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msi - how to convert dell drivers to msi format

Posted on 2013-11-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
hi i am running a windows 2003 domain with gpo and i have connected and installed my dell printer on my file & printer server.  i am aware that as all machines are part of the domain and i have also created and shared a dell printer folder and shared (everyone full access) on my file printer server, but i choose not to do it this way and wish to create an msi file instead!

question 1.  what software shall i use to convert my dell printer (.exe drivers into an msi format) or whatever so that my gpo software installation will detect it to be added  ?

note: in the passed i have converted some (wordview) application into an msi on a windows 2008 platform, but not sure about dell drivers.

ive been reading the below:

http://searchwindowsserver.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-create-your-own-MSI-file-to-deploy-applications

http://www.installsite.org/cgi-bin/frames.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.installsite.org%2Fpages%2Fen%2Fmsi%2Fauthoring.htm
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Question by:mikey250
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Expert Comment

by:Amitabh Singh
ID: 39646825
use Microsoft Print Migrator to take backup of your printers then restore on server waer you need thiese printers .

Download Link
http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=30935

Doc how to use
http://download.microsoft.com/.../Microsoft%20Print%20Migrator%203.1.doc
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39646897
To install drivers, the user will have to have rights.
Alternatively,
You could deploy the printer using GPO with pushprinterconnection.exe from the print server.
You can deploy the printer per user Or per computer.

MS has MSI creating tools.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa370557(v=vs.85).aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 39647103
Curious why you are shunning the users getting the driver by clicking on the shared printer?

You may find the exe based drivers are already msi format and running it extracts to temp folder msi when you run it.

Try setup /? as you may be able to so something like setup.exe /a to extract if so, or watch temp directory after install started for files it hs extracted, probably in a new subdir.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39647344
hi dragon, originally i added the drivers to a shared folder and shared, but i have not used this method.  as installing gpo is my preferred method.

i have opened up gpo/software installation and the printer drivers are not seen when i located specific folder as it shows as empty, hence needing to convert to an msi format.

ive looked inside the dell drivers that i installed on my physical print server and there is no (.msi) files inside the 2 folders located in c:\program files\
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arnold earned 100 total points
ID: 39647813
Shared printer deployment will install the drivers.
Software installl GPO for driver install will likely run into issues since dell's uses a two step process. Extract, run setup.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722179(v=ws.10).aspx
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39648121
hi arnold, thanks for your input it is appreciated!!

question 1.  so lets get this straight there is no conversion tool to change my (dell drivers.exe to an .msi) type ?

question 2.  i am running win 2003 not 2003 r2 or win 2008 so it appears this: "pushprinterconnections.exe" is not allowed, also i am not sure where to download it from as looking via google now but cannot find specific link  ?
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 39648397
Still don't understand why not to just create printer on file/printer server, install drivers there, share it.... job done?!
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39648446
hi dragon,

yes you are right as i can already do that already way as already done on my xp desktop successfully but if there are maybe 100s of users then having it installed via the gpo from my master dc which will auto install onto all (ou groups where client machines are located, without the user installing anything is more efficient and cost efficient, especially if users have issues and then start logging various calls, for whatever apparant reason, although yes the install is straight forward anyway.

i will eventually wish to install:

ms office
various printers
& maybe some other software so want to have the machines all ready with no user intervention as far as install goes

and as i have a domain it means i have the control via the gpo to install or remove what i wish remotely.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 39648499
But you install it once.  The users just click on \\sever\printer name link or go to http://server/printers or whatever.  You can just set permissions on the printer via groups etc. as to whether they can use it if wanted.

MS Office 2010 is 'interesting' and doesn't support install by MSI.  You have to install it using batch file from startup in group policy.  You can do 2003/XP and earlier MS Office versions.

Other apps. some work, some don't.  

Have been doing this rolling out MSI apps since Windows 2000 so I know the pains and joys when it works or not!

Anyway good luck with it, just making life hard for yourself!

