Software Deployment Question
Stubborn InstallShield Package: MSIexec -Embedding?
Long time reader, first time poster.
I work with application packaging and am currently working on an application that has me stumped. The vendor provided a setup.exe file which is an Installshield exe, but running it from command line with "/?" gets me nothing, just launches the installer. It also appears that there is no silent switch, at least not that I can find. I know that Installshield packages typically are either the "wrap the MSI" type or the more traditional "/f1 /f2" type. I've done dozens of both of those and I know my way around them, but this package appears to be neither. Running the exe from command line with /r and -r did not get me an .iss file (I tried both). Running the installer manually and looking in %temp% while it was open showed a handful of files named MSI****.tmp with the **** seeming to be a randomly generated 4-character mix of numbers and letters (looked like no letters went farther in the alphabet than "F" so I assume it is hex). I opened Task Manager while I ran the exe and noticed it did not create a process named after the exe, but seemed to launch directly into an instance of msiexec. I cannot open the exe with Orca (obviously) or Installshield 2013 (AdminStudio). I used SysInternals Process Explorer to take a look at the process and it looks like it's launching Msiexec with an argument of "-Embedding <32-character-hex-string> C"
The uninstall key in the registry shows that the install location was the temp directory and the uninstall string is a standard MSI uninstall command.
Only thing I can think is that they're somehow piecing apart the MSI in the temp directory and piecing it back together as they install.
I haven't ever seen anything like this and Googling has netted me essentially nothing. The vendor's documentation seems to be geared towards a manual install which unfortunately is not really an option. I'm aware of tools like the AdminStudio Repackager but I always try to use the vendor's unadulterated package wherever possible.
Packaging on and packaging for Windows 8.1 x64.