Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

First Steps to Windows 7 Migration: Application Inventory and Remediation – Webinar

App-DNA and Scalable Software are doing this educational webinar which will introduce the implementation lifecycle for migrating your enterprise estate to Windows 7.

Topics covered in this webinar include,

  • Identifying and prioritizing candidate applications, machines and users
  • Assessing application and environment compatibility
  • Remediation and migration options
  • Zero-touch migration

Registration is free and is available here

Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT

App-DNA and Scalable have many years experience in the planning, assesement and execution of application migration to newer Operating Systems. Their skills and tooling have been used on many occassions to effect successful migration; on-time and and within budget. This webinar represents an opportunity to benefit from some of lessons which they have learned from many customer engagements!

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Highlights, Features and Benefits of WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite

Another major release of WinINSTALL from Scalable. In the two years since Scalable acquired WinINSTALL from Attachmate the company has delivered 3 major product releases while significantly improving stability.

WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite, or LMS, replaces WinINSTALL’s Desktop Availability Suite (DAS) and is available free to all DAS customers current on maintenance. LMS contains all of the coolest features that the DAS suite offered, plus a few new enhancements sure to make any System Administrator drool.

First and foremost, Scalable Software has enhanced its Personality Transfer engine. WinINSTALL now leverages Microsoft’s USMT 4.0.

In its default state, USMT 4.0 or User State Migration Tool, is a scriptable command-line tool that provides a highly-customizable user-profile migration experience for IT professionals.  This utility is mainly designed to safely migrate User Accounts, Operating Systems and Application settings after a machine has been replaced or upgraded. Microsoft’s version of USMT is driven by 3 separate XML files that contain the instructions which tell the USMT Tool what data it needs to back up for migration. 

Instead of having the end user weed through XML files to determine what data needs to be backed up, WinINSTALL’s LMS product presents this to the user in template fashion via its UI.  Meaning, all of the supported applications are presented to the end user to either include or exclude as part of the migration.  Additionally, Administrators can select file formats they want to search for and migrate such as all .xlsx or all .pdf files.  You can backup a folder or folders from a target workstation, and even specify file size limits.  You also have the ability to exclude certain file types from being migrated. So if you have a user or users that store mp3 files locally, you can choose to exclude .mp3 files from being moved over to the new machine.

Now there are other products out there that allow you to backup User profiles in order to perform Machine to Machine migrations. However what WinINSTALL’s LMS product offers is an all in one process for backing up that user or user’s profiles, re-installing or upgrading the current Operating System, deploying all of your core applications back to the machine, and then restoring the User or Users profiles from one console as part of a single process.  There is no sys-prep required, no joining the domain after the process is complete.  No logging in, and installing application after application or setting screen resolutions or enabling Remote Desktop.  Additionally, since WinINSTALL has very robust support for the WinPE environment, LMS enables rapid in-place OS upgrades. By exploiting the new “hardlink” feature of USMT 4.0, LMS enables all user personality settings and attributes to be preserved in place while the OS is upgraded underneath. With these mechanisms, alongside the many existing OS migration facilities of WinINSTALL, you can do what many have said is practically impossible; an unattended, remote, in-place, enterprise-wide migration from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The LMS product will give you complete control over your Operating Systems Deployments. You won’t need external tools or scripts to perform this process.  Simply load your Windows 7 WIM into the WinINSTALL LMS console.  Select the Version of Windows 7 you wish install and select either 32 or 64 bit. Enter your OEM or Volume License Key. Add your hardware drivers for target workstations.  Select a Template and start your Migration.  LMS will perform a full Operating System Migration all through a PXE boot process, all unattended.

In some cases, customers have already created a new Corporate WIM image of Windows 7 that they want to deploy.  WinINSTALL’s LMS product allows you to push out your custom WIM image with a few configurations inside the product.  This way you can backup the User Profile and then install your corporate WIM image, finishing up with a Profile restoration.

Additionally, WinINSTALL’s LMS product includes PXE Operating System Installation support for Ubuntu.  So with more and more shops purchasing netbooks, LMS can be a center piece to your OS deployment procedure.

