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Need silent install for .exe installer

Posted on 2011-09-29
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I'm building a task sequence in SCCM to create a baseline image for our client workstations.  I have three different programs who just have.exe installers, with no command line option to run them siliently.  I know one option is an MSI wrapper.  I've seen several discussions on this with a wide variety of answers.

Is an MSI wrapper the best road for me to follow?  Are there other options?

Thanks!!

KH
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Question by:RhoSysAdmin
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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 36817237
MSI wrapper is never good option, there's much easier zap files for that; but in any case the installation is supposed to be able to run without user interaction. If it can't, then you have to interact.
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Expert Comment

by:CSI-Windows
ID: 36817309
RhoSysAdmin,

An "MSI Wrapper" is not an option as they rely on being able to make the contained setup.exe silent via the setup.exe's switches.

ZAP files do not work with SCCM and even in Group Policy they have key limitations that make them unworkable, namely the user must select the software from a new tab in Add / Remove Programs and the install does not receive elevated privileges from any background source (user must be an admin to install).

Your options are:
a) to repackage the EXEs to be silent (doesn't have to be repackaged into MSIs when you are using SCCM to distribute).
b) attempt to automate the install UI using something like AutoIt.  This can be challenging to accomplish - but I'm not sure any more challenging than learning a repackaging tool.


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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 36817428
> ZAP files.. <follows the list of drawbacks>

With sms it's not necessary anyways, sms can run setup.exe. Then there's startup/logon script. But in most scenarios I saw where the suggestion to wrap setup.exe into an MSI  comes up, the same is achievable by zap files. So it was kinda general comment related mostly to the "wide variety of answers".
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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 36817432
> to repackage the EXEs to be silent (doesn't have to be repackaged into MSIs

could you tell, if not MSI, what else could it be repackaged into?

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Author Comment

by:RhoSysAdmin
ID: 36817448
The problem is my setup.exe launches a wizard that has to be manually clicked through, which is frustrating b/c the default install is just fine for all three of the apps I'm working with.  SCCM can start these installers, but cannot complete them for me b/c they all require user interaction.

I'm not sure the zap files are an option b/c I don't want to push these with GPO's.  I want to build a baseline image to use the .wim I create to do OSD with SCCM.

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Expert Comment

by:CSI-Windows
ID: 36817467
vadimrapp1,

Wise Package Studio allows repackaging into either MSI or into their traditional Wise Script (WSE) language which can generate a new setup.exe. Repackaging into a new, silent setup.exe was the standard procedure before MSI came along and for someone unfamiliar with MSI it could be more productive in the short term than learning a bulk of MSI knowledge for a one-time need.

I'm really not interested in personal competitions on these threads - you and I both have items to contribute and help visitors find solutions to their problems.

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TheGorby earned 500 total points
ID: 36817994
It sounds to me like AutoIT is perfect for this. You can compile the script as an EXE that calls the original setup.exe from a network or other available location.

To have the script click certain buttons on certain windows for you, you'll really only need to learn how to use 4 different AutoIT functions: Run() [or possibly RunAs()], WinWait(), WinActivate() and ControlClick(). AutoIT includes an in-depth help file that explains how to use those functions, but of course if you had any more questions I'll help you out.

The problem you're having is the exact reason I started using/learning AutoIT.
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Author Comment

by:RhoSysAdmin
ID: 36818288
Considering Wise is not free and AutoIT is, I'll give AutoIT a shot.  I may be back w/ AutoIT questions tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for all the quick responses!

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Author Closing Comment

by:RhoSysAdmin
ID: 36818294
Expert provided reference to a product that may help me.
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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 36818315
In fact, AutoIT was first suggested in comment http:#36817309
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