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Mailbag: How to perform a silent install of the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime files (vcredist) packages

Mailbag: How to perform a silent install of the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime files (vcredist) packages

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Visual Studio 2005 includes redistributable setup packages to install the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime files such as msvcr80.dll, atl80.dll, etc.  I would like to run this setup in fully silent mode, but when I run it normally, it displays a progress page.  How can I run this setup package in fully silent mode?


The Visual C++ 8.0 redist packages (vcredist_x86.exe, vcredist_x64.exe and vcredist_ia64.exe) support the following command line installation options.  The examples below use the file named vcredist_x86.exe, but you can substitute the 64-bit versions of the EXEs with equivalent command lines to achieve the same behavior for them as well.

Unattended install

This option will run setup and display a progress dialog but requires no user interaction.

vcredist_x86.exe /q:a

Unattended install with no cancel button

This option is the same as the previous option, except that the user will not have the option to press cancel during installation.

vcredist_x86.exe /q:a /c:"msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qb! /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x86.log"

Silent install

This option will suppress all UI during installation.

Vcredist_x86.exe /q:a /c:"msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x86.log"

Note about standalone VC++ redistributable packages

The instructions above apply to the copies of the VC++ redistributable packages that ship with Visual Studio 2005.  If you are downloading and trying to install the standalone versions of the VC++ redistributable packages instead of using the copies included with Visual Studio 2005, you will need to use slightly different command line parameters.  Please refer to this blog post for information about the command line parameters you will need to use in that case.

<update date="10/16/2009"> Added a link to a separate blog post with command line syntax for the standalone versions of the VC++ 2005 redistributable packages. </update>


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  • Hello Aaron, I am having trouble trying to embed the vcredist_x64/x86.exe files into an InstallShield-built MSI installer. I use a Custom action to run an exe copying the command you used as an example. The msi fails at the custom action after PublishProducts with an error 1721 stating that there is a problem with the msi package. The command works perfectly from a command prompt. Alternatively, is it better to extract the contents of the vcredist.exe (vcredist.msi and vcredist1.cab) and use a nested MSI custom action? Thanks for your help. Didier
  • Hi Didier - You should not try to install this vcredist package using a nested install.  Performing nested installs causes problems with installing hotfixes for the child packages.  You will need to use some kind of chainer to launch the vcredist setup package in silent mode, and then launch your main MSI setup afterwards.

  • A while back, I posted this item on my blog that describes options for silent installation of the Visual

  • Aaron has a post on his blog that describes way of silent install of VCRedist.EXE. I though I would cross-link

  • I have previously posted a few items about deploying the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime redistributable packages

  • I previously wrote a blog post about updated versions of the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime files that shipped

  • This guide is intended to serve as a collection of links to articles, tools, tips and tricks that explain

  • Hi Aron;

    I am having trouble getting this redistributable to work(the way I want). I was able to issue your command:

    Vcredist_x86.exe /q:a /c:"msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x86.log" and it succeeds some on some machines but fails on others. I tried to redirect the log so I can take a peek but I could  not understand anything from it. It is like this:

    === Verbose logging started: 9/11/2001  9:28:31  Build type: SHIP UNICODE 3.01.4001.5512  Calling process: C:\WINDOWS\system32\msiexec.exe ===

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:796]: Resetting cached policy values

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:796]: Machine policy value 'Debug' is 0

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:796]: ******* RunEngine:

              ******* Product: vcredist.msi

              ******* Action:

              ******* CommandLine: **********

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:796]: Client-side and UI is none or basic: Running entire install on the server.

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:796]: Grabbed execution mutex.

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:921]: Cloaking enabled.

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:921]: Attempting to enable all disabled priveleges before calling Install on Server

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:31:937]: Incrementing counter to disable shutdown. Counter after increment: 0

    MSI (s) (BC:00) [09:28:31:968]: Grabbed execution mutex.

    MSI (s) (BC:34) [09:28:31:968]: Resetting cached policy values

    MSI (s) (BC:34) [09:28:31:968]: Machine policy value 'Debug' is 0

    MSI (s) (BC:34) [09:28:31:968]: ******* RunEngine:

              ******* Product: C:\DOCUME~1\Tom\LOCALS~1\Temp\IXP000.TMP\vcredist.msi

              ******* Action:

              ******* CommandLine: **********

    MSI (s) (BC:34) [09:28:32:015]: Note: 1: 2203 2: C:\DOCUME~1\Tom\LOCALS~1\Temp\IXP000.TMP\vcredist.msi 3: -2147287038

    MSI (s) (BC:34) [09:28:32:031]: MainEngineThread is returning 2

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:32:031]: Decrementing counter to disable shutdown. If counter >= 0, shutdown will be denied.  Counter after decrement: -1

    MSI (c) (24:78) [09:28:32:031]: MainEngineThread is returning 2

    === Verbose logging stopped: 9/11/2001  9:28:32 ===

    My goal is to be able to silently issue the command from a Java application prior to calling another command that uses a DLL which depends on this redistributable package.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.


  • Hi Kamalsofteng - From what I can tell, the HRESULT in that error log you attached is indicating that Windows Installer ran into a problem finding the MSI at the path in your %temp% directory.  I'm not sure what would cause that to happen though - does the same thing happen if you run VC redist installation manually, or is it only when you launch it programatically via your application?  Also, is there anything special about the %temp% directory on the system where this is failing (is it encrypted, compressed, read-only or anything like that)?

  • Do you have any idea about VC++ 2008 SP1 silent install command line.

  • Hi Sangeeta - I thought I had already posted something like this, but I can't find it so I think I may have forgotten.  I'll work on a post about this topic in the next couple of days.

    The command line will be simpler in the 2008 version.  All you should need is something like the following for a silent install:

    vcredist_x86.exe /q

    Or the following for an unattended install:

    vcredist_x86.exe /qb

  • I am trying to run vcredist_x86.exe as Silent install but I cannot find vcredist.msi anywhere. Can you please tell me where to get it. Thanks alot!


    Silent install

    This option will suppress all UI during installation.

    Vcredist_x86.exe /q:a /c:"msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x86.log"


  • Hi DDuong - The file vcredist_x86.exe is a self-extracting EXE, and the MSI is contained inside that EXE.  The command lines I listed in this blog post will extract the MSI to a temporary location and install it from there.  

    If you need to just extract the MSI, you can run vcredist_x86.exe /c and choose a path to extract the files to.

  • how can i do silent install without admin Privilege user? Is it possible?



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