Click here to Skip to main content
15,123,367 members
Articles / Programming Languages / C++/CLI
Posted 9 Jun 2003


134 bookmarked

Enhanced .NET Bootstrap Setup

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
4.89/5 (61 votes)
24 Nov 20053 min read
Modified Microsoft Setup program to install required IE6, MSI 2.0 and .NET.

Sample Image - DotNetSetup.gif


In looking to install my .NET program on a Windows 98 or ME platform and even the newer XP and 2000 versions, I ran into several difficulties. There are several requirements to running a .NET program. The first is that the .NET framework needs to be installed prior to installing your program. The second problem is that one of the requirements for a .NET program is that IE 5.01 be installed. Windows 98 comes with IE 4.01 and Windows 98 SE comes with 5.0. And all installer files created by VS use the newer Microsoft Installer (version 2.0). I found the Microsoft setup program to be useful but not enough. So I set out to update the program. Little did I know that I had to dredge up my old Win API skills.

What you need to know

Note: This program was compiled with VS 2003 so the solution file may not work with older versions. I believe that the project will open in older versions as I was asked to convert the solution and not the project.

In order to use this program, you just have to update the settings.ini file.


The settings are:

  • MSI: Use this to point to your installer file.
  • ProductName: Use this to name your product.
  • FxInstallerPath: This is the path to the .NET installer. It looks for a file named Dotnetfx.exe.
  • IEInstallerPath: This is the path for IE 6.01. It looks for ie6setup.exe.
  • MSIInstallerPath: This is the path for MSI 2.0 (Microsoft's new installer). It looks for two files that you can download from Microsoft's site, InstMsiW.exe and InstMsiA.exe. These are for different versions of Windows.
  • MDACInstallerPath: This is the path for MDAC 2.7 (Microsoft Data Access). It looks for MDAC_TYP.EXE.
  • MDACVersion: 2.7 is the default.
  • .NetVersion: This can be v1.0 or v1.1.
  • MSDEInstallerPath: This is the path to the MSDE installer (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine). It looks for a file named setup.exe.
  • MSDEParams: /settings <settings.ini file> SAPWD="strongpassword" - Note that a strong password is required.

All of the files above were downloaded from Microsoft's site so I won't include them. Note that I had to extract the MSDE files to a folder. Those files contained the setup files which are needed for the installer. The parameters are very important as the setup.exe program will not run without them. It is designed to be a silent application. The password is required but the settings file is not.

Place all of your files in a folder under this version of setup.exe and the settings.ini file. If any of the components above need installing, the dialog shown above will show up, otherwise your installer will run.

The source code is included if you need to make modifications.

Changes from Microsoft's version of bootstrapper:

  1. New dialog that shows what will be installed.
  2. New entries in the settings.ini file for IE 6, MSI, MDAC, & MSDE.
  3. New code for reading those entries.
  4. Code for displaying the dialog box and launching the new programs.

New Features

  1. Added MSDE support. This was added after a user request. It has not been fully tested.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Kevin Moore
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Bootstrap problem Pin
Kevin Moore5-Jul-05 6:01
MemberKevin Moore5-Jul-05 6:01 
GeneralRe: Bootstrap problem Pin
Babu Mazumder5-Jul-05 6:25
MemberBabu Mazumder5-Jul-05 6:25 
GeneralRe: Bootstrap problem Pin
Babu Mazumder6-Jul-05 4:34
MemberBabu Mazumder6-Jul-05 4:34 
GeneralNew Version Pin
Kevin Moore23-Mar-05 6:13
MemberKevin Moore23-Mar-05 6:13 
GeneralRe: New Version Pin
R Sexton1-Apr-05 8:45
MemberR Sexton1-Apr-05 8:45 
GeneralRe: New Version Pin
StephenKearney1-Apr-05 16:31
MemberStephenKearney1-Apr-05 16:31 
GeneralRe: New Version Pin
Lisana20-Apr-05 9:44
MemberLisana20-Apr-05 9:44 
GeneralRe: New Version Pin
Andromeda Shun21-Apr-05 23:43
MemberAndromeda Shun21-Apr-05 23:43 
Hi Kevin!

I'm very interested in this new version. Big Grin | :-D Will you announce it here when you are done?

CU, Andromeda Shun

Fate protects fools, little children and ships named Enterprise.
Riker in "Contagion"
GeneralRe: New Version Pin
Kevin Moore22-Apr-05 5:33
MemberKevin Moore22-Apr-05 5:33 
GeneralLaunch Setup after Reboot Pin
BStenfors21-Feb-05 18:24
MemberBStenfors21-Feb-05 18:24 
GeneralMSInstaller Error Pin
jkuhlz16-Feb-05 12:56
Memberjkuhlz16-Feb-05 12:56 
GeneralRe: MSInstaller Error Pin
Kevin Moore17-Feb-05 6:11
MemberKevin Moore17-Feb-05 6:11 
GeneralLooking for earlier version of mdac (2.6) Pin
dibblm-Ohio11-Feb-05 8:25
Memberdibblm-Ohio11-Feb-05 8:25 
GeneralRe: Looking for earlier version of mdac (2.6) Pin
Kevin Moore14-Feb-05 17:59
MemberKevin Moore14-Feb-05 17:59 
GeneralUninstalling some things on cancelled Install Pin
GeminiMan13-Jan-05 5:09
MemberGeminiMan13-Jan-05 5:09 
GeneralRe: Uninstalling some things on cancelled Install Pin
Kevin Moore13-Jan-05 11:27
MemberKevin Moore13-Jan-05 11:27 
QuestionLicensing? Pin
Jim Wiese (aka Spunk)6-Jan-05 12:09
MemberJim Wiese (aka Spunk)6-Jan-05 12:09 
AnswerRe: Licensing? Pin
Kevin Moore7-Jan-05 10:55
MemberKevin Moore7-Jan-05 10:55 
GeneralRe: Licensing? Pin
Jim Wiese (aka Spunk)7-Jan-05 12:10
MemberJim Wiese (aka Spunk)7-Jan-05 12:10 
GeneralRe: Licensing? Pin
Kevin Moore10-Jan-05 12:39
MemberKevin Moore10-Jan-05 12:39 
GeneralRe: Licensing? Pin
Jim Wiese (aka Spunk)10-Jan-05 18:12
MemberJim Wiese (aka Spunk)10-Jan-05 18:12 
Generalinclude sample of the setting.ini Pin
okoji Cyril6-Dec-04 22:46
Memberokoji Cyril6-Dec-04 22:46 
GeneralRe: include sample of the setting.ini Pin
Kevin Moore7-Dec-04 5:41
MemberKevin Moore7-Dec-04 5:41 
Generallaunch the setup after reBoot Pin
Member 198845330-Nov-04 1:33
MemberMember 198845330-Nov-04 1:33 
GeneralRe: launch the setup after reBoot Pin
Kevin Moore30-Nov-04 11:14
MemberKevin Moore30-Nov-04 11:14 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.