System administrators in particular often prefer an MSI installer to a normal setup.exe. The MSI packages are better suited for software distribution via Active Directory group policies.
We recommend that you prefer the standard installation program, as this provides a comprehensive set of command line parameters for the silent installation, the selection of components, the setting of the language, the standard server settings and so on.
If you still want to use an MSI installer, you can create an MSI installation program yourself as a wrapper from our standard installer. This has the advantage that you can also execute all the necessary scripts and options.
First download the MSI Wrapper from Jacob Reinholdt (exemsi.com). This is a freeware version that already contains all the basic functions. There is also a paid Pro version with additional features. In the following article, we will show you how to proceed step by step in creating the MSI file.
Step 1: Welcome to the EXE to MSI converter wizard
After you have installed and started MSI Wrapper, you will first see a welcome screen. A wizard will guide you through the process of creating an MSI package.
Step 2: Executable
Enter the file name and the storage location of the Setup EXE file here.
For the next two screens "Visibility" and "Security" you usually use the default values.
Step 3: Application Ids
The "Application ID" is required in the finished MSI package for a clean deinstallation. For example, enter "Password Depot 15.2.1" and click on "Create New" to generate the upgrade code. It is a unique identifier that tells the system which MSI packages are different versions of the same program.
Step 4: Properties
Click on Next again and you will see a page with the Properties.
Under "More Properties", links to web pages can be specified on the next page.
Step 5: Parameters
Under "Parameters", you can pass command line parameters to the executable file, which are always used when the MSI installer or deinstaller is executed. A typical use of this function are parameters for a so-called "silent installation" with the parameter /SILENT.
Step 6: Summary
You can now create the finished MSI package. Before you click on "Build", save your current settings under "Save Settings" in a configuration file. You can reload these settings each time you create a new MSI file for the same program in an updated version. Please make sure to keep the selected upgrade code if you generate an updated MSI version at a later point in time.
A message now appears that the MSI file was created with the freeware version of MSI Wrapper and that the text "Unregistered - Wrapped using MSI Wrapper ..." has therefore been added to the product name.
Step 7: Status
After the MSI Wrapper has finished creating the MSI package, you receive the final status message "You've successfully built an MSI package."
Step 8: Run MSI Package
Clicking the Install MSI button will provide information on how to install your MSI file using the Windows Installer command line tool msiexec.exe. You can specify parameters that are passed to the embedded setup program. The completed command line can be copied to the clipboard with Copy or started with Run.
If you would like to use further parameters and options, you will find them in the following overview:
msiexec / option <required parameters> [optional parameters]
1. Installation options
</ package | / i> <product.msi>
Installs or configures a product.
/ a <product.msi>
Administrative installation - installs a product on the network.
/ j <u | m> <Product.msi> [/ t <Transform List>] [/ g <Language ID>]
Announces a product - m for all users u for the current user
</ uninstall | / x> <product.msi | Product code>
Uninstalls the product
2. Display options
Quiet mode, no user interaction
Unattended mode - status display only
/ q [n | b | r | f]
Defines the installation level of the user interface
n - no user interface
b - simple user interface
r - reduced user interface
f - full user interface (default)
3. Help information
4. Restart options
No reboot after installation is complete
User input if restart is required
Always restart the computer after the installation is complete
5. Logging options
/ l [i | w | e | a | r | u | c | m | o | p | v | x | + |! | *] <log file>
i - status messages
w - Non-fatal warnings
e - All error messages
a - execution of actions
r - Action-specific records
u - user requirements
c - Original user interface parameters
m - Information regarding insufficient memory or serious termination
o - Messages regarding insufficient storage space
p - terminal properties
v - Verbose output
x - Additional debug information
+ - Append to existing log file
! - Record every line in the log
* - Log all information except for options v and x
/ log <log file>
Corresponds to / l * <log file>
6. Update options
/ update <Update1.msp> [; Update2.msp]
Applies update (s)
/ uninstall <patch code GUID> [; Update2.msp] / package <product.msi | Product code>
Removed update (s) for a product
7. Repair options
/ f [p | e | c | m | s | o | d | a | u | v] <product.msi | Product code>
Repairs a product
p - only if file is missing
o - if the file is missing or an older version is installed (standard)
e - if the file is missing or a version of the same or an older version is installed
d - if the file is missing or a different version is installed
c - if the file is missing or the checksum does not match the calculated value
a - forces all files to be reinstalled
u - all required user-specific registry entries (default)
m - all required computer-specific registry entries (default)
s - all existing links (default)
v - runs from source and caches the local package
8. Set public properties
[PROPERTY = PropertyValue]
Further information from Microsoft on the subject of MSIEXEC can be found here.