Friday, June 19, 2009

Unattended software installation with Windows Post-Install Wizard

After every Windows reinstall an average user spends several long hours remembering what applications they had installed, and then re-installing each one of them, one after the other, individually and with a couple of reboots between them. It’s enough to drive any people insane. That’s why projects such as nLite, vLite, TGUP etc thrive.

But why slipstream all your software into the Windows installation CD and make it bloated? Instead, why not make a separate installation media which installs all your favorite software at one go. This is what Windows Post-Install Wizard (WPI) can do.


The initial configuration of WPI can be rather time consuming, but this will payoff later. To add applications to WPI, you have to copy the installers to the directory “Installer” and then use WPI’s interface to configure the application - add silent switches, categories, specify scripts to run, etc. After you are done, burn the entire directory structure on a CD or DVD. Optionally you can choose to integrate the whole thing into Windows installation media using applications such as nLite or vlite, or even make the disc bootable. 

Unlike tools such as nLite, WPI offers a big advantage. When you launch the WPI created disc after a fresh Windows install, you can choose from the list which applications you want to install. This means that you can include multiple software installers on the disc and only install those which you want, something like in a Linux distribution. Can’t decide between Avast or Avira Antivir? Include both and also throw in AVG. With WPI the only factor that limits the number of applications you can add is the size of the disc. 

The interface of WPI is also fully configurable, and it can even play your preferred music while the installation is on.


  1. thanks for your post ... but can u please explain the process a little more.. how to add silent switches, categories, specify scripts to run... how to integrate it with vlite created unattended windows.. a step by step procedure is most welcome.. awaiting your post on this.

  2. @Hemant: I have noted your request. Mean while you can try using the Silent switch finder to find hidden switches in installers.

  3. Latest WPI includes Silent Switch Finder armed with script inside the javascript. Its better than standalone SSF. But bith of them actually not the ultimate answer of finding silent switch command.The best way is browsing through google for each app you want to know silent switch command

  4. Could you explain me how can I make WPI runs after windows instalation?

  5. One thing I don't understand about these package manager type programs is this, I think about 50% or better of my freeware programs are bundleware meaning if you don't manually install them and work your way though their advanced options you are guaranteed toolbars, adware and tons of other crapware so how are these programs helping? Maybe a downloader that lets us install the programs would be safer.


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