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39648583
hi dragon,

im not being arrogant or anything as this is my first time really and just assumed that this was still the preferred way.  i realise these days most people are literate when it comes to general straight forward install.

ok as i have already installed my printer on my file server and created and shared a folder for all users to located i will leave like that.  - it was just for the purposes of allowing no user to install anything at all.

you mention the below:

"ms office 2010 is 'interesting' and doesn't support install by msiYou have to install it using batch file from startup in group policy.  you can do 2003/xp and earlier ms ofice versions."

at the moment i only wish to know how to do the following then:

office 2003 - is the msi file located in a folder after install or how do i convert .exe to .msi  ?

note:  just as a test but in the passed i did convert (wordview.exe to .msi) but i have lost those instructions.

office 2010 - i dont know how to create a batch file to add to the startup in gpo although i have seen batch files but not sure what i need to put  ?

i have been reading about these batch files but i think once ive set my own up i can then start appreciating the reading more but right about now its just cobbldeguk..!
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 39648847
bit much to cover from mobile with 4yr old my lap but... batch file just text file, .cmd or .bat extension running series of commands as youd type in cmd prompt.

many apps you can install with something like setup.exe /quiet or /s /silent /qb etc. depending upon the app.  often setup /? or a google for silent install will tell you for an app.

off 2010 will find doc we followed, is ms offifical way if you google it.  

in ad you can assign atrtup script to computer in a gp and/or a login script for user for each gp. so users in ou X can get batch file run at startup whihc runs office install silently for instance.

as to printer user doesnt need rivers in share, server does that for you if installed on server.  you can install x86/x64 drivers and different os if needed drivers too for each printer.

will dig out office install but if suggest pick couple of bits at a time, have a go at them and post speciifc questions and will try to help.
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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 400 total points
ID: 39649577
Here is the guide from MS that is the 'easy' way to deploy Office 2010/2013 ....

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff602181.aspx

and discussions are easily found such as:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/91a88057-81d5-4f41-a4f5-1e6247fb9bd5/why-did-microsoft-remove-the-option-to-deploy-office-2010-via-group-policy-intellimirror?forum=officesetupdeployprevious

It does work well still pushing Office out with startup like this for an initial build of Office on a new machine, we tend to use a combination of ways to install:

* WDS to build the initial Windows 7 build pre-loaded with drivers etc.
* Applications assigned through group policy to users and computers based on group memberships as needed.  Fonts, settings passed down through Group policy, e.g. WiFi settings etc.
* Applications, drivers, etc. installed through batch using silent switches where available.

For Office 2003 you have to get the CD contents onto a share somewhere, on there is the MSI file for it, but you need to use the Office resource kit (download it) to make a transform (MST) file to pick the bits of the stuff to install etc.  When you add the MSi to GPO you also select this MST file and let it get on with it.  You should be able to find a specific plan with a google.

etc.

Good luck with it.  Pick one thing to try and deploy and go for it.

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39650768
thanks for this info i have read through all comments and to do with:

i will however leave office 2010/2013 for last due to question 1 below, but will continue with office 2003.  step by step as you suggest makes total sense after reading those links you sent.

i wont bother ask about sccm at this point as not using it currently, although i have setup (wds) in the passed but for some reason i had an issue, so i put it to one side to eventually return to as during boot up of xp machine it had some gui issue and i could not complete the prompts..!

"why did ms remove the option to deploy office 2010 via gpo intellimirror"

q1.  - the last comment was made in august 2013, so my question next would be, has microsoft changed anything since, as it appears install office 2010/2013 seems to be too complex to do but even then as i have no scripting skills would be impossible for me at this time  ?

q2.  i did find these comment below about (libreoffice - opensource), although beyond me at this point, so whether this is the solution i am not sure..?

"i have also been a supporter of microsoft products for a long time.  however since they have removed the option to push office 2010 trough gpo/msi i'm a bit disappointed.
luckily i have found a great solution. I just push ((libreoffice)) ((opensource!)) through microsofts's group policy.  it has an .msi package and is an acceptable replacement for the ms office suite."

- yes i have seen batch files and that they are saved as (.bat) - that much i have remembered.

q3.  i could install manually drivers on each machine, although hence sharing folder on my file print domain member server so that each user can install when required.  - so not sure what you mean by below comments since you say doesnt need drivers in share  - ?

