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In looking to install my .NET program on a Windows 98 or ME platform and even the newer XP and 2000 versions, I ran into several difficulties. There are several requirements to running a .NET program. The first is that the .NET framework needs to be installed prior to installing your program. The second problem is that one of the requirements for a .NET program is that IE 5.01 be installed. Windows 98 comes with IE 4.01 and Windows 98 SE comes with 5.0. And all installer files created by VS use the newer Microsoft Installer (version 2.0). I found the Microsoft setup program to be useful but not enough. So I set out to update the program. Little did I know that I had to dredge up my old Win API skills.
What you need to know
Note: This program was compiled with VS 2003 so the solution file may not work with older versions. I believe that the project will open in older versions as I was asked to convert the solution and not the project.
In order to use this program, you just have to update the settings.ini file.
The settings are:
- MSI: Use this to point to your installer file.
- ProductName: Use this to name your product.
- FxInstallerPath: This is the path to the .NET installer. It looks for a file named Dotnetfx.exe.
- IEInstallerPath: This is the path for IE 6.01. It looks for ie6setup.exe.
- MSIInstallerPath: This is the path for MSI 2.0 (Microsoft's new installer). It looks for two files that you can download from Microsoft's site, InstMsiW.exe and InstMsiA.exe. These are for different versions of Windows.
- MDACInstallerPath: This is the path for MDAC 2.7 (Microsoft Data Access). It looks for MDAC_TYP.EXE.
- MDACVersion: 2.7 is the default.
- .NetVersion: This can be v1.0 or v1.1.
- MSDEInstallerPath: This is the path to the MSDE installer (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine). It looks for a file named setup.exe.
- MSDEParams: /settings <settings.ini file> SAPWD="strongpassword" - Note that a strong password is required.
All of the files above were downloaded from Microsoft's site so I won't include them. Note that I had to extract the MSDE files to a folder. Those files contained the setup files which are needed for the installer. The parameters are very important as the setup.exe program will not run without them. It is designed to be a silent application. The password is required but the settings file is not.
Place all of your files in a folder under this version of setup.exe and the settings.ini file. If any of the components above need installing, the dialog shown above will show up, otherwise your installer will run.
The source code is included if you need to make modifications.
Changes from Microsoft's version of bootstrapper:
- New dialog that shows what will be installed.
- New entries in the settings.ini file for IE 6, MSI, MDAC, & MSDE.
- New code for reading those entries.
- Code for displaying the dialog box and launching the new programs.
- Added MSDE support. This was added after a user request. It has not been fully tested.