Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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I got a question from a customer who found this blog post describing how to chain silent installation of VS .NET 2003 prerequisites, VS .NET 2003 and MSDN. They wanted to know what the equivalent set of steps would be for chaining silent installation of VS 2005. There have been some modifications to how setup works behind the scenes in VS 2005, most notably the elimination of the separate step that used to be required to install prerequisite components for VS, so happily I can say these steps are much simpler than in the past. Here are the steps for VS 2005 (using the same format as my previous post).
To start with you should stage Visual Studio bits to a network share so that you can use this as your installation source later on. You can accomplish that with the following steps (also described in the VS readme located in the file adminreadme.htm in the Setup subdirectory on VS Disk 1):
Now that you have a network image, you can create the unattended INI file to install VS 2005 and MSDN using the following steps:
There are a couple of gotchas that I have seen that you should keep an eye out for when following these instructions:
There is an advanced trick that you can use when creating this unattend script as well:
In the VS 2003 instructions there was an additional advanced trick regarding waiting for the setup process to exit and checking the return code. The workaround I listed in my previous post is not necessary in VS 2005 because setup now has specific logic to not copy itself to the %tmep% folder and start a new process if it detects it is being run in administrative installation mode.