Software Packages in Remote Installer.

First, some general information regarding packaging.

  • As Remote Installer runs as a service under a domain users account, user interaction is not allowed. This means that the install must complete silently.
  • The first stage is to create and test a silent install of the package on a test machine.
    • One way to find the required information may be to run the setup program from the command line with the switch /? at the end – this often provides details on the switches required for a silent install.
    • If the install is an MSI file, Remote Installer can help by providing the default silent install switches.
    • Other than that, look in the programs documentation, on the manufacturers website or search the newsgroups on google.
    • Another method available if the software does not include silent install options (very rare these days) is to repackage the software using WinInstall LE from the Windows 2000 server CD (VALUEADD\3RDPARTY\MGMT\WINSTLE). This takes a snapshot of the computer's files and registry before and after the software install to create an MSI package of the changes and is best performed on as clean a system as possible.
  • When the test has been successful, you should have the details you need to enter as Remote Installer's package details.
  • Due to the potential number of packages and computer configurations out there it is impossible for Remote Installer to identify whether the package installed correctly, only that it started okay, however, if all the parameters and access rights are correct it should work fine.

Creating a Package.

  • Click the 'Add New Package' button and enter a unique name for the package

  • With the package selected, Click 'Add Step' to add a new step to the package.
  • Select the Step Type:
    • Create Directory : Creates a Directory on the remote computer.
    • Delete Directory : Deletes an empty directory from the remote computer.
    • Copy File : Copies file(s) to the specified path on the remote computer.
    • Delete File : Deletes file(s) from the remote computer.
    • Run Progrm (WMI) : Runs a process on the remote computer using the 'WMI Process Create' call.
    • Run Program (Service) : Runs a process on the remote computer using the credentials of the service account specified.
    • Run Program (Local) : Runs a process on the local computer.

Uninstalling Software

  • The details required for this step can usually be found on the software manufacturers website.
  • Example:
    • As a general rule, *.MSI files can be set do a silent uninstall by specifying the program as MSIEXEC.EXE and the parameters as '/X{1234567} /Q', where 1234567 is the product code
    • This can be obtained by finding the product you wish to uninstall in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ and copying the part of the uninstall string between { and }: