WPS: How to create a MSI package from a setup.exe (No Project)

Document each step used to create the package.

The purpose is to facilitate the recreation the package in case of an error (major or minor), to facilitate the packaging of future versions of the same package and helps to build other packages in case a special fix or tweak was used to get this package to work. If you can, use the documentation from a previous application that you packaged as a base and modify accordingly (or use the one from my tutorial). What follows is in fact a generalized version of one of those documents. Please note however that every package is different.

I prefer to create these documents using WordPad since it is already installed in Windows and does not use tones of files. I use a filename that matches with the WSI filename. (MyApplication-v123.WSI => MyApplication-v123.wri) Using the WRI extension ensures that WordPad will always be used to edit the document even when MS-Word is installed.

If you notice a step that is always done on all packages, the MSI template should then be upgraded with those changes so that they are never forgotten and not explicitly documented in all package documents.

If you must skimp on documentation, at least document anything unusual that you may have done in a package.

Capturing the Setup Process

-Restore the Clean Image on the Snapshot PC (It should already have the WPSClient.EXE installed with drive mapping to the Wise Share Point)

-Logon as Local Administrator

-Launch Wise Package Studio

-Click Tools tab

-Launch SetupCapture

-Target installation: W:\WiseSharePoint\Projects\APPNAME-VER\APPNAME-VER.WSI

-Select “Copy Source files during installation save”

-Destination Directory: W:\WiseSharePoint\Projects\APPNAME-VER

or W:\WiseSharePoint\Projects\APPNAME-VER\FILES

-Check the box for “Store Source File Pathnames as Relative Pathnames”

-Click Next

-Click Next

-Capture Methodology: leave it at Snapshot but uncheck SmartMonitor. Click Next

-Click Next

-Begin installation capture; click Next to take initial snapshot of system

-Click Browse to locate the setup.exe

-Click Execute to launch the setup.exe (required for SmartMonitor to work if you do use it)

-Follow the menus for the setup.exe.

-Make all changes required to make the program work.

-Document anything that is not default

-If possible do not run the application since some self-configure on first run

-Come back to SetupCapture window when done

-Click Next

-Click Next to take second snapshot of system

-Review SetupCapture Inclusions; change if necessary and click Next

-To exclude a file select the file and click Exclude


-Click Next

-Review SetupCapture Exclusions; if necessary and click Next

-To include a file select the file and click Include

-At the finish window


-Fix the Name of the application to include the version (i.e. AppName to AppName 3.0)

-Match the version of the program

-Update the manufacturer

-Make sure the Default Folder is correct.

(It’s usually the main folder for that application located under Program Files)

-Click Finish

-If you get the Files in Merge Modules window similar to this:


-Click Ok

-If required, download any missing Merge Modules.

-If the download fails you can try again but do it while you are still here in SetupCapture. Otherwise the merge modules won’t stick.

-Save the WSI

At this point, if you have chosen the proper non-default settings as I mentioned herein, Wise Package Studio will now copy all the files that make up the package to the Wise Source Point and make all references to then in the WSI file relative. This way you will not have to install the application just to make a simple change.

Editing the package

While still on the Snapshot PC:

-Edit the <pkg name>.WSI file in W:\WiseSharePoint\Projects\<pkg name> folder.


-In the Installation Expert view:

In Product Definition section select Add/Remove Programs

-Click Browse to add the icon for the application


In Feature Details section select Files

-Remove or add files that were missed during the SetupCapture process

Save WSI package

Go to the Setup Editor view:

-Click the Tables tab

-Go to Property table

-In right panel, right-click New -> New Row

-Click OK to acknowledge the warning

-In the property column enter: ROOTDRIVE


-In the Value column enter: C:\


-In right panel, right-click New -> New Row

-Click OK to acknowledge the warning

-In the property column enter: ALLUSERS (In UPPERCASE, no trailing spaces)

-In the Value column enter: 1


Save WSI package

-Click Compile to create new MSI package