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Add-ons, RunOnce and Installers


oao
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Having read through various documentations, I wanna make sure I understand things correctly and need some claifications from those in the know. I may be missing something in what follows.

1. AFAICT the term add-on is used both for packages which are added during the Hotfix step of nLite and those that are added during the RunOnce step. It looks like the former is preferrable because it involves no switches/script. So why/when does one decide to create the latter? How does one know if an existing add-on should be added in either stage?

2. The guides on making addons refer to various install packages (MSI, InstallShield) and their switches. Is there any way to tell installers created with either from the others short of executing them with /r (which some do not recognize)? I am also seeing installers which are executables which have .MSI files inside, rather than one .MSI installation file -- how does one deal with those?

Can you recaommend any documentation which is detailed, clear and understandable to a non-technical user that is complete on this subject?

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1. Add-ons automate an install method at one time mark of the win setup. Though they were concieved to automate T-13 (SVCPACK.INF) method that is the easier one for add-ons, other advanced add-on methods like RunOnce, RunOnceEx, T-28 (Optional Components (OC)) or even text setup can be achived with them with the new add-on features available, but they are harder to build. In nLite you have to apply add-ons in the hotfixes stage, despite the type of add-on. nLite was conceived to manage only T-13 add-ons so it builds a basic T-13 install structure even if the add-on is not a T-13 one, but it can process other types correctly though it has some limitations with the new features. Other software capable to handle add-ons are RVMI (recommended for non T-13 add-ons) and HFSLIP. When to use one or the other type of add-on?, asking this is equivalent to ask what install method better adapt to your needs, depending on the characteristics of the application, you're going to be able to install at one setup time mark or another. Then you choose, among viable methods, the one that best fit to your needs, or the easier one, or so.

2. I don't fully understand what are you referring to but you can fit your installers in the add-ons as long as they can be run at the time mark you're scheduling. Each application has its own tricks, check the "applications install" subforum to get help. Other active add-on building forum is ryanvm.net/forum

Entries.ini is the key to understand how add-ons work. You'll probably need to read extra documentation to understand advanced install methods.

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Thanks.

I think this validates my impression that making addons is not something I am interested in undertaking right now.

nLite has the significant advantage that besides the updates and fixes and addons it allows for many tweaks. But as far as I know one should not mix nLite with RVM because one must always start with a clean CD and if one wants to do both updates and tweaks nLite is the single option. Am I wrong?

So, now, for the likes of me who don't want to learn the details of making addons, we must use whatever addons we find available. And from the various docs and guides it is not always possible to figure out whether (a) to simply add them in the Hotfix stage or (B) or to add them in RunOnce with a script.

Specifically:

1. Another user has provided scripts for the .NET packs to be added in RunOnce. Correct?

2. Aust seems to be saying that addons like TweakUI and Silverlight are simply added in Hotfix without scripts.

Is that correct?

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@ oao:

I am sorry to bother you with an off-topic demand:

There is a need to clarify something regarding the problem you had posted within >this< thread, because I want to write a conclusion of the discussion regarding the different Intel SATA and native IDE drivers.

Please give us a reply to my last post (>Link<).

Thanks in advance!

Fernando

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nLite has the significant advantage that besides the updates and fixes and addons it allows for many tweaks. But as far as I know one should not mix nLite with RVM because one must always start with a clean CD and if one wants to do both updates and tweaks nLite is the single option. Am I wrong?
Actually nLite uses an RVMI software portion to apply the add-ons, an outdated one as nLite seems to be no longer developed. The recommendation to only use nLite once per image it's a nice one generally speaking, specially when touching the system (removing features, changing settings, making it unattended, tweaking...) but it is not a rule that can not be broken if you know what you're doing. You can use nLite to set, trim and tweak your image, and later use RVMI to apply all add-ons.
So, now, for the likes of me who don't want to learn the details of making addons, we must use whatever addons we find available. And from the various docs and guides it is not always possible to figure out whether (a) to simply add them in the Hotfix stage or (B) or to add them in RunOnce with a script.

Specifically:

1. Another user has provided scripts for the .NET packs to be added in RunOnce. Correct?

2. Aust seems to be saying that addons like TweakUI and Silverlight are simply added in Hotfix without scripts.

Is that correct?

If you use nLite you should apply add-ons at hotfix stage despite the type of add-on (even if it is a RunOnce add-on), but being aware that non T-13 add-ons could contain settings not compatible with nLite making them fail. But otherwise, if there's no T-13 add-on applied, nLite will build the basic T-13 structure for nothing. RunOnce nLite stage is not for add-ons but for installers, I told you in my previous post.

1. You can directly install .NET from RunOnce, setting it manually. You can use Silent .NET Maker synthesized to build feature rich custom .NET add-ons (RunOnceEx included).

2. Again if you're talking about add-ons and nLite, they have to be applied in the hotfix stage.

Edited by strel
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Well, I think my point was that I am not inclined to try to figure out the details. Consequently, I need to be told what update is an addon which can be added in Hotfix and which must be added in RunOnce with a command. And sometimes this information is provided and clear, sometimes is not. It may be also scattered in many place and sometimes varies.

