View Full Version : Creating a Transform File for an EXE Installer package

Glen Bartlett
01-23-2002, 11:45 AM
There are numberous software titles that have been packaged in Windows Installer format, but they are with the extension 'EXE' instead of 'MSI'. Is there a difference here?

I thought that Tuner was capable of creating MSTs for all packages in the Windows Installer format. Is this an incorrect assumption?

Mike Snyders
01-23-2002, 05:21 PM
Tuner creates transforms for any Windows Installer package.

Some .msi's are packaged as a single, self-extracting executables so they are easily downloaded from the Web and can install the Windows Installer service if it is not present.

Do you know if these .exe's are created with InstallShield?

Are the installs just one, big file?

If so, with a command line switch you can create and administrative image which extracts the .msi file from the exe.

Glen Bartlett
01-23-2002, 05:30 PM
Yes the exe files are one big file, however I think that I have seen some exes that are done with the Installer that have many files.

You mentioned a command line switch to extract it....How would I extract the MSI ?

thanks again for the assitance

Mike Snyders
01-23-2002, 05:41 PM
If you see have an exe's with many files then the .msi should be one of then.

The command line for InstallShield setups is setup.exe /a.

If it works you should have to enter a directory to save the files
and the install should not run.

Glen Bartlett
01-23-2002, 05:50 PM
With this particular package it does not like the /a switch. It seems to ignore it. Is this possible, should I look for another package to test this on? so that I don't pull all my hair out?

Glen Bartlett
01-24-2002, 02:29 PM
I have just tried three different pieces of software from three different vendors, with the same result. It would seem that the /a switch has no effect on them. Is this configurable for the vendor. Can they disable the creation of administration packages?

I was wanting to use Transform files for re-packaging all the software that we use that was created with InstallShield. Should I be looking at using something else? I want to avoid generating another MSI package - seems to me like this is a bit of a waste of time, with all the testing.

thanks again for any support

Mike Snyders
01-24-2002, 03:09 PM
Hi Glen,

Are you certain these are all "Windows Installer" based installation programs?

One easy way to tell is you will see a Windows Installer dialog pop up when you run the install. I'll attach a screen shot so you know what I mean.


Mike Snyders
01-24-2002, 03:16 PM
>I was wanting to use Transform files for re-packaging all the >software that we use that was created with InstallShield.

Transforms let you easily customize the behavior of an existing installation program without repackaging it.

To use transforms installations must be in the Windows Installer format (.msi files). We provide the repackager to migrate legacy setups to the Windows Installer format. It watches the changes a setup makes on the system and creates an installation program from that.

Glen Bartlett
01-24-2002, 04:31 PM
Well now this is making a bit more sense. It does not pop up this exact screen. But it does pop up the InstallShield Wizard. This I am guessing is not the same. Am I able to use a MST file with this?

Attached is a snapshot.

Mike Snyders
01-24-2002, 04:58 PM
You are correct that setup cannot be altered using a transform.

What type of customizations are you looking to make? Can you explain in general terms?

Glen Bartlett
01-24-2002, 05:17 PM
Well in the organization that I work for. We have about 150- 200 software titles. I have been trying to convince our Technical Architect that we should put all of our software into MSI packages. I have been successful in the past of remotely deploying MSI packages using WinInstall LE and some crafty VBScripts.

Now I want to take a step forward and create some MST files in order to justify purchasing AdminStudio to my managers. To me using a MST file is safer than using a repackaged MSI. The orginal MSI is still the one that does the work, just the MST answers the questions. I realize that most of these software pieces offer some kind of silent installation, but I would like to know how to create MST files for other pieces of software.

Do you know offhand what products use just the Windows Installer.... the one where I can configure MST files for them? Just looking for reasons to get my managers to purchase a cool tool like Admin Studio.

Thanks again for the assistance in the previous posts. You have helped me more than the silly help files, as I haven't been able to find a lot of whitepapers for InstallShields AdminStudio, apart from the getting started PDF.

Mike Snyders
01-28-2002, 09:42 AM
Glen, here is a few I can think of off the top of my head:

Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7.0
Visio 2002
Symantec Norton Anti Virus Corporate Edition 7.5 and 7.6
Windows Terminal Services Client
Adaptec Easy CD Creator 5

If I think of anymore I will post them.


John Bleft
06-01-2006, 11:18 AM
You use

setup.exe /V"/a <path_to_folder> /qb"
Or just

setup.exe /V/a
I'm surprised no-one has caught on, since /V/x is parameters to msiexec.exe
Hope this helped.
One question, how to you create transforms for files that have to be run from a setup.exe?
Just in case you don't understand, here's what I mean:
http://img376.imageshack.us/img376/449/setup4sz.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

06-02-2006, 03:57 AM
Extract the msi and create the transform. Then try
setup.exe /v"TRANSFORMS=..."

For quicktime you don't need to run the setup.exe,
go to www.appdeploy.com and check out the information there

06-13-2006, 08:09 PM
A general solution that always works for any file like this is to run the setup.exe and wait until you can see its UI
Hunt around in the %TEMP% folder and you'll find the unpacked install.