Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Extract contents of executable setup file (.msi)

Setup executable files are of many types among which there are two famous types, .msi and .exe files. Both the setup files are self extracting files which installs themselves when double clicked, thus it is bit difficult to see the contents of the setup files before installation.

Every once in a while I need to extract the content of a .msi file in order to customize a deployment for a particular network environment. Sometimes initializing the .msi installer will temporarily extract the files into C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp, but those files are removed once the installer exits.

To extract files from a .msi follow my instructions:
Step 1: Open run and type cmd.. Step 2: Type msiexec /a C:\yourfile.msi /qb TARGETDIR=G:\msi_test
Note: C:\yourfile.msi is the file which will be extracted. G:\msi_test is the folder location where the extracted files will be located. The destination directory does not need to exist prior to running this command.
Step 3: Now wait for a few seconds.. Then u will see a popup extracting files.
Step 4: It's done. Now open the target directory and check out extracted files and folders.

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