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Install MSI package - suppress creation of Start Menu shortcuts

Posted on 2014-11-10
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Last Modified: 2014-11-29
I'd like to install an MSI package (Microsoft LocalGPO utility, to be specific) to a large group of client machines.  A separate batch file that I've written will make use of the LocalGPO features, so I really don't want any of the users to have shortcuts to the LocalGPO folder appear in their Start menu.  (Please note that these are not domain-joined systems.)

I haven't found any obvious msiexec parameters that will suppress the creation of start menu shortcuts, nor have I found anything in the installer's "Property" table that I can modify to achieve the outcome I desire.

I suppose I could  probably have the installer execute a command (or small .bat file) to delete the offending shortcuts post-install.  I'm somewhat familiar with Orca, but I don't know how exactly to modify the MSI (or create a transform) to append this post-install kludge.

My preference would be to use a command-line parameter with msiexec (something like "NOSHORTCUTS=1").  Creating a transform that suppresses the shortcut creation would be almost as good.  Tacking on a post-install command to delete the shortcuts would still work, but would be least-desirable.

The LocalGPO utility is part of Microsoft's freely available Security Compliance Manager:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=182512.
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Question by:bryanhwoods
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Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 40434740
I am not sure about suppressing creation of an icon but I have found a work around which is to create a gpo to delete the shortcuts etc afterwards

>>> this may guide you in doing so http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/03/how-to-use-group-policy-to-remove-the-adobe-reader-desktop-shortcut/
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Author Comment

by:bryanhwoods
ID: 40443822
Kash, thanks for passing that along.  As the target computers for this package are not joined to a domain, using a GPO to manipulate the Start menu shortcuts wouldn't be a simple solution.  I could, of course, apply a local group policy, but that would be problematic.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Pfister
ID: 40466584
Whether  a property  to suppress the icons/start menu is available or not depends on the designer/creator of the MSI.
You could use Orca (or SuperOrca ) to have a look at the public properties the MSI supports (I'd look by myself but the installation of the Security Compliance Manager just crashed).
Or just run a batch script to install the msi and then delete the start menu/desktop icons
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Accepted Solution

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Vadim Rapp earned 500 total points
ID: 40466731
1. open msi in orca
2. menu transform → new transform
3. select table Shortcut on the left
4. remove 3 shortcuts on the right
5. menu transform → generate transform

Or you can simply modify the original MSI, without transform. Transform makes sense when it's temporary, or when you apply different transforms to different deployments of the same product, such as different configurations for different OU's.
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Author Comment

by:bryanhwoods
ID: 40471598
Vadmirapp1, that was exactly what I needed.  Much gratitude to you!

I went one step farther and removed the one entry from the "CreateFolder" database so that the installer wouldn't leave me with an empty "LocalGPO" folder in the Start menu.  In the end:

1. open msi in orca
2. menu transform → new transform
3. select table Shortcut on the left
4. remove 2 shortcuts on the right
5. select table CreateFolder on the left
6. drop the 1 database entry on the right
5. menu transform → generate transform
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Author Closing Comment

by:bryanhwoods
ID: 40471599
The step-by-step instructions were an excellent addition.
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