InstallEase for Windows
Ivanti InstallEase is a stand-alone application that can monitor software installations to create installer packages. It also lets you assemble such packages manually.
InstallEase takes snapshots of your hard disk and registry (or specified parts of either) before and after an installation. By comparing the two snapshots, it determines the files and registry settings that have been added, modified, and deleted by the installation and saves them as MSI installer.
You can manually edit the list of changes before saving the installer package, adding files to it or deleting unwanted files from the installer.
You can even create your own installer packages from scratch in thismanner, foregoing the snapshot-creating steps.
The InstallEase files are on the core server. Copy them to your package-building computer.
- C:\Program Files\LANDesk\ManagementSuite\utilities\InstallEase
The settings let you set some basic options for the application’s operation. The factory defaults are appropriate to most circumstances, so there will often be no need to set the settings before using Ivanti InstallEase.
InstallEase stores temporary data for creating and comparing snapshots. This option lets you specify a convenient location for that folder.
File and registry search filters
A large number of files on a computer hard disk are changed all the time by the operating system or by automated background processes unrelated to the installed software and should not be included in any snapshots.
You can specify in these lists the files – e.g., log files, temporary files, or indexing files – and registry entries that are to be excluded from snapshots. This is just the default list; you can customize it for individual snapshots, as described below.
To add a new file or registry entry, click the appropriate + button. You can specify files and folders by their names or their paths and registry entries by their keys or values; regular expressions are supported.
To remove an existing file or registry entry, click the appropriate – button. You can also temporarily deactivate a filter by unchecking it.
Clicking a Default Filters button resets the corresponding list to the factory defaults.
NOTE This procedure describes using Ivanti InstallEase to create an installer package from two snapshots taken before and after an installation. For information on creating an installer package from scratch, see “Manually creating a package”.
Before you begin the process of creating an installer using snapshots, you may want to disable any software on the computer that autonomously writes to the disk, such as mail clients set to download mails in regular intervals or applications with auto-save functions.
To use Ivanti InstallEase to create an installer package
- Start Ivanti InstallEase.
- In the About Ivanti InstallEase screen, click Next.
- Choose the Automatically method.
Specify the installation type and installer type.
For the installation type, decide whether the software is to be installed for only the currently active user on each client computer or for all users of the computer.
For the installer type, choose between a 32-bit and 64-bit installer. This should normally match the type of installer you use in step 9 to install the software for taking the snapshot.
The installer type choice is not available when you are running InstallEase on a 32-bit system; in that case, you can only generate 32-bit installers.
- Click Next.
Specify the volume or special directory of which InstallEase is to take the snapshots, or use the Directories list to specify a range of folders of which to take a snapshot.
Certain types of files are automatically excluded from any snapshots, mostly known temporary, system maintenance, or log files. To review and edit this list, click Adjust File Filter.
You can exclude files by their names or paths; regular expressions are supported. The default file filters are set in the Settings dialog.
If you just want to capture registry changes, you can skip the file snapshot by choosing Don’t capture file changes.
Specify whether you want to capture changes in the entire registry by choosing Entire registry or just in specific parts by choosing Registry keys and specifying the desired key.
Certain registry entries are automatically excluded from any snapshots. To review and edit this exclusion list, click Adjust Registry Filter.
You can exclude entries by their keys or their values; regular expressions are supported. The default registry filters are set in the Settings dialog.
If you just want to capture file changes, you can skip the registry snapshot by choosing Don’t capture registry changes.
- Click Take Snapshot. Ivanti InstallEase records the current state of the specified volume or folders and registry keys.
As soon as possible – i.e., without first performing any other tasks on your computer – install the software from which you want to create an installer package.
Take the installation as far as needed for your purpose. For example, if you want the installer package to include custom preferences for the software, launch the software and set its preferences as desired.
After having configured the software, quit it again. If the installed software includes services or other software hat runs automatically, stop it. Otherwise, Ivanti InstallEase may be unable to access the newly installed files to pack them into the installer.
