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How to create a wrapper for an exsisting applicaiton installer

Posted on 2010-08-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am looking for an application that will allow me to create an exe (or msi) file that will kick off an OEM installer and pass some command lines to it or allow me to add some reg files.  I have been able to do this with bat or vbs files but i would like to get away from doing that.
 
I have seen many installers that are exe files that really just call a msi file that has been encapsulated in the exe wrapper.  
 
I thought that installshield did this but I can’t figure out how to do it.
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Question by:jaybird283
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13 Comments
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 33478389
Have you tried NSIS or this implementation of NSIS to create portable apps:

http://portableapps.com/news/2010-06-30_-_portableapps.com_launcher_2.0
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Vadim Rapp
Vadim Rapp earned 500 total points
ID: 33479522
If what you are going to wrap is an msi, the best is to create a transform reflecting those parameters that you are going to pass.

Otherwise, see http:Q_26405981.html .
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Dave_LaSalle
ID: 33502511
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Vadim Rapp
Vadim Rapp earned 500 total points
ID: 33502690
Also: if the purpose of wrapping is to deploy via active directory, you can use little known zap files which will launch setup.exe with parameters. See http://www.appdeploy.com/tips/detail.asp?id=31 for details.
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Accepted Solution

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jaybird283 earned 0 total points
ID: 33649538
I tried all of the above methods and i was not able to get them to do what i needed. i did however find a way to do it by using winzip 4 self extractor. who would have though! there is even an option in there that allows you to create application installers. it's perfect because i can create a single file installer for complex apps, use a script to do some other stuff like reg edits or file copies, and it also compresses everything so it's faster to transfer over the WAN!! thanks for everyone's help though!
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Vadim Rapp
Vadim Rapp earned 500 total points
ID: 33649550
winrar also has it, even allows to specify license and logo.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 33649615
Note the drawback however. If you have installation OEMProduct, and you wrap it in MyWrapper, when the user installs it, he will have in his add/remove programs not OEMProduct but MyWrapper. Consequently, the user won't be able to do with OEMProduct the usual things that are possible with normal installation - such as add or remove features, repair, possibly even uninstall. So this is really should be used as last resort.

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 33649652
All the recommended methods (including the one found by the author) are appropriate for the purpose. If the author had some specific problems with any of them, he could ask. For deployment of setup.exe, zap file is the most appropriate because it does not require any other tools and does not wrap anything.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 33700378
I suggest to split between

33479522
33502690
33649538
33649550

since those all allow wrapping existing setup.exe for deployment with parameters. The reason I did not include 33478389 and 33502511 is because they suggested  tools to create new installation rather than "kick off an OEM installer and pass some command lines to it or allow me to add some reg files".

Strictly speaking, "add some reg files" excludes everything but 33479522 - winrar, winzip, and zap will launch the executable, but won't write anything into the registry.
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