How do I speed up my installation

Hi,
As in the previous question, our software creates it's own installation files, which we used to pack into a self extracting EXE.
The nice things about the EXE is that it's compressed, so we can fit more onto the disk, and it installs a lot faster (I think isn't much faster to read the 1 big file off the CD than the thousands of tiny files)
The bad thing is that with Vista's UAC, it seems (I think) to want to read the whole file into RAM and check it or something before actually launching it - it can take a very long time on some people's PCs.
We also have the problem that if we install direct off the PC, the files are all read only.
Any further advice would be great.
Thanks
Steven
StevenHookAsked:
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Vadim RappCommented:
Make the files unpacked and distribute on USB stick.

Other than that, I don't think anything will speed up. But that said, installation is not something that is being done every minute, or even every day, so even if it's not lightning fast, so what. Creators of the installations of Microsoft Office, SQL server, and Visual Studio apparently did not see that as a problem.
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
Thanks :)
A flash disk install is a nice idea, but it's just far too costly to see as a viable solution, we distribute hundreds of thousands of CDs a year.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Every file coming off a CD or DVD will automatically be marked read only, since a CD / DVD is a read only media.  You need an installation application -- like InstallShield -- to extract all the files to a temporary directory on the hard disk of the user, and then run the application installation from there.

Look into INSTALL SHIELD -- thousands of developers and distributors use this all the time to do installs.
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Vadim RappCommented:
> Look into INSTALL SHIELD -- thousands of developers and distributors use this all the time to do installs.

...after which millions of their users can't uninstall those installs, after which the developers create separate "cleanup tools" to clean the mess left behind by Installshield.
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Vadim RappCommented:
> too costly ... we distribute hundreds of thousands of CDs a year.

With these numbers of customers, you must be rich enough...
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scrathcyboyCommented:
"...after which millions of their users can't uninstall those installs, after which the developers create separate "cleanup tools" to clean the mess left behind by Installshield."

You are TOTALLY OFF BASE -- Install Shield works for ALL apps and all platforms I have tested it on.  Are you trying to HELP the questioner here?  Or just kill the value of any other input assistance ?

Sorry Steven, with this kind of antagonistic flack, I am leaving the thread.  You have my recommendations.  Good luck.
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
Installshield also looks like it's way out of our price range, and as the software already has an installation / uninstallation procedure built in, all we would use it for is to get the files off he CD faster before the installation starts.
I do find it amusing tho that it's faster to copy all 700MB off the CD, and then let the installer copy them from a temporary location to the final destination than just to let the installer install them off the CD.
Winzip self extractor worked great - fast and almost professional looking - except for those few PCs (vista mostly) where if you tried to launch the self extractor off the disk it would just hang / not run at all - in these cases we would have to copy the 690MB exe off the CD to their computer, run it and then delete it.
Regards
Steven.

PS. The software is free to use, we charge minimal fees for packaging and distribution (about $3)
Our profit comes from people ordering the things they create using the software, So if they have trouble installing, or it takes long, we will probably lose the customer permanently.
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Vadim RappCommented:
Try winrar instead, maybe it won't hang. If it does, tell me, I know the author.

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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
:) I'll give that a bash. It also makes professional looking self extracting EXEs?
Thanks for the tip...
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Vadim RappCommented:
Yes, it even includes a license screen.
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
Ok, I made a test compilation self extracting EXE winrar file.
Perhaps this is a question for another topic. But how do I make winrar run the setup file after extracting?
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
no worries I eventually found it :)
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Either way, to compress 690 MB of files, then expand them from CD to the hard disk, it is simply going to take a long time.  Can't you install a "STUB" of the program that then reads data off the CD?  This will speed up installation significantly.
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
what's a "stub"?
As I say, extracting / expanding to a temporary folder and installing from there is much quicker than installing the uncompressed files direct off he CD.
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Vadim RappCommented:
> expanding to a temporary folder and installing from there is much quicker than installing the uncompressed files direct off he CD.

Probably because with many files to copy off the cd, the drive head needs to move to the track with the directory for every file. One might think that this should be eliminated by caching, but probably for some reason it's not. With the CD, it's much slower than the same with hard drive.
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StevenHookAuthor Commented:
I guess there's no way to make the CD image in an optimised file order.
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Vadim RappCommented:
The only optimization I know is Microsoft utility CDImage that replaces duplicate files by their references, so you can fit more than CD capacilty. http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/15/
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