Note: If a restart is required as part of the software’s installation process, simply reopen Ivanti InstallEase when you have completed the installation. It will automatically resume from where it left off.
Click Take Snapshot to take the second snapshot.
If at all possible, do not perform any tasks on the computer until the second snapshot is complete.
When the second snapshot is complete, InstallEase compares both and creates a list of changes, displaying a progress dialog as it does so.
When the list of file changes is complete, Ivanti InstallEase displays it in the Snapshot Data: Files screen. Objects that are to be removed during the installation are indicated by a superimposed red sign.
Note: Ivanti InstallEase cannot include files larger than 2 GB in snapshots. If such files are found to have changed, you are informed of the issue.
Review the list and make changes as needed using the context menu. (When the context menu is used, items are added to the currently selected folder.) You can:
Specify additional items to be installed. Choose:
- Add File to add a file from your computer.
- Add Predefined Folder to add a special folder.
- Add Drive to add an entire volume.
- Add Folder/File with Hierarchy to add a file or folder and all folders that enclose it.
- Add Folder to add an existing folder and its contents.
- Add Empty Folder to create a new empty folder.
Delete items by selecting them and pressing the Delete key.
Specify items that are to be removed from the targetcomputers during installation:
- Specify File to be Removed (by Name) lets you specify a file by name that is to be removed from target computers when found at the current location.
- Specify Folder to be Removed (by Name) lets you specify a folder by name that is to be removed from target computers when found at the current location.
By selecting an item and choosing Properties from the context menu, you can see its location as well as the sizes and modification dates of files. You can also set additional options for that item:
- Read-only: The file is marked as read-only on the target system.
- Hidden: The item is marked as hidden on the target system.
- System: The file is marked as system file on the target system. (This option does not apply to folders.)
- On uninstall, delete this directory even when it is not empty: This option applies only to uninstallers. It causes the directory to be deleted during the uninstallation even if it contains files or subdirectories. (This option does not apply to files.)
- Action: What to do with the item on the target system. “New” adds the item, creating enclosing folders if necessary. “Remove” deletes the item. “Change” replaces an existing item with the same name in the same location. If there is no such item, the item is installed.
When you are done, click Next.
In the Snapshot Data: Registry screen, you have similar options as on the last screen to tweak the registry part of your installation:
- Show Predefined Key displays the contents of one of a number of frequently used registry keys.
- Add Key lets you add a registry key from your computer.
- Specify Key to be Removed by Name lets you name a registry key that is to be removed from the target system.
- Delete deletes the selected item.
- Properties: For individual keys, you can see basic information and edit the name and value. For folder keys, you can specify that it is removed during uninstallation, even when it is not empty.
- The Action option lets you specify what to do with the key on the target system. “New” adds the key, creating enclosing keys if necessary. “Remove” deletes the key. “Change” replaces an existing key with the same name in the same location. If there is no such key, the key is installed.
- The New context menu lets you add a registry key of a desired type to the list of keys. Note: You cannot create values at the top level of registry hives (i.e., in the roots of HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, or HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG).
- Specify Value to be Removed by Name lets you name a registry value that is to be removed from the target system.
When you are done, click Next.
Specify the metadata for the installer package:
- MSI file: The name and full path of the MSI installer file you want to create
- Product name: The name of the product that is being installed
- Description: A description of the installed software for the user
- Version: The version of the software that is being installed
- Manufacturer: The company providing the installer
- Product code, Upgrade code: Unique codes for the installer options. You can click Generate to generate a new code.
- Register product: Check this option to leave an entry for the installed software in the Add or Remove Programs control panel, allowing deinstallation by the user. Uncheck the option to not create such an entry.
Click Create when you are done.
Ivanti InstallEase creates the installer package in the location specified in the MSI file field (see step 13).
Manually creating a package
Manually creating a package works mostly the same as using snapshots (described above), with the following differences:
- Instead of choosing Automatically in step 3, choose Manually.
- This takes you directly to step 11 when you click Continue, where you can manually specify all objects to be installed or removed.
In all other respects, the process is the same in both cases.