Use Microsoft Installer (MSI and MSP files)

Last Published: April 25, 2020


** Internal Publish Only! This article may contain information that is not intended for external circulation. **

The instructions provided describe how to use Microsoft Installer (MSI).


Microsoft is the authority with respect to MSI and MSP files. The infomation presented in this article is secondary to Microsoft's documentation: Command-Line Switches for the Microsoft Windows Installer Tool.

It is a best practice when creating slipstreamed installations to create an administrative install path, then slipstream the patches (MSP files) into the installation. Administrative installations are deployments of install files that can be referenced later to perform a scripted (or standard) installation.

1. Install the product first to the slipstream administrative install point:

msiexec /a "D:\setup.msi"
* Define a admin install point at prompts such as as "\\filesrv\ArcGIS Desktop"

2. Patch the product to the slipstream administrative install point:

msiexec /a "D:\setup.msi" /p "D:\ArcGISDesktop10sp2.msp"
* Define a admin install point at prompts such as as "\\filesrv\ArcGIS Desktop"

3. Install the product from the slipstreamed administrative install using the following command:

msiexec /i "\\filesrv\setup.msi" /qb

Batching (When Slipstream Fails)
The following code is for a batch file that performs a batched installation of ArcGIS Server and then patches the server with the latest service pack:

msiexec /i \\metro\released\10_Final\ArcGIS_Server_NET_GISServices\English\Setup.msi /qb
msiexec /p \\metro\released\Service_Packs\10.0\SP2\English\ArcGIS\ArcGISServerGISServices10sp2.msp /qb

Forcefully Removing Programs
Virtually any software can be forcefully removed from a Windows OS by following these steps:

1. Stop all processes associated with the program

2. Delete or rename the program files under:
• C:\Program Files\<Program Name>
• C:\Program Files\Common Files\<Program Name>
• C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<Program Name>
• C:\Users\All Users\Roaming\Application Data\<Program Name>
• C:\Users\All Users\Local\Application Data\<Program Name>
• C:\Users\All Users\LocalLow\Application Data\<Program Name>
• C:\Program Data\<Program Name>

3. Delete or rename the Windows Registry entries for the program under:

• HKLM\Software\<Software Name>
• HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Uninstall\<Program Name or CLSID>

The above procedure should only be used as an absolute last resort when all else fails. Whereever possible it is always advisable to attempt to repair, uninstall, or re-install the product because forcefully wiping the program will almost certainly lead to orphaned registry entries, libraries, and engine files on the system.

User Data & Profiles
The following document from Microsoft discusses Windows User and Program Data profiles from Windows XP to Windows Vista/7. This is a good read for anyone that has questions about how Windows profile folders behave and how to manage them from an IT perspective: Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide.

For details on the ArcGIS User Profile see: ArcGIS_Desktop#ArcGIS_User_Profile

Article ID:000011420

  • ArcMap

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