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Posted 9 Jun 2003

Enhanced .NET Bootstrap Setup

, 24 Nov 2005
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Modified Microsoft Setup program to install required IE6, MSI 2.0 and .NET.

Sample Image - DotNetSetup.gif


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:

  1. New dialog that shows what will be installed.
  2. New entries in the settings.ini file for IE 6, MSI, MDAC, & MSDE.
  3. New code for reading those entries.
  4. Code for displaying the dialog box and launching the new programs.

New Features

  1. Added MSDE support. This was added after a user request. It has not been fully tested.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Kevin Moore
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

Generalinstall more .msi once Pin
lovvver24-Sep-06 7:15
memberlovvver24-Sep-06 7:15 
GeneralRe: install more .msi once Pin
Kevin Moore26-Sep-06 11:33
memberKevin Moore26-Sep-06 11:33 
QuestionRe: install more .msi once Pin
lovvver26-Sep-06 23:16
memberlovvver26-Sep-06 23:16 
Generalfxservicepack Pin
tnybubble21-Aug-06 10:30
membertnybubble21-Aug-06 10:30 
GeneralRe: fxservicepack Pin
Kevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:08
memberKevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:08 
GeneralWindows Installer 3.0 Pin
tnybubble21-Aug-06 8:59
membertnybubble21-Aug-06 8:59 
GeneralRe: Windows Installer 3.0 Pin
Kevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:07
memberKevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:07 
QuestionJava Runtime Pin
NeroToxic17-Aug-06 1:34
memberNeroToxic17-Aug-06 1:34 
AnswerRe: Java Runtime Pin
Kevin Moore18-Aug-06 5:27
memberKevin Moore18-Aug-06 5:27 
GeneralRe: Java Runtime Pin
NeroToxic20-Aug-06 20:24
memberNeroToxic20-Aug-06 20:24 
GeneralRe: Java Runtime Pin
Kevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:06
memberKevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:06 
QuestionIs it compatilbe with .NET 2.0? Pin
PMaksim6-Jul-06 9:39
memberPMaksim6-Jul-06 9:39 
AnswerRe: Is it compatilbe with .NET 2.0? Pin
Kevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:33
memberKevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:33 
QuestionBug in billboard dialog Pin
greggigi21-Jun-06 19:37
membergreggigi21-Jun-06 19:37 
AnswerRe: Bug in billboard dialog Pin
Kevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:21
memberKevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:21 
Generalframework embedded setup in vs 2005 Pin
fetras17-May-06 13:45
memberfetras17-May-06 13:45 
GeneralRe: framework embedded setup in vs 2005 Pin
Kevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:32
memberKevin Moore11-Jul-06 10:32 
GeneralAuto Launch of Installed applicaion after instlaation completed Pin
psmukil15-Mar-06 18:37
memberpsmukil15-Mar-06 18:37 
QuestionRe: Auto Launch of Installed applicaion after instlaation completed Pin
mohcin29-Aug-06 9:45
membermohcin29-Aug-06 9:45 
AnswerRe: Auto Launch of Installed applicaion after instlaation completed Pin
Kevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:21
memberKevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:21 
QuestionLatest Exe please? Pin
malcomm29-Jan-06 12:52
membermalcomm29-Jan-06 12:52 
GeneralResources Pin
adras4-Jan-06 23:31
memberadras4-Jan-06 23:31 
GeneralRe: Resources Pin
Kevin Moore5-Jan-06 12:13
memberKevin Moore5-Jan-06 12:13 
GeneralRe: Resources Pin
psmukil15-Mar-06 18:32
memberpsmukil15-Mar-06 18:32 
GeneralRe: Resources Pin
Kevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:19
memberKevin Moore15-Sep-06 5:19 

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