It just unpacks MSIs and writes a log file to document the details. On Windows this is a simple drag-and-drop unpacker, useful when you just simply want to unpack an MSI and don't need to inspect the Components, Features and other technical details of the MSI.
To use this utility in Windows, first download msiext2. Next, put your MSI file into an empty folder. Unpacking can create numerous files and subfolders, so it's best to put the MSI into it's own folder before unpacking. You'll get the unpacked software, with all files extracted and placed in a folder hierarchy that reflects their destination folders when the software is installed.
There will also be a documentation file - an unpack log - listing included files, Registry settings that are part of the install, etc. However, there are many types of installers and Microsoft themselves are famous for not following their own directives. Many of their downloads are actually self-executing CAB files. Some of the Microsoft program installers are actually InstallShield packages. In both cases these are. If you have an unknown installer type that you are trying to open, you might try looking at the Tweaks and Fixes page.
There is a section there that has links to information and software. Perhaps the best software option is Universal Extractor , a program that's basically just a handy GUI frontend for a collection of specialized extractor executables. Universal Extractor UE saves the trouble of finding, collecting and updating these various tools. But UE cannot handle MSI files in any useful way, and it will sometimes fail with other installer files due to unsupported versions. For instance, UE can open InstallShield installers, but only if they were created with older versions of the InstallShield program.
Some recent version InstallShield packages are designed that way, for example. Leave the setup window open while checking to see what the installer unpacks. If you find an MSI file, copy it to somewhere else, then cancel the install.
MSI file will be the real program installer. It will probably be down inside the "C: If you're not sure, copy this text into Notepad, save it as findTemp.
Some newer installations, especially with Windows Installer v. The MSI itself is the installer file. But some installs use an EXE, nevertheless. Then the installation can be cancelled and the MSI unpacked. With some newer installation files there is a new wrinkle. The download is an EXE file. Microsoft have never recommended EXE "wrappers" around MSIs, but Microsoft have never been in the habit of following their own instructions, either.
It is actually a self-executing CAB file. If the download is converted to a CAB it can be seen to contain all of the install files, named with pre-installation code names that get changed on install, plus a handful of installation files, including an MSI file.
When the EXE is run it dumps it's contents into the TEMP folder, but in the process it also unpacks the install files, copies them to a program folder tree created in the TEMP folder, and renames them all to their correct post-install names! In other words, this is an inside-out MSI. Microsoft's SQL Server install is not alone in using this odd method, so you need to be aware of it for successful unpacking. You can recognize the new "wacky mode" installers because when you open the TEMP folder you'll find not only an MSI but also a full program installation, ready to be copied to the appropriate folders.
The program folder is there just as it would end up being in Program Files if you completed the install! So the file unpacking is already done for you. But there is still an MSI file as well. The difference from a normal MSI is that the unpacker will not actually unpack anything, because there's nothing there to unpack. It has already been done by the installer EXE. The update to the unpackers includes a change to make sure that the program files and their paths are listed in the final "Program Description.
Back to Contents Solving Problems: This is an especially odd requirement. In most cases the software does not even use Internet Explorer! For problems with Internet Explorer requirements, try changing the version number in this Registry value: A unique issue is the ".
Net Framework", which is Microsoft's version of the Java "Virtual Machine" -- a set of support files needed for software written as a. Most software does not use. The more recent version of the support files package is over MB! But what if you just want to see the software, and maybe you don't want to install all of the. For problems with demands for. Net Frameworks, if you just want to open an installer EXE file and may not want to actually install the program in question, you can spoof.
For that, see this file. That link should open in your browser as text. Copy the text, paste it into Notepad or another plain text editor, then save that as a file named Spoof Dotnet. Note that the file extension must be. When you double-click that file you will be given an option to add or remove the DotNet spoof from the Registry. Once added, software installers will think that whatever version of the.
Net Framework they want is already installed. The script adds Registry settings that say you have all 5. For good measure, it also tells querying software that you have Service Pack 3 of each Framework, and version 3 of Windows Installer. This script is for limited usage, for people who just want to inspect a program they are unlikely to actually use, and who do not want to install the numerous.
The script will record in the Registry that all 5. Net Frameworks are installed. Likewise, removing the spoof will remove those settings, even though you may have one or more frameworks installed.
A CFB file is a flexible format consisting of a number of segments. The segments can represent different things, depending on the file type. The purpose of the CFB format is simply to arrange those parts in an orderly structure that can be parsed. There are two major versions of CFB files currently in use: Version 4 was introduced with Windows However, there are some CFB v. One example is the Libre Office installer. Since CFB files are native to Windows itself, it is unlikely that any kind of update will solve that problem.
On the bright side, it is very unlikely that any software packed into a v. Open the MSI file in a hex editor. You will find that the first 8 bytes are nonsense, comprising the "magic" bytes, which identify the file type. After that come 16 null bytes. Those are version 3 and version 4 respectively. MSU files apply only to Windows Vista and later. An MSU is an update file. It's just a CAB file. If you rename a. Inside you'll typically find more CABs. The update files will be inside one of those CABs.
It's not the sort of thing that one is likely to want to dissect. Microsoft provides functionality in MSI. DLL to manage that database. It extracts files for multiple network installations, running the steps in the AdminExecuteSequence, if present, rather than the InstallExecuteSequence. That's not quite the same thing as unpacking. Look it up in the MSI docs if you think that might be of interest. Also note that an Administrative Install is a restricted operation.
It can only be done with Administrator status. And it is not "supported" in all MSIs. Some software programs available that claim to unpack or extract from MSI files are actually just graphical "front-ends" for doing an Administrative install. They simply execute an msiexec command line so you don't have to type. An example of that is a program named only "MSI Unpacker".
Less MSIErables has an attractive, polished interface, it's easy to use, and it works. It also provides the option to extract only one specific file from an MSI installer.