I.A. and regards.
Question by:Sat2b
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Sat2b
    Well.. you have a couple of possibilities here:
    1. Remotely put the a .bat file and sfx file in automatic startup folder and make .bat file to do this:
        - execute sfx
        - opens a 2nd bat file that will remove if it will found the first bat file from startup folder, for not try update next restart.
    2.  Kill application, extract new file, restart application.

    Good luck,

    Author Comment

    Thanks nodramas.

    I had considered the Startup folder batch file option and also RunOnce via the registry.

    A large proportion of the machines are left turned on with the relevant software running.  I wanted to carry out the update with as little inconvenience to the user as possible so a 'remote kill' would not go down very well, it could also possibly corrupt files.

    I think it looks like my only option will be the Startup folder or RunOnce with an email to all users to do a Restart.

    I'll hang about to see if anyone else comes up with anything, otherwise I'll happily give you the points.

    Thanks and Regards.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Actually it is possible to make SEAU (recently renamed Centurion Setup) to install silently.  On the Install branch, simply check the"Always install in automatic mode" box.

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