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Reviewing Methods of Automatically(Unattended) Installing Windows and a Set of Software program.

by terhunetech on April 17, 2011

No one likes to install and configure software, everyone likes to make use of it, function with it, install all kinds of add-ons, plug-ins, skins. That is, customize software, allow it to be fit their tastes and preferences. This procedure is routine, uninteresting, takes effort and time and so there are extremely few individuals who prefer to do it again and again. But sometimes you’ve to do it, for instance, after your running system crashes or you’ve a tough disk failure. Everything starts through the starting: operating system installation, driver installation, support pack installation, software program installation, then arrives tuning the running system, software program configuration and localization, getting into registration information (in commercial software)… It is okay when you have all software program at hand on disks and you have to install it only on one pc. But then you will need to do the whole configuration manually anyway. And what when you have no distribution deals or your registration keys are misplaced? You will have to contact the developer’s assistance service. That is when you are in for some nervous function involving looking for that essential software and restoring the working environment you had before. The subsequent question emerges: how to automate it? In practice, there are only 3 methods to solve the problem of automatic Windows and software program installation (http://www.almeza.com/content/view/115/117/).

* Utilize the standard automated installation features for each plan separately (silent installation keys)
* Create a script for automated installation.
* Create a bootable disk for installing Windows along with other software.

Let us consider every method and tools applying it in detail.

1. Standard software equipment. Utilizing silent installation keys (silent keys).

A great deal of installers allow you to automatically install software using special keys (command line parameters). The consumer does not require to complete anything in this situation. All values will be set to their defaults. Each and every installer has its personal set of this kind of keys.

Examples.

InstallShield: /s setup.exe /s
Windows Installer: /qn REBOOT=ReallySuppress setup.msi “/qn REBOOT=ReallySuppress”
Inno Setup: /VERYSILENT setup.exe /VERYSILENT

Pluses:

high installation pace with out user attendance

Minuses:

* the consumer has to understand for certain which installer and key are utilized throughout the software program installation.
* some installers do not support silent installation.

2. Writing a script for automatic installation.

Special programming languages (scripting languages) are used to write scripts. The most well-liked is AutoIt. Its main purpose is automating function with the Windows graphical interface.

AutoIt can:

* Run Windows and DOS programs
* Simulate keystrokes and their mixtures
* Simulate mouse moves and clicks
* Move, resize windows and manage their parameters
* Directly interact with window control elements (get/modify a caption, move, disable windows and so forth)
* Work using the clipboard managing its text contents
* Read, modify and create registry keys and values

AutoIt consists of a script interpreter and compiler. In the event you create and debug your own script, you can effortlessly convert it into a normal exe file that currently runs as being a standalone file.

Pluses:

* composing versatile scripts
* creating a standalone exe file

Minuses:

- having to learn the scripting language and the Windows running system.

3. Making an automated Windows and software program installation disk.

There are unique plan for making an automatic Windows and software program installation disk. The most well-known ones are nLite and MultiSet

nLite. The plan can produce a bootable disk using the following running systems: Windows 2000/XP/2003. It also allows you to integrate some service packs and, if essential, remove some components through the operating system (Media Player, Web Explorer, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, Messenger, and so on.). Consequently, you receive the ISO image of the bootable disk with Windows.

Pluses:

* freeware
* produce a bootable Windows disk

Minuses:

- impossible to immediately set up any custom software

MultiSet – the plan for making bootable disks for that automatic installation of Windows and sets of software program (http://www.almeza.com/content/view/58/72/). As a result, you receive bootable disks of 3 types:

* Automatic Windows installation (http://www.almeza.com/content/view/92/105/)
* Automated software program installation
* Automatic Windows and software installation. Because MultiSet can run disks of any kinds with parameters, the two above methods could be easily integrated in it (utilizing silent keys and executing a created script from AutoIt).

Benefit MultiSet:

* Automatic Windows installation. It’s possible to create a CD/DVD for that automated installation of the Windows running system on any computer. The running system could be installed in any mode: repairing Windows (installing above the present edition of the running system) or reinstalling it completely.
* Automated installation of any software program. It is feasible to create a CD/DVD which will immediately set up any sets of software on several computer systems. For instance, following Windows is set up, it is feasible to put in service packs, drivers, localizations, any software program (codecs, audio gamers, support tools…) and configure them automatically as well.
* Making a bootable disk for simultaneous unattended Windows and software program installation. It’s possible to create a disk that will set up both Windows along with a set of software program.
* Immediately restoring software settings and tuning Windows. It is feasible to automatically restore software program and Windows settings. It is possible to revive registry keys, operate unique equipment.
* Remote automated installation. It’s feasible to automatically install sets of software by way of the local region network (http://www.almeza.com/content/view/59/73/). The essential software program will probably be automatically installed on any quantity of computers connected to the local area network.

MultiSet already studied at University!

The Academy of Contemporary Information Technologies has created a unique course dealing with unattended Windows and software program installation. The aim of the program is to offer college students with theoretical and practical skills permitting them to produce a bootable Windows distribution package deal which will be immediately installed on a Pc with maximum number of drivers and software with out the user’s attendance. The MultiSet software program is studied inside this program. This plan is really a leader within the area of automating unattended software installation. Upon finishing the program, college students will get sufficient understanding to produce a completely automatic Windows distribution package which will be set up on a individual pc without a single mouse click and then immediately set up all drivers (these drivers work for 95% of personal computers) and automatically set up all software essential for this or that computer. MultiSet grew to become the de facto regular in this area lengthy back that is why educational establishments choose this item.

Pluses:

making a bootable disk with Windows along with a set of software

Minuses:

- not possible to enhance a created script

Summary.

All methods, and the above applications in particular, serve the same purpose – create a bootable disk for the automatic Windows and software installation. But they do it in a different way. nLite and SetupStudio are tailored in the direction of the modification from the Windows distribution package, i.e. the integration of support packs and patches into it. As to the automated installation of other software program, it is carried out effortlessly – the consumer has to either use silent keys or specify the approximate installation algorithm based on the one the plan offers. MultiSet positioned the emphasis on the automatic installation of any software with each other with Windows making it possible to make use of silent keys and automated configuration.

The applications can complement each other: a script written in AutoIt could be effortlessly executed in MultiSet, an nLite disk can immediately set up sets of software from MultiSet.

Download the 30-day free version of the program: Automate system deployment (http://www.almeza.com/download/multiset.exe)

Almeza MultiSet (http://www.almeza.com/): Reinstalling Windows with out any data loss

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