These are just a few of the core features centered around the WinINSTALL LMS product.  Check out the website for full feature descriptions of all of the WinINSTALL products.

WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite, is available immediately. A free 45-day evaluation is available at

Also Read :

  1. Points to Consider While Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 Using Scalable Suite
  2. Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL Desktop Availability Suite
Guest Posts Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Create and Distribute MSI software packages using WinINSTALL

From past few days, there was a thought of implementing a guest post section on Msigeek. This was just to bring-in experts from different areas to showcase their expertise and share their knowledge/product with us!!

Well, Let me introduce the author of this post. His name is Scott Drucker and he has been working as a Senior Systems Engineer with Scalable Software. Scalable is a leading innovator in delivering cost-effective IT Asset Lifecycle Management solutions.

Scott has been building software packages with WinINSTALL for over 10 years now. Scott can be reached at sdrucker[at]

Over to Scott’s Article…

How to Create and Distribute MSI software packages using WinINSTALL

As an engineer, I find myself constantly evaluating software. I comb the internet trying to find products for whatever project I may be working on at that time. When it comes to the packaging of custom MSI files or editing of vendor supplied MSI files; I need a product that will give me maximum configurability with the least amount of headaches. Even before I began working for Scalable Software, I had used WinINSTALL to package minor applications for distribution with Active Directory and created transforms for our vendor supplied MSI files.

What I needed was a product that allowed me to do several things. First, I needed to be able to edit the tables of the MSI files directly; without having to use an external editor tool like ORCA. I also needed a product that would allow me to create shortcuts for the applications I created; push out registry keys when necessary; perform ASCII or INI file edits; push out already configured Services that would run with the credentials that I specify and also be able to edit existing MSI files by creating transforms or merge modules.

The snap-shot process was simple. The User Interface was a breeze to use compared to the other products on the market. I took a clean machine, performed a before snap-shot. Installed the setup.exe I wanted to make into an MSI. I customized the software the way I needed to, by creating shortcuts and a couple of TCP/IP connections for our emulation software. Then I ran the after snap-shot. I took a clean machine without the application installed, pushed it down to the machine and it installed like it was supposed. Creating the shortcuts and the TCP.IP connections.

WinINSTALL gave me the ability to perform all of these functions. Now I am not a scripting genius by any means, and for me WinINSTALL was perfect because its geared towards the Desktop Administrator and not the software developer. I looked at numerous products and compared each one to see which product would meet my needs. In the end, WinINSTALL was the wisest choice for me. I was able to take a vendor supplied MSI such as Office and create transforms for the installation, so that each group or department I pushed Office to, would get a different installation. Maybe some departments needed Higher Macro Security set and other departments needed certain options enabled that are out of the scope of a cookie cutter installation. With Adobe, I was able suppress the Eula agreement and disable the Update messages that plague users on a daily basis. I was also able to delete the Adobe Acrobat Reader icon from the Desktop, since in effect, this is a useless icon. WinINSTALL gave me that flexibility. It also allowed me to create Printer MSI installations and edit config files for existing applications not originally packaged with WinINSTALL.

Best of all, and well worth its weight in gold, was the ability to then distribute these applications to my end users. I was able to mass deploy Office 2003 to over 500 users which performed an Upgrade from Office 2000 and set the specific options that my users required.

So the benefit here, is that you can take a Suite product like WinINSTALL’s Desktop Availability Suite or Desktop Management Suite; create your packages with all the customizations necessary and then distribute them from one product. Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL Desktop Availability Suite combines the standard desktop management functions that administrators use for day to day asset management, software packaging and deployment, and patch management; while automating with a Zero-touch methodology, three of the most labor-intensive IT management tasks: PC Refresh, OS Migration, and PC Recovery.

If you already have a distribution process, you can download either the free version of Scalable’s MSI Packager or for your advanced MSI packaging needs, the MSI Packager Professional. You can find all of these products here

Scott’s Thoughts on
“ is a very informative site for any MSI user. You don’t need to be an expert to work with MSI’s, and MSIGeek’s How To’s and Best Practices sections, provide some valuable information to not only newbies but experienced end users. I myself, am very impressed with how well they have been covering the maturity of Windows 7. Way to go guys and keep the information coming!!”