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Thread: Silent installation?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Silent installation?

    [edited from support email]
    I need to install DirectRT and MediaLab on a number of computers in one of our labs. The sensible and best approach will be silent or unattended installation which requires no interaction of users from the beginning to finish. I want to eliminate the process of clicking “Next” all the time and also want to automate the authorization step. Which switches or command parameters can be used with the setup command program to make the whole process unattended?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I think there are switches you can use to do an automatic installation, but I don't know what they are off hand. They are not something I built in, but are standard switches available for InstallShield installation packages (we use InstallShield for all our packages). I'm guessing you could find that info on their website or with a quick Google search. If you find anything useful, please let me know!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    [edited followup from user]

    I have downloaded the programs file from your web site and have sucessfully installed them silently. e.g., for DirectRT, I used the command:
    Drt2006.2.24.exe /S /v/qn
    This seems to install the program no problem. Now it’s up to the stage where it asks me to enter the license code. I have to make this work silently as well. Is that possible?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    We don't officially allow automated authorization via the usual code system. However, if you have a departmental site license with unlimited use of the software, then we can set you up with IP-based authorization. With this, your department's IP subnets (e.g., 123.123.123.*) can be hard coded directly into the software--consequently, no special codes are required and anyone in your department can just download and use the software on any machine connected to your network.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I'm at the same point as the other poster. I have Medalab 2008. I have 300+ machines to install this stuff on.

    Run ml2008.1.22.exe /a .. extracts to TEMP directory, ok
    copy new license2008ip.dll to TEMP\Medialab .. OK
    run msiexec /i /q "MediaLab Research Software v2008.1.msi"

    and it chokes on license2008ip.dll ..

    So next, I use Wininstall LE to modify the MSI to include the updated DLL .. no luck, still gets errors.

    So for now, my silent method is:
    ML20081.222 exe /s /v/qn
    copy /y [souce]\license2008ip.dll [target]\Medialab\
    regsvr32 /s [target]\Medialab\license2008ip.dll

    Whereas I'd rather use the per-machine unattended programs already built into the MSI you guys provided .. we're using SMS 2003 to deploy .. any help would be appreciated!
    Last edited by Clete; 04-23-2008 at 04:37 PM. Reason: regsvr /s

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    So I assume your IP patterns are not included in dll file that installs with the currently posted version? If not, we could re-compile the package to include the updated dll--would that help solve this for you? Out of curiosity, when did we add the IP patterns for you?
    Last edited by jason_reed; 07-26-2017 at 08:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Not in the entire MediaLab package, no - but they were apparantly compiled into the .dll I downloaded from here since registering the .dll and entering five 9's allowed the program to run.

    So yes, it would be very helpful to get it compiled into the installer package.. :-)

    And I received an email April 14 2008 with instructions to download the dll.

    Last edited by Clete; 04-24-2008 at 01:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Problems with unattended installations


    We have purchased a Departmental Site License for both Medialab 2008 and DirectRT 2008 but are unable to use the IP based method of license activation (using license2008ip.dll) as our Institution has migrated all our workstations onto a PRIVATE IP range behind firewalls for security and ease of network management. We cannot therefore migrate hundreds of workstations onto a public IP address range simply for the benefit of activating the licenses for Medialab or DirectRT.

    Several months ago, Blair Jarvis and/or John Chapmen suggested that instead of using IP based licensing we deploy the apps. using drive imaging (ghosting), based on a single manually pre-activated medialab or directrt installation. But although we actually deploy the windows operating system itself (and most commonly used apps.) in this way, we can't just re-image (re-ghost) dozens of workstations "on demand" just because a user decides they want to install Medialab or DirectRT. Besides, not all users in our department need to use the packages...so an "Install on Demand" deployment process JUST FOR THESE TWO APPLICATIONS would be preferred....

    Luckily our site uses Novell ZenWorks just for this reason; to allow ordinary unprivileged users to install licensed applications "on demand" as and when they need to from a special network menu of "Application Objects", without having to get an administrator to do it for them.

