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Create installation packages with Windows XP

 
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Skit3000
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:51 am    Post subject: Create installation packages with Windows XP Reply with quote

For all people who use Windows XP and want to make installation packages quick, you can try out the program called "iexpress.exe" which is in your Windows\System32 directory. When making the installation file, you can choose to run programs automaticly, so you don't have to struggle with other tools, etc... Smile

Besides the features mentioned above, you can also add license agreements, set a title for the installation window, choose if the installation window should be shown or hidden and some more options. The installations packages made with it work with all Windows 9x and higher operating systems... Smile

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jules
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well spotted! On investigation, it appears that it is only present on Windows XP Professional. It also requires you to create an .inf file (pretty hard) or write an installation program to do the actual installation (it just extracts into a temporary folder) and provide uninstall support.

If you're interested in simple setup builders I rather like Little Install Builder http://www.pablovandermeer.nl/install_builder.html. It creates the .inf file for you that even has uninstall support, displays a normal setup type interface while you run it. But it doesn't cater for displaying a license file nor does it support installing components into other than the program folder.

I've mentioned before that I use AGInstaller (http://www.agentix.org) which is about the smallest really functional setup builder, but I've had reports that it barfs when run on Japanese versions of Windows, and the developer has not responded to them.

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Skit3000
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jules wrote:
Well spotted! On investigation, it appears that it is only present on Windows XP Professional. It also requires you to create an .inf file (pretty hard) or write an installation program to do the actual installation (it just extracts into a temporary folder) and provide uninstall support.


Julian, over here it works on both Windows XP Home Edition as the Professional Edition. Smile

Edit: Removed some text. Didn't read Julian's post properly... Rolling Eyes

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jules
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure it works, but according to some Microsoft docs I found it's only supplied with XP Pro (and 2K Pro.) But if you have the Home edition and the file's there, perhaps the docs are wrong.
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Hooligan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a Knowledge Base article including a link for downloading it here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;237803

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PGWARE
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer using InnoSetup http://www.jrsoftware.org. I've purchased several setup installer programs including Installshiled and found them all to be buggy, installshield being the buggiest and cost close to $1000!!!

Inno is free and appears to have most bugs fixed. I haven't gotten complains about the installer; whereas when using other installers problems occur on international versions of Windows, crashing during install, can't find required files during uninstall, etc. - this has not happened with Inno.

The only problem with Inno is the stub exe is pretty big and packs on around 200+ kb of overhead.
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jules
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hooligan wrote:
There is a Knowledge Base article including a link for downloading it here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;237803

Hooligan


If you find a place that documents how to create .inf files for setups, I'd be interested in knowing it.

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jules
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PGWARE wrote:
I prefer using InnoSetup http://www.jrsoftware.org. I've purchased several setup installer programs including Installshiled and found them all to be buggy, installshield being the buggiest and cost close to $1000!!!

Inno is free and appears to have most bugs fixed. I haven't gotten complains about the installer; whereas when using other installers problems occur on international versions of Windows, crashing during install, can't find required files during uninstall, etc. - this has not happened with Inno.

The only problem with Inno is the stub exe is pretty big and packs on around 200+ kb of overhead.


I cannot understand why anyone uses InstallShield!

I use Inno myself but the overhead of the latest version is more like 400Kb. It's more noticeable if you already UPX-compress programs so the overhead isn't masked by Inno's built in compression.

I was interested in a much smaller installer to distribute some of my utilities written in VDS which are very small, especially the add-ins and updates where the user already has the VDS runtime so it isn't included. That's how I came to be using AGInstaller, but I'm always looking for a better solution.

It really should be possible to make a nice installer for VDS in VDS that works using the copy of the run-time that is included in the self extracting archive, or already on the user's computer. I've thought many times of developing something along those lines, but it's not a trivial exercise to come up with something that works reliably, and it's easier and more cost-effective to fork over 20 bucks and use someone's ready-made product. It's hard enough to sell shareware without having an installer that falls over before they even manage to try the program. So using Inno means one less thing to worry about.

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Hooligan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you find a place that documents how to create .inf files for setups, I'd be interested in knowing it.


I've dug up some M$ articles I've recently read...


http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/delivery/download/overview/infarchitecture.asp

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/W2inf.mspx

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/fileloc.mspx

Hope these help...

Hooligan

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jules
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

Definitely something to read with an ice-pack on one's head, I think!

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Hooligan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer a little scotch when I read M$ docs...

Hooligan

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