install applications without any manual config

Is there some kind of software that allows the automated install of multiple applications to a laptop pc. The plan is to have a sort of batch file running off a DVD that will install each application one after the other.

1)microsoft office 2007
2)winzip, winrar
4)avg anitvirus with updated virus definitions
5)Laptop drivers
6)Windows 7 updates

It should be able to also configure parameters such as *do not install 2nd party applications such as yahoo toolbar *typical installation *path of installation *

Just need to simplify the setup of my laptop...
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You might be able to accomplish this with a program like this:

Basically create your own MSI package that runs your programs (installs them.) You can also look at .MST files which are transform files that can be to configure your .msi installation.
no there isn't

If you manually run each install in administrative mode (using the /a command line) it will extract the install with the settings you choose into a folder on your machine.  You can then write a quick batch file to run each of the extracted installs.

If I am understanding you, this should accomplish the task.
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masterkillaAuthor Commented:
jmcmunn: I will look into your batch file suggestion.
kertap: I installed makemsi and tried to create an msi file but the application brought up multiple error messages.

Just need an easy way for my parents to fix the laptop when Im not around.  I have 2 partitions so one is used for OS and the other for data. In this way I have the freedom to reinstall the OS where an obvious solution is not apparent.

I believe norton ghost can be used to reinstall OS if needed and is as easy as inserting a recovery disk. I now need a way to push down all applications in one go without having my parents sit in front of laptop going through each .exe file one by one.

Some torrent sights have OS for download with a few applications loaded as part of the image. How do they do this?


Well, one way to create a custom install of Windows (with certain preinstalled software) is to use a "pre builder" utility.  One popular free version of such a thing is this:

Bart's PE Builder

You still need a valid copy of Windows in order to build an install disk with this.  But I have used it in the past (long ago) to do things like have Firefox preinstalled etc.
I have to agree with jmcmunn that Bart's is pretty decent. Lifehacker had a similar approach listed here:

Just a word of warning, be very careful if you look more into an OS preloaded with programs from a torrent site. Chances are it's more malware than good.
masterkillaAuthor Commented:
Can I use Bart on windows 7?
masterkillaAuthor Commented:
downloaded bartpebuilder Not sure where to put the code

I created the sp2.ini file from the link but cannot find the where to place this file. I looked in regedit for the path:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Minint Registry key to determinate if it is A PE or not.

but couldnt find anything.


Well, tis is beyond the scope of what I have done with BartPE, but here is where I found them...on windows 7 ultimate.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]
"CurrentType"="Multiprocessor Free"
"ProductName"="Windows 7 Ultimate"

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Oh, and you'll want to grab your own...I replaced a bunch of Hex stuff above for clarity.  But this should at least guide you to the right reg paths.
masterkillaAuthor Commented:
This process is a bit complicated for me. Has anyone got a tried and tested solution for windows 7?

Well. you're not going to find a "simple" way to install a bunch of unrelated complex apps automatically.  Either you script an admin install as a batch file or some other way (as suggested initially) or you can do something more like the BartsPE.

And of course there is always the tried and true setting up a macro that will actually record your clicks as you go through it and simply spit back what you did on future runs.

There's not going to be an "easy" way to do this, that's why sysadmins and network admins exist...and get paid well.  For a laptop that you only have to do once or twice, maybe it's not worth it.  Some solutions were certainly provided here however.
masterkillaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input jcmunn.  What would be a good way to learn scripting from the basics upwards for sysadmin job roles. Are there any tutorials?

My understanding so far is that sys admins use .msi files which are tied together by use of scripting. On network login, the script(found on server 2003) is triggered and an unattended silent installation then takes place. Please correct me...

As for my initial task of installing applications in one go, I found an application found on the website that downloads and performs a silent unattended installation of common desktop applications.

Well, one way an admin of a Windows network would do it would be to use Group Policy...but I'm no expert on Group Policy.  I imagine there are tons of answers on this site and others pertaining to specific software through the use of Group Policy.

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