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Chapter 7.3. Windows Installer > Windows Installer File Types

Windows Installer File Types

The Windows Installer service makes use of a number of different file extensions. Table 7.3.1 summarizes the different files and their uses.

Table 7.3.1. Capabilities of Various Package Types
File TypeFile Name ExtensionDescription
Windows Installerpackages.msiThis is the primary file usedby the Windows Installer service. Software vendors will normally provide you with these files, but they can also be created using a third-party repackaging tool. The file should be stored in the same network share as the installation source files.
Transforms.mstModification files customize the installation of an .msi file. They can be used to select which features of a product to install. For example, an .mst file created by the Office Resource Kit Installation Wizard might be used to choose to install Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but not Access.
Patches.mspBug fixes and service packs can be distributed using this file. Patches are used only to make minor changes in an existing software package and to distribute new versions of existing files. Patches cannot remove components or features, they can only modify them. They also cannot change the names of shortcuts, files, or Registry keys in this form.
.zap files.zapThese files are similar to unattended setup scripts and are created with a normal text editor. They can only be published, not assigned. Because they use a program's normal setup routine, all the standard requirements apply to the setup. This means that the user must have administrative rights to install the program and that only programs that support unattended installation from the command line can be installed without further user intervention.
Application assignmentscripts.aasThese files are created when a package is added to Software Installation in the computer or user portion of a GPO. They are stored under the packages GUID on the SYSVOL of Domain Controllers where the package was created, and contain information that controls the assignment or publication of the package. They are binary files and cannot be directly edited.



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