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Display MSI Package Installation Info without Letting Users Cancel

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By David Frey

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Posted: 21 Apr 2005

This solution is really only necessary when you want the user to see the "real" MSI install take place. Using a standard ZENworks MSI app and setting the interface level to Basic will show install progress, without giving a cancel option. Also, bear in mind that if the user is not a local administrator, they won't be able to run this without elevating privileges. But that being said, this might be just perfect for you.

PROBLEM: How to display MSI pkg installation dialog information/progress but not allow user to cancel the installation; also prompt user for reboot after installation.

SOLUTION: Use Windows Installer command line switches and "msiexec.exe" from Run Options-->Application tab.

For more details on the msiexec switches used in this example and the others available, visit the Microsoft support website and search for "windows installer msiexec command line".

This example shows the syntax to install the ZENworks for Desktop Management Agent using a transform file to select installation options (transform built with AdminStudio ZENworks edition, of course!). The user will see the MSI application's Windows installation progress dialog, without a cancel button.


Note: This example is for Windows Installer 2.0. XPSP2 introduces v3.0 with different syntax.

Ignore angle brackets but include all quotes.

1. Create a generic app object.

2. Set %SOURCE_PATH% macro on Common-->Macros tab

The next few steps are on the Run Options-->Application tab (remove angle brackets):
3. Path to File: <%*WinSysDir%\msiexec.exe>

4. Parameters: </i "%SOURCE_PATH%\zfdagent.msi" REBOOT=FORCE TRANSFORMS="%SOURCE_PATH%\zfdagent.mst" /qb!+ >

5. Working Directory: <%TEMP%>

6. Set other desired options for the app object as required for your environment.


*/i ** * install listed msi

"/qb!+" * "/qb" sets the user interface (UI) level to basic; the exclamation point ("!") hides the cancel button; the plus-sign ("+") allows the reboot prompt dialog (Windows) to display...a minus-sign ("-") instead would hide the final dialog and the machine would reboot without prompting.

*REBOOT=FORCE* * self-explanatory

*TRANSFORMS=* * self-explanatory (to apply multiple transforms, separate with semi-colons)

Another useful switch is */l* for installation logging. Use */l*v* to log everything. See the MS Knowledgebase for more details on msiexec log file options.

If you have any questions you may contact David at

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