Now, if "you know what you are doing" then my questions woud have not been posted. I was asking as somebody who does not and, nor am I interested in figure out the details. I tried and it was too much for the time and effort I wanna put into it. So, not knowing those details and having been warned not to apply updates to a modified CD, I stick by this and use only nLite on a fresh CD.

I cannot be aware of T-13, because I don't really know what that is and how to know when it's relevant or not, that's the whole point. I already said I am not interested in making addons and that I must use what I can find. And what I could find was instructions by another to add the .NET updates in RunOnce with commands, the synthesized maker is not an option.

What I could not tell was whether TweakUI and Silverlight addons were good for Hotfix or needed the RunOnce.

I think the issue here is that we vary in terms of how much we want to invest in understanding the process of slipstreaming and, therefore, how much we want to learn about it. Some of us want to just do the maximum we can without becoming fully knowledgeable about the details. And we dk what the maximum is without asking all sorts of questions which for knowledgeable users may be trivial.

In this particular case I went thru the docs on addons and addon makers and I decided it's something I am not interested in.

So I tried to figure out the maximum I could do by posting the questions.

I hope this makes sense.

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3rd time, if you're going to use add-ons do it in the hotfix stage despite the type of add-on, but if they don't work don't be surprised because you simply don't want to learn that nLite may won't do everything you want it to do, and you don't want to learn how to overcome that.

About what's an add-on and what is not, add-ons usually are compresed in a packet .zip .rar .7z or .cab, and has an entries.ini file built-in. But better to read the info about it from the site you downloaded it. Don't you think so?

About nlite RunOnce stage, you'd need to read some extras about unattended installs, but you don't want to go deep. So good luck. In case you change your mind there's a link above to the unattended guide, RTFM.

I hope this makes sense also.

Edited by strel
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3rd time, if you're going to use add-ons do it in the hotfix stage despite the type of add-on, but if they don't work don't be surprised because you simply don't want to learn that nLite may won't do everything you want it to do, and you don't want to learn how to overcome that.

About nlite RunOnce stage, you'll need to read something about unattended installs, there's a link above. RTFM. Good luck.

I already got you on that. I was just trying to explain why I posted the questions and what was unclear to me.

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About what's an add-on and what is not, add-ons usually are compresed in a packet .zip .rar .7z or .cab, and has an entries.ini file built-in. But better to read the info about it from the site you downloaded it. Don't you think so?

About nlite RunOnce stage, you'd need to read some extras about unattended installs, but you don't want to go deep. So good luck. In case you change your mind there's a link above to the unattended guide, RTFM.

I hope this makes sense also.

It does -- the ENTRIES.INI was what I was missing.

I've been reading info on unattended but it's been discouraging -- it just takes more than I am willing to invest.

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Thanks.

Do I understand you correctly that the silent .NET maker synthesized creates addons which can be added during Hotfix? I would like to make sure before I try to read about it, which is quite long and involved. The RunOnce option does not seem more useful to me than just running the .NET installer after Windows install.

Nothing that I found online indicates that .NET addons for Hotfix integration are possible -- only explanations of why they are not possible and workaround e.g. via RunOnce. There is one exception -- a .NET 2SP2 addon in .7z format -- without any explanation as to how it was created. Alas, it is x86 and I need a x64.

It seems to me that with so many asking for it, if it were possible and easy there would have been such addons available online. But there aren't.

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nLite process add-ons ONLY at hotfix stage, hence every add-on created with SNMsynth goes there, but with SNMsynth you can make installers also that don't go there. Anyway SNMsynth is 32-bit only so doesn't fit your requirements.

For x64 you should better try this or this or this

Edited by strel
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Thanks.

The 2 of the sites that do have a ,NET addon include 2, 3 and 3.5. I am interested only in 2 SP2 and its hotfixes. I will install the later versions only as needed.

One of theaddons was inspired by these instructions:

======================================================

To create an administrative install point for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 x64:

1. Download the package named netfx20sp2_x64.exe from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...1d-10e506da9d0f and save it to your local hard drive

2. Extract the contents of the setup package by running this command:

netfx20sp2_x64.exe /x:c:\netfx20sp2\x64

3. Stage the base MSI by running this command:

msiexec /a "c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\netfx20a_x64.msi" TARGETDIR="c:\netfx20sp2\x64\AIP"

4. Apply the patches to the staged base MSI by running this command:

msiexec /a "c:\netfx20sp2\x64\AIP\netfx20a_x64.msi" PATCH="c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\ASPNET_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\CLR_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\CRT_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\DW_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\NetFX_Core_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\NetFX_Other_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\WinForms_64.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\ASPNET.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\CLR.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\CRT.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\NetFX_CA.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\NetFX_Core.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\NetFX_Other.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\PreXP.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\WinForms.msp;c:\netfx20sp2\x64\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx20\DW.msp"

With these steps, you will have an administrative install point for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 x64 located at c:\netfx20sp2\x64\AIP.

You can then install the MSI directly using a command line like the following:

msiexec.exe /i c:\netfx20sp2\x64\AIP\netfx20a_x64.msi /l*v %temp%\netfx20sp2x64log.txt /qb VSEXTUI=1

You can adjust the parameters as needed if you want a fully silent install instead of basic UI, or want to use any other standard Windows Installer command line parameters.

==========================================

What modifications if any can be made to make it a Hotfix addon?

Thanks.

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