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how to edit msi to change variable in file

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are deploying a new desktop backup solution by emc called avamar.

This solution has a msi file which I am hoping to change before depoyment.

There is a xml file in the msi that has a variable that I need to change before sending it out to the rest of the company (350+ computers)

If any of you can provide a solution to edit the attached msi file please let me know asap.  

We start the rollout tomorrow.
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Question by:pbroussard
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8 Comments
 
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 35195205
Suggestion

Possibly use 7Zip to open it up.  Then if the concerned file is visible right click on it and choose Edit.  Save once finished and Exit.

Experiment on a copy rather than the actual file.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 35195372
I don't see any attached file.

Assuming that the xml file is one of the files packed within the msi, you need to do the following:

open msi in orca (official download - Windows SDK), find table "cabs" and export the stream from [Binary Data]
extract xml file from cab file, change it, then put back into cab
in orca, import modified cab file into the msi
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:ActiveDirectoryman
ID: 35195387
I agree with vadimrapp1.  orca is the best tool to use for msi editing and for transform creation.  

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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 35195431
...actually, there's a better way.

1. create administrative installation by running msiexec /a mypackage.msi
This will place smaller msi plus all the files in adjucent directories, in the folder you will specify in the dialog
2. find xml and change it
3. deploy from this modified administrative installation.

This is simpler, and the clients will install it faster because they won't have to unpack it.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 35485655
No indication that the author tried experts' suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:pbroussard
ID: 35485879
Sorry about that, I'm fairly new to this.

I did try editing the file but that did not fix our issue.

The file in question was not the answer to our issue.  We found that editing the file would not fix the issue as the file was not called on until after activation which was after the event we were trying to stop.

We rolled out the software with the issue and are coming behind it and replacing the file with the pre-edited xml file.  

Sorry for the confusion.
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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
Vadim Rapp earned 500 total points
ID: 35486003
Thanks for clarification; as I understand, our solution did allow you to change the file in the installation the way you wanted, but you later found that this edit did not achieve the purpose it was for.

Moderator, I suggest split between  http:#35195431 and http:#35195372 . 7zip will see the cab inside the msi, but won't be able to edit a file within.
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