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Endpoint Management Community Blog

Creating Packages that Install Faster

Created: 02 Apr 2007 • Updated: 04 May 2007 • 3 comments
GarethStewart's picture
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The common practice inside most enterprise environments that I've seen are to create one large MSI for any size application. Here's an easy way to make those packages install faster.

If you compile your applications with the "Cabs Outside" option, your packages will install 50% quicker compared to "Cabs Inside".

To do this for all packages, just go into the Windows Installer Editor template you're using and go to Media and change the option to "Cabs Outside".

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williama's picture

Is there still a size limit when using this method?

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zardoz's picture

The reason you are saving (approximately) 50% of the time is because when you start an installation with the full MSI GUI the whole MSI is transferred from its network/CD location to your PC. Then when you start the installation essentially the whole MSI is transferred again to your PC because the CAB file is internal. If you have a 100MB MSI that means 200MB of data is transferred to your PC for an installation.

If you perform an install using Basic or No GUI then only 100MB is transferred.

By moving a 100MB CAB out of an MSI leaving, for example, 1MB of tables in the MSI, you would transfer 1MB during the GUI component then 100MB for the CAB.

The 50% savings are usually when the ratio of CAB to MSI tables is high (eg. 100MB CAB:1MB MSI). If you have a 5MB MSI (10MB of data transfer) you might not save 50% on a fast LAN (eg. 5MB CAB: 1MB MSI).

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jmcfadyen's picture

You can make it even faster by using uncompressed external files.

It doesnt suit everyone but its the most enterprise friendly and faster. The downside of course is you have alot of files to manage.

This way you dont have to deal with the uncompression issues associated with cabs.

Also allows the install to be patch easier with future deployments

John McFadyen
Installpac Pty Ltd
Phone: 0432 288 373

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