A Step-by-Step Guide to Silently Install Google SketchUp 6

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

SketchUp, now owned by Google, is a great 3D modeling program that makes it very easy to throw your 3-dimensional ideas into a model. If you need to install it on many machines, it will save you time to automate the process, so you don’t have to click through the installer each time. Thankfully, the Google SketchUp 6 installer isn’t to difficult (once you figure it out). Their are multiple ways to do this, but this is the one that I’m currently using so I know it works. Keep in mind that my main goal is to simplify the process so I don’t have to click so much, and automate so I don’t miss any steps. Whether or not this works with a login script or SMS or other methods of install aren’t within the scope of this document. Read more »

How to Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Silently

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

Microsoft’s .NET Framework 3.0 is now available. You’ll likely need it for compatibility with software that also needs to talk to Microsoft’s Windows Vista. If you deploy lots of applications, you’ll probably want a silent way to install it, which is what this article is about.
You’ll first need to download Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Redistributable Package from www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=10CC340B-F857-4A14-83F5-25634C3BF043&displaylang=en. The file is called dotnetfx3setup.exe, and has the following command line switches: Read more »

A Step-by-Step Guide to Silently Installing and Configuring Adobe Reader 8

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

With Adobe recently releasing version 8 of Reader, it’s time to prepare it for inclusion in the images I create for distribution to my users machines. I like to assemble an ‘unattended’ or ‘silent’ install of the package that includes every alteration I might normally want to make so from that point forward I only need to double-click and the install is done perfectly every time. You’ll want to read my article “A Guide to Installing Windows Applications Silently” to get instructions on the basic groundwork you should layout first. Read more »

Silent Install of MS .Net Framework Version 2

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

Many applications now require Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 (I’ll call it .NET2 for short), and it is one of the recommended updates if you go to Windows Update or Microsoft Update. If you’re building a silent distribution of Windows XP, or any applications to install on Windows XP, then you’ll want to be able to silently install .NET2. Following are instructions on one way of doing this (their’s always another way).
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Adobe Reader Silent Install

Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) is pretty much required software on every PC these days. This tutorial assumes you’ve already read the initial article “A Guide to Installing Windows Applications Silently” and have followed the setup instructions it contains.

Begin by creating a directory called AdobeReader in your %APPS% folder. Next, go to the Adobe Reader download page to download the Adobe Reader software. You have the option of also downloading ‘Adobe Yahoo! Toolbar’ and ‘Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition’. I prefer to just have one install at a time, and don’t have a need for those two packages, so this tutorial will only include the bare Adobe Reader install (uncheck the extra download options). At this writing, the available package is version 7.0.7 for Windows XP, if you’re downloading a different version, some of the file names listed below may need to be adjusted to match what you’re downloading. Save the download to any location you’d like, it doesn’t need to be in your %APPS%\AdobeReader directory (in fact, it’s probably best not to save it there as it won’t actually be needed for the future silent installs). Read more »

How to Create a Text File

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

Often times their will be a need for you to create a ‘text’ file. This may be used to craft a ‘reg’ file, an ‘ini’ file, a ‘bat’ file, or just a simple ‘txt’ text file. This is very easy to do, and their are many ways to do it, but also a few methods to avoid. When considering which tool to use to create your text file, consider that many of the processes that may make use of that text file require that the file be ‘text only’, and won’t work properly if the file contains anything more. What this means is files created with programs capable of producing more than just ASCII characters may create a file that is not truly ‘text only’. Read more »

Exporting a Registry Key

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

The registry is used in Windows to store configuration information. The registry contains ‘Hives’ which are like database files that each focus on a different catagory of settings, and each hive contains keys, which may have subkeys, which have values associated with them.Their are many occassions when you may want to ‘pre-populate’ a registry key, change an existing key, or even remove an existing key for an application you are installing. An example would be a program that stores it’s licensing information in the registry. Instead of having to manually type in the serial number each time you install a program, do this once, and then find where that registry key is stored, and copy it. You can then pre-populate this key when you install the program, saving yourself the hastle of tracking down the information and entering it by hand. Read more »

AbsoluteFTP 1.8 Silent Install

This is part of my series on How to Install Windows Applications Silently.

This program doesn’t have silent install options, so I use AutoIT to install it. Here’s the AutoIT script:


Run  ("aftp18.exe")
WinActivate ($title1)
WinWait  ($title1, "Welcome!")
ControlClick ($title1, "&Next >>", "Button1" )
WinWait  ($title1, "Select Directory")
ControlClick ($title1, "&Next >>", "Button1" )
WinWait  ($title1, "Install Icons?")
ControlClick ($title1, "&Next >>", "Button1" )
WinWait  ($title1, "Select Profile Options")
ControlClick ($title1, "&Next >>", "Button1" )
WinWait  ($title1, "Ready to Install!")
ControlClick ($title1, "&Finish", "Button1" )
WinWait  ($title1, "Success!")
ControlClick ($title1, "View ReadMe file now", "Button3" )
ControlClick ($title1, "OK", "Button1" )

Read more »

A Guide to Installing Windows Applications Silently


When you manage a large number of computers, it becomes necessary to install software in many different circumstances. Many of these applications require a number of things be done after they are installed, such as adding licensing information, configuring options, adding components, etc. When you deal with many applications, it can become difficult to remember each and every tweak that needs to be done, and it can be time consuming to do them every time. For this reason, any time I have to install software on a computer, I spend the time to create a distribution point that contains a ‘silent install’, which is basically a script that installs and configures the software automatically. This takes a little more time upfront, but in the long run it will save you plenty of time and help eliminate many hassles. Read more »