"as to printer user doesnt need drivers in share, server does that for you if installed on server.  you can install x86/x64 drivers and different os if needed drivers too for each printer."

q4.  pushprinterconnection.exe  - cannot locate this program on google and after reading it stated that win 2003 r2 and 2008 were able to use this, but no mention of win 2003 standard  - ?

q5.  i have checked and yes i can open my master dc/dns/dhcp server via gpo and locate the office 2003 (accessrt.msi) file - but what im wondering is should i copy/paste these files onto my (dc) or put them on my file print server as a share & then log back onto my master dc via gpo and locate network share on the file server, at the preferred method ?
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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 400 total points
ID: 39650888
q1.  Not as far as I know.  Without other tools using just GPO this is the only method that I know of, though happy to be proved wrong!

q2. I have used various free office versions and some customers of mine use them as don't want to buy MS Office licenses, depends mainly what your users will put up with!

q3.  You install the printer on the server.  the user connects to \\server\printer and it installs drivers.  You don't need to point them anywhere or put them on a share.

q4. Sorry not used it.

q5.  I would suggest setting up a share wherever it is doesn't matter, e.g. \\server\installapps (I generally use a DFS share so changing server names / upgrading etc. is easier but lets not over complicate again!) and point at that.  That could be a directory on your DC on file/print frankly, wherever you have the space / capacity. Make sure the share is shared for Everyone and SYSTEM and NTFS permissions for computers to be able to read it if you are assigning to computers.  Then yes when you create the GPO you go back and select - use the UNC path \\server\share not any mapped drives you have to select it.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39650967
hi, again.. i did setup (dfs) in the passed but removed it due to trying different things at that time!!

i think i will put back the (dfs) and then do what you say!!

i will let you know.

- i dont suppose you know anything about (webdav) as i have a question out there but no expert has responded.  webdav is allowed, but stuck on specific part but cannot see it: ?

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_28284820.html

most appreciated!!
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39689869
hi anyone,

question 1.  i am about to install 'office 2003' via my gpo and when i browse via my master dc/dns/dhcp/gp server to my file server (domain member server), i can click 'package' & can view 3 msi files but not sure which one i should select:  ?

- owc10.msi
- owc11.msi
- proi11n.msi - i presume this is what i should select to install & the above 1 are just updates...!but not sure
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 39690531
Yes that's right.  Had a quick google and there is a step-by-step here but you are probably 99% of the way there anyway.  Make sure you select the app using the UNC, i.e. \\server\share\office\pro...msi as a drive mapping will only be valid at the time you are adding it to AD and won't be available at all to the computer account, even if the user later has a drive mapped to it.

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39690742
yes it installed on my xp desktop machine but this i did via my gpo/software installation as i have never done this before.

although the below installed on 1 single machine i did not install, 'resource kit' but have been reading the below and trying to form a picture of what i need to do!!

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/leverage-office-2003-resource-kits-custom-installation-wizard-to-speed-office-2003-deployments/

but now i am being told the below and not sure why  ?

i would strongly discourage the use of a gpo to do software distribution.  it has proven to be more of a pain than a blessing every time I've seen it used.  It can restrict your ability to move pc's to different ou's.

i would suggest that you figure out how to install the software from the command line, in  non-interactive approach (msiexec with appropriate command line options).  you can use the office resource kit (ork) to create an appropriate mst file to customize your office installation, and then you can reference the use of the mst on the msiexec command line.

this guide will walk you through it - don't worry about the referencing to wise packaging studio - the explanation and instruction for creating a transform (.mst) is applicable for you:
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/wise-package-studio-part-8-building-office-2003-generic-transform-file

once you have a good working approach from the command line, then i would use a logon script to do the installation.  you simply create a batch file to run the silent office install and set that batch file as your logon script.

this assumes that you have an administrative install of office to one of your servers that all your users can access.  if you need help with that, google office 2003 administrative install and you'll find step by step instructions.

i again strongly recommend this approach over gpo software distribution.  this way, once office is installed, you don't have to worry that it will get uninstalled if a pc moves from ou to a different ou.
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 39691828
GPO works great, there are other ways and tools but using a login script approach is crazy when there is a GPO way that works!

Apply at the highest relevant level in your AD, or to multiple lower levels, or restrict to members of certain groups.  Then when a computer is put in that OU it gets Office.  Want them on different office version, move to new OU etc.

