Building a Customized MSI-based Installer

TestStand 2017 Help

Edition Date: November 2017

Part Number: 370052W-01

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Use the TestStand Deployment Utility to build an MSI-based installer for the deployable image or patch deployable image.

Note Note  You must save the MSI-based installer for the full deployment to build an MSI-based installer for the patch deployment.

Use the MSI-based Installer Options tab of the deployment utility to customize the MSI-based installer as a whole, and use the Distributed Files tab of the deployment utility to customize the installation of individual files. You can include the TestStand Runtime and MSI-based installers for National Instruments hardware drivers and other software components. An MSI-based installer you build with the deployment utility automatically requests a reboot when any of the National Instruments drivers or software components you redistribute require a reboot, such as the TestStand Runtime.

Note Note  Refer to <National Instruments>\_Legal Information for information about including legal information in MSI-based installers built with NI products.

Upgrading Previous Installations

Use the following table to determine which technique to use to upgrade a previous installation.

Situation Action
New MSI-based installer updates previous MSI-based installer
  • Create a full deployment that can update an existing installation or that can install to test station computers that do not have the previous installation.

    To upgrade using a full deployment, use the Advanced MSI-based Installer Options dialog box to increment the installer version but do not modify the upgrade code. Generate a new upgrade code to install a full deployment side-by-side with a previous version of the deployment.
  • Create a patch deployment that can only update a previous installation. Using this technique can significantly reduce the size of the MSI-based installer.

    To upgrade using a patch deployment, use the Mode tab of the deployment utility to create a patch deployment, which automatically updates the version and upgrade code to install the patch deployment. When you create a cumulative patch deployment, the deployment utility generates a new upgrade code so you can install patch deployments on the test station computer. If you create a patch deployment from a baseline patch deployment, the deployment utility uses the upgrade code of the baseline patch deployment.
Files already exist on test station computer Review the scenarios in which an MSI-based installer overwrites an existing file.
You want to override the default MSI-based installer behavior Enable the Force File to Install option on the Distributed Files tab.

Caution Caution  When you enable the Force File to Install option, an MSI-based installer can replace a newer version of a file with an older version of a file, which can be problematic for DLLs because components on the computer might rely on functionality available only in the newer version of the DLL and might not execute correctly when the MSI-based installer downgrades the DLL.

Troubleshooting MSI-based Installers You Build with the TestStand Deployment Utility

Use the following techniques to troubleshoot building MSI-based installers with the TestStand Deployment Utility:

  • Ensure the hard drive has sufficient disk space for building the MSI-based installer. For example, including the TestStand Runtime requires about 450 MB of disk space.
  • Clear the product cache if you are including a National Instruments component or driver in the MSI-based installer to remove out-of-date or corrupt files.
  • Review the Status Log on the Build Status tab of the deployment utility for more information about MSI-based installer build errors. Right-click the Status Log and select Group By»Severity or use the column headers to filter and display only errors and warnings to help you locate possible problems with the MSI-based installer. Click the Save Log drop down button and select Save Technical Support Report to save a copy of the log that National Instruments can use the log files the deployment utility generates to help you diagnose MSI-based installer-related issues.

Installing TestStand Silently

You can install TestStand without viewing any installation dialog boxes. Refer to the National Instruments support article 4CJDP38M, Automating the Installation of a Single Installer, on the National Instruments website for information about installing National Instruments software silently.


See Also

Deploying 32-bit TestStand and 64-bit TestStand Systems

Installer Issues for 32-bit TestStand and 64-bit TestStand

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