Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Making Installshield deployments silent

Every so often I come across something that I am astounded that I don't already know. This might be a lot of old chips to you but whilst looking for tips on deploying Installshield installers I stumbled across guidance on making the deployment silent.
As you probably know, Installershield deployments usually come as a setup.exe file. This is not always the case but then you can usually grab the setup.exe and other setup files (cab file for example) from a temp folder when you launch the installer.
If you want to make the installation silent you need to use the /s switch, however the installer will look for and answer file called setup.iss. If you are luck then your software vendor will have provided one. Not very often though in my experience.
The good news though, is that you can create one yourself by running the installation with the record switch /r. This dumps a setup.iss file in c:\windows. Move this to the same directory as the installer and you can run the installation silently (with /s) with all the options you chose in the recorded run through. Well almost ;)

There is one sting in the tale to be aware of though. Due to a forked process starting up and completing before the installation is complete, you need to add another switch (/sms) to force the process to wait until the installation is complete.
So in summary, once you have a installer with its setup.iss in place you can run 'setup.exe /s /sms'.

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