Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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Hey all, I have been meaning to take some time to write down some comments and strategies about unattended installation of the various pieces of Visual Studio .NET. For this article I'm going to focus on a specific request that I've seen very often - how to chain the unattended installation of the Visual Studio prerequisites, the main Visual Studio bits and the MSDN help documentation.
In order to perform any unattended installs there are a couple of key points to remember:
Here are the steps I used to successfully create INI files and install Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect English on Windows XP Professional:
In the above instructions, the disk paths in square brackets should be substituted with the actual paths of the parts of the product in question. Also, it is required that your computer be able to access the installation paths represented by [Prerequisite Disk Path], [Visual Studio Disk Path] and [MSDN Path] during the installation process. Installing via CD will not work correctly because unattended install does not show disk prompt dialogs, plus that would defeat the purpose of an unattended install anyways. I recommend following the steps in the readme on the root of Visual Studio Disk 1 to stage all of the parts of Visual Studio to a network share. You can find the instructions for doing this for Visual Studio .NET 2003 at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;vsnet11&x=12&y=15#installingnetwork
As always - please let me know if you have any questions with any of the above or run into trouble getting the steps to work.
thanks Aaron Stebner alot for this toturial
but i wanna ask about 2 things
- when the installation begins the system restart automatic , how can i avoid this ?
- Is there anyway to make indicator, popup message to tell me when the installation finished
Hi Freekeko - This blog post is talking about VS .NET 2003 - is that the version you want to install or will you be installing a newer version of Visual Studio?
If you are going to install VS 2008, it has a new switch called /norestart that will allow you to suppress reboots. If you are going to install VS 2002, 2003 or 2005, there is not a way to automatically suppress reboots. Instead, you will need to pre-install any prerequisites that might require reboots before you install VS so that you can manage those reboots separately. In addition, in VS 2005, there is a bug in the unattended INI creation that causes it to try to re-install prerequisites even if you already pre-installed them. You'll need to use steps like the ones at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2006/03/17/554248.aspx to workaround that bug.
There is not a built-in way to cause a pop-up to appear after the installation is complete. To accomplish that, you will need to use some kind of a wrapper process to call VS setup, wait for it to finish, and then display a message box from there.
Hopefully this helps.
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