Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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A few folks (both inside and outside of Microsoft) have contacted me asking for instructions for how to install the Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions in silent and/or unattended mode.
Some of you have found the instructions I previously posted for Visual Studio 2005 unattended installations and tried them with the Express Editions. However, you will find that running any of the Express Edition setup.exe files with the /createunattend or /unattendfile switches will show an error dialog stating that those switches are not supported with this setup package.
There is not a built-in automated silent or unattended installation mode for the Express Editions, so the method for performing silent installation is a bit more involved than it is for the higher-level versions of Visual Studio 2005. You have to download each of the setup packages that is chained as part of the Express Edition setup and then run each of them using their individual silent mode command line switches.
To accomplish the setup package download, you need to follow the instructions to create a network install point for a VS 2005 Express Edition.
Once you have downloaded the pieces of the Express Edition setup package, you will need to figure out which pieces are needed for the OS type (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, etc), OS language (English, etc), processor architecture (x86, x64) and Express Edition type (VB, VWD, etc).
The following is a list of the Express setup packages, what conditions they are needed for and their silent command line switches:
Windows Installer 3.1
Needed on Windows 2000 and Windows XP if not already installed
WindowsInstaller-KB893803-v2-x86.exe /quiet /norestart
.NET Framework 2.0 (x86)
Needed on all x86 operating systems if not already installed
dotnetfx.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
.NET Framework 2.0 (x64)
Needed on all x64 operating systems if not already installed
NetFx64.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
.NET Framework 2.0 language pack
Needed for all non-English Express Editions if not already installed
langpack.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
J# Redistributable 2.0
Needed only for the J# Express Edition on all operating systems if not already installed
vjredist.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
J# Redistributable 2.0 language pack
Needed for non-English J# Express Edition if not already installed
vjredist-LP.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
Lite Debugger Package (x64)
expdbgsetup.exe /q:a /c:"install.exe /q"
Main Express Edition package
Needed on all operating systems. The exact command line depends on which Express Edition you want to install.
Optional on all operating systems if not already installed
msdnixp.exe /q:a /c:"Install.exe /q"
SQL Express (x86)
Optional on all x86 operating systems if not already installed
SQLEXPR32.EXE -q /norebootchk /qn reboot=ReallySuppress addlocal=all instancename=SQLEXPRESS SCCCHECKLEVEL=IncompatibleComponents:1;MDAC25Version:0 ERRORREPORTING=2 SQLAUTOSTART=1
SQL Express (x64)
Optional on all x64 operating systems if not already installed
SQLEXPR.EXE -q /norebootchk /qn reboot=ReallySuppress addlocal=all instancename=SQLEXPRESS SCCCHECKLEVEL=IncompatibleComponents:1;MDAC25Version:0 ERRORREPORTING=2 SQLAUTOSTART=1
Additional notes about silent install of the Express Editions:
<update date="4/11/2006"> Updated command lines for Main Express Edition packages - I missed the REBOOT=ReallySuppress and /qn switches from a few of the editions </update>