Installshield Repackager is a setup capture tool which allows you to carry out a non-msi installation and encapsulate what you install into an MSI. As software vendors continue to progress and standardize on using MSIs themselves, it may become less and less frequently used. But for the cases which it is required I feel it does do a good job. Flexera have great experience with Windows Installer technology and in my opinion make the best MSI editing tools. Some versions perform much better than others. Admin Studio 10.0 seems to be a pretty complete product in terms of MSI tools. You should be aware, as I have noticed over the years. Repackager may not work in all instances. I’ve noticed for small installs the tool may not actually capture the files and or registry correctly and will simply output two ISM files. A context ism and your application ism. If you open the application msi it will be empty or if you automate the ism build and notice the msi file is only about 367k in size you should know the MSI file is empty. For those cases it’s very easy to manually package the application anyway but it’s worth noting that it’s a possible issue.
In previous versions of Admin Studio using the Install capture tool (repack.exe) Repackager required a very manual setup involving mapping a drive to the repack.exe and launching from the mapped drive. That is no longer required and is taken care of through a tool called Remote Repackager. It basically does the same thing but there’s now a specific installer which simply prompts you to enter the paths of your Admin Studio Shared folder and the path of where the repack.exe resides. Many of you will find this blog of little to no use but I remember new hires in my company requiring to look up setup instructions for the old repackager, so hopefully if there’s people looking up the Repackager now they will find this blog and save themselves the time of mapping the drive etc. From my own Googling I notice the old more cumbersome setup instructions are more prominent and may cause unnecessary confusion, so here goes the new more stream lined setup for you guys:
Step 1.) Locate your Remote Repackager Setup file. This should be located in: C:\Program Files (x86)\AdminStudio\10.0\Repackager\Remote Repackager
That’s C:\Program Files\ for those of you using a 32-bit OS.
You may want to provide this/deploy this to your developers or map a drive to the machine with Admin Studio installed for them to carry out the install.
Step 2.) Set the Admin Studio Shared location
Be default when Admin Studio is installed it installs a shared folder C:\AdminStudio Shared , This is used for storing configuration files and cached files. You should set this as a UNC path e.g. \\TestServer\AdminStudio Shared
Step 3.) Set the Repackager location
This will be your machine which has Admin Studio installed on it. Possibly a server. You require to provide the location as a UNC e.g. \\TestServer\AdminStudio\10.0\Repackager
Step 4.) Complete
You should now have the below shortcuts on your VMs desktop. OS snapshot wizard creates an MSI snapshot of your Virtual Machine and everything on it. Repackaging Wizard allows you to create your setup captures and your Repackager shortcut allows you to open the .irp file created by the Repackaging Wizard, remove any unwanted files, registry etc. and then build it into an MSI.
It’s as simple as that. Thanks for reading.