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39692254
hi,  those comments on previous last post about not using the gpo ie:

"i would strongly discourage the use of a gpo to do software distribution."

so what are they referring to  ?
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 39692327
suggesting a login script is madness, that runs as the user, who hopefully has no rights as admin to install software etc.

GPO installed software whether a allocated to the user or computer is installed as the computer.

Office 2007/2010 did away with this ability and we have to resort to startup scripts (ran as the computer not user) in the computer ou.

Original build of ad we made in 2001mins for one customer still going strong moved from w2k and office xp through win xp, to win 7xp using gpo installs for loads of apps, some prepackaged, others made in house.  have done the same for lots of places.

steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39692391
hi,

i have been reading the below url for info also:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179214(office.12).aspx

task 1

after selecting gpo/computer config & selecting: 'assigned' it then installed office 2003 successfully and then the below window showed with the following tabs but i left as default:

- general
- deployment
- upgrades
- categories
- modifications
- security

question 1.

task 2

i have now uninstalled the above and then repeated same procedure as above but this time selected .........'advanced'........... but it still shows as .......'assigned & not advanced'...... in gpo/computer config window & office 2003 installed on xp desktop successfuly also,.. so i am wondering if 'advanced' only works when i have 'ork.exe' installed, as i have not completed any extra tasks in the below:  ?

- deployment
- upgrade
- categories
- modifications
- security

note: i have not installed 'ork.exe - resource kit' yet
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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 400 total points
ID: 39700683
When you create as "assigned" it is the same as advanced but advanced lets you set the settings before rather than afterwards.

You may want to select the tickboxes for "ignore language" if you have different language machines, the upgrade tab is irrelevant here, categories just for your own use to categorise different packages.  Modifications is so you can add "MST" files which you can make to adjust what gets installed.

Security does what it says - aswell as the security on the grouo policy itself to say what computers / users as appropriate it applies in addition to only applying to the OU's it is linked to.  The security on a software installation entry can control specific apps based on group membership etc.  Remove the "Authenticated users or other entries such as "domain computers" from read in this list and add in "group_office 2003" or something you create then computers would need adding to that group to get it.

If you tick the box "uninstall when falls out of management" it will remove office if you take the computer out of the relevant OU or group too.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39704162
hi dragon-it, you say the following:  (the below are my only 2 questions left to ask)

"When you create as "assigned" it is the same as advanced but advanced lets you set the settings before rather than afterwards."

question 1.  so after reading your above comments i assume you mean just the following then...if so do i click to create a 'new package' and wait for the below window tabs to show then select 'modifications' or do i go to question 2 below and just click 'properties'..as this is the confusion  ?

- modifications - for mst files

one other thing that puzzles me is if i 'right click software installation' i can also click properties which shows me the below:

- deployment
- upgrade
- categories
- modifications
- security

question 2.  but if i do not click 'properties' as above and click the other option and the select 'package', what is the difference what can i not do, since you say 'assigned and advanced' on the same  ?
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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 400 total points
ID: 39704424
For computer based apps you can just assign, i.e. they are pushed to the computer.  Assigned means it takes you a minimal set of questions, advanced lets you go through all the options.  You can do all the other options though just by going back into it again afterwards.  So if you just want a quick easy, on the defaults app choose "assigned".  I go for advanced because I want to tick things like to install for different languages, "remove it it falls out of the scope of management" etc.

For apps for users you can publish or assign.  Assigned gets installed during login as expected.  Published appears under "add programs" in the control panel so they can choose to install it (with only their user priveleges) from your apps you choose to let them get to.

Assign apps to users and when they logon to different computers their apps follow them... and sometimes more to the point if someone else logs in they are removed.

Properties of the software entry takes you to the multi-tabbed entry sheet with all those settings in.  "modifications" tab is only if you have any MST files for a particular apps which can control which parts of the apps are installed in general.

Get yourself 3-4 physical or virtual machines, stick them in a OU of their own together with a few test users in the same OU.  Assign and publish some apps to the users and computers and you will soon see how it all ties together I'm sure.

Steve

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 39706198
hi and thanks for that clarity!!
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40835680
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 500 points for arnold's comment #a39647813

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40835684
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