    For medialab/directRT we are building the "application objects" based on the unattended install method mentioned by other users in this thread, but in addition deploying a "pre-activated" single "license2008.dll" for either DirectRT or Medialab copied from a workstation that we activated "by hand" on receipt of activation codes from sales@empirisoft.com under the terms of our site license....

    Our reasoning was that if we have purchased a site license and John Chapman is happy for us to use drive imaging to deploy multiple copies of an activated Medialab or Direct RT, by duplicating the entire hard disk, why not autodeploy the applications themselves "on demand" and then simply "Drop in" a pre-activated copy of a cloned "license2008.dll" instead, as part of the batch process that does the "unattended install"?

    As long as this is done and then the "first run" of the application occurs under the ZenWorks service with administrative privileges, the license activates and is then activated for any other ordinary user of the machine....or so we thought!

    Taking this approach to Deploy Medialab or DirectRT we are finding the following obstacles:

    1. License actrivation is inconsistent, in that the license will activate automatically on some workstations and not others, suggesting that the Empirisoft software is still trying to generate a unique "workstation installation code" each time, despite already having a "pre-activated" copy of "license2008.dll" pre-deployed in the local c:\directrt (or c:\medialab) folders.

    The file is simply copied in place from a server as the next stage in the same batch file that has just run the "unattended" installation of Medialab or DirectRT by employing the "msiexec.exe" tool. e.g.

    msiexec /i "<path>\medialab2008.msi" /qr

    - installs Medialab in "Quiet mode with reduced user interface".

    followed by:

    xcopy <server source path>\license2008.dll c:\medialab >nul

    - drops in a pre-activated copy of medialab's "license2008.dll" from a server path to the newly deployed medialab folder on the workstation BEFORE it is run.

    finally the batch file calls the medialab or direct executable once to perform the "first run" of the app. before the batch file exits - ensuring that the icense activates under ZenWorks (privileged service user account) control:

    call c:\medialab\medialab.exe

    2. Wen we install Medialab in "quiet" unattended mode, uinsg thev above method, using any of the /q (quiet) or /passive flags with the .MSI installer, the program appears to install and activate correctly but fails to deploy any Program Menu items or a desktop shortcut.

    Can anybody shed any light on where we are going wrong with problems (1) and/or (2).

    Many thanks

    Kind Regards


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Hi David,

    I believe I understand your questions; however feel free to note anything that may be off.

    1. To answer your first question - I'm not positive, but given what I know of the system that MediaLab and DirectRT use to register software, it wouldn't be quite possible to simply copy a pre-activated version of the file: "license2008.dll" unless it was pre-activated on the same machine that is being used to install the software on. In other words, if you want to setup a system object for the ZenWorks service with MediaLab and DirectRT for each computer, you would need to have a license file generated for that computer, and then use that license file with the application object. If you reformat, you would most likely need to regenerate this license file once more.

    Hm. If I were the system administrator in this situation, I would write a batch file to install both MediaLab and DirectRT on each machine, have the software run as you're doing, find a way to get a list of each reference code that is generated for each machine, compile this list and send it to Empirisoft, and then activate each machine. I would then use the license files saved on each computer and add them to the application object that your deployment system uses. From here I would uninstall both programs and test the system setup. The license files in their pre-activated form should work for the programs once the programs are re-installed. MediaLab and DirectRT will not try to overwrite the license file or read it incorrectly as long as the given user has read and write privileges for the license. The licenses do not require write privileges per se if the file is already activated; however both programs require license file 'checks' that use write privileges. In other words, the license files that are deployed will never actually be changed; however the user installing the software will need read and write privileges to this file.

    Another note: You may want to have the pre-activated license file copy to the folder either before or after the first run and first close of the software. This way you will not have to worry about the license file being tampered with for the first time while the software is running.

    2. Using the following command in the command line: 'medialab2008.msi /?' you can see what other options the install file has to offer. Setting these flags will allow for you to specify that you want the installation to generate additional items (ie. shortcuts etc.) or complete additional tasks.

    Let me know if this helps.


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