Repackaging an installation on a Hyper-V virtual machine

ImportantThe following article uses options that are available starting with the Architect edition and project type.

This tutorial guides you in creating a project based on capturing an installation. As an example, we'll repackage the 7-zip File Manager EXE into an MSI.

NoteThe following steps describe choosing the virtual machine environment. If you want to perform the repackaging operation on your local machine, you can follow Repackaging an installation tutorial.

1. Create a Repackage Installation project

If Advanced Installer is not currently running, launch it from the desktop icon or select it from the "Start" menu. When the application starts, choose “Convert” > “Repackage Installation” project type.

New Repackage Installation Project

The Repackager launches and the project is saved as a .rpp file on disk.

2. Setting up the Repackager

After you select what installer you want to repackage, you can begin configuring the operation.

2.1 Package Information

The package information from the installer is displayed here. You can also configure multiple applications to be repackaged at once, use "Additional packages" link to add them. For more information about this tab see this page.

Package Information

2.2 Customize Options

The Options tab lets you choose actions and configurations for the repackaging operation. For more information about this tab see this page.

There are a few options that are checked by default, but for this tutorial, we also check "Generate .bat file with settings from this session," which creates a .bat file for automation in future repackaging operations.

Customize Options

2.3 Edit a virtual machine profile

Select/configure a virtual machine profile by pressing on the down arrow on the "Start in VM" button and selecting "Edit Virtual Machine profiles."

Edit VM

2.4 Select the virtual machine host

You can use virtual machines from localhost or connect to remote Hyper-V hosts in your sub-network. Use the "New Server Connection" context menu option while Hyper-V Servers is selected in the left pane, then configure the connection credentials.

Repackaging Location

2.5 Select the virtual machine profile

Select/configure the virtual machine profile with the snapshot to be used as the host for the repackager then press [ OK ].

ImportantIt is important you first prepare the virtual machine before starting your first capture. In the case of remote connections, having Advanced Installer tools installed on the VM is mandatory. Please check the requirements for repackaging in Hyper-V machines to make sure your environment is correctly setup.

Repackaging Location

2.6 Create an installation profile

Press the "Configuration Manager" button from the Home tab and begin to customize your capture profile.

Create a new profile "MyProfile," which we have tweaked to search for system changes only in the "ProgramFiles" folder and in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" registry hive, as the setup package installs per machine. All the other settings remained as in the "Default" profile.

We set this newly created profile as active. The profile that is "active" is that one that is used during the system scan unless specified otherwise at the beginning of the installation capture.

Create installation profile

3. Installation capture

Before you proceed, make sure that you close all unnecessary running applications to avoid "false positive" capture results from active file and registry system access.

An installation capture is done by comparing system snapshots taken before and after the package installation. Optionally filter the scan results using a system noise recording.

To begin the installation press the "Start in VM" button Run in VM.

Progress installation

4. Package installation

The package is launched, and after the installation is complete, the system is scanned again for changes.

The result is saved as a session under History and as a .rpk file on the disk.

Press "Continue in Advanced Installer" to make the final touches on the newly repackaged installer.

Installation captured

5. Import results

Press the [ Import ] button to import the installation capture results, into the new Advanced Installer project.

Import results

6. Customize the project

After importing the installation capture results, you should review the Advanced Installer project and adjust it to your new package deployment needs.

7. Run project

RunBuild and run the project to test the newly created installer.

8. Video tutorial

Repackage EXE to MSI