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Deploying MS Visual Studio via ZEN

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Posted: 13 Aug 2003

We recently published this OPEN CALL in our Q&A:

Question: Has anyone used ZfD3.2 to deploy MS Visual We need to install this to close to 100 student computers. At the moment we do it one at a time as I could not get ZfD to complete the Snapshot process.

Any ideas?

Answer: OPEN CALL: If you can help on this one, let us know. We're stumped.


Kris Sulzberger

I've been deploying .Net for a couple of semesters now. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET offers an administrator mode setup that you can use to perform silent installation and deployment to a client computer. So I simply copied the contents of the 4 CD's to the network, then reference the setup.exe file in an application object as well as the unattended file. The object is set to run as an unsecure system user and it's worked fine for me.

Keep in mind, there is also the Windows Component Update disc that comes with .Net. This will need to be applied if you don't have the particular items it installs already on your student machines. With the WCU disc, I was able to make a regular snapshot of the changes it makes and so for the complete .Net deployment, the WCU snapshot runs, then the .Net snapshot. Check the ReadMe file on Disc 1 (I believe) for some notes on copying the CD's to the network. MS Knowledgebase article 812820 should get you through making the INI file.

If you have any questions you may contact Kris at

Andre Sumara

Snapshot might not be the best solution for a huge application like Visual Studio. MSI/unattended/scripted installation is more suitable.

We distributed an earlier version of Visual Studio (not .net) using an AutoIT script ( which is run from an application object. You can use it to record any keystrokes or mouseclicks required to install the software, and you can lock the keyboard and mouse during installation to keep students from interfering.

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