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What's involved in making a C Windows installer?

This is a discussion on What's involved in making a C Windows installer? within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi all, I can't seem to find a definitive guide anywhere for a "C way" to install programs in windows. ...

  1. #1
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    What's involved in making a C Windows installer?

    Hi all,

    I can't seem to find a definitive guide anywhere for a "C way" to install programs in windows. Ie, what I'm looking for is a guildeline or rulebook that tells me what needs to go where and what regkeys need to be in place to allow for a user to use the Controll Pannel to cleanly uninstall my program.

    I'm pretty new to the windows registry concept and from what I can tell the current exes that are pointed to in
    Code:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\Windows\Uninstall\{guid}\.
    need to be launched by msiexec.

    An entry also exists in HKEY_CLASS_ROOT for some programs. I can't see any sort of "standard" here.

    Also, how are these GUIDs generated? Do they have to be GUIDs?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Technical Lead QuantumPete's Avatar
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    Rather than building this yourself, you should use something like this.
    rags_to_riches likes this.
    "No-one else has reported this problem, you're either crazy or a liar" - Dogbert Technical Support
    "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" - The IT Crowd

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumPete View Post
    Rather than building this yourself, you should use something like this.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I've seen this but I wish to learn how to do it myself rather than have a tool do it for me.

  4. #4
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    No offense, but that's a naive point of view. Different versions of windows may have different directories, keys, etc. This has already been researched, written, and debugged for you in the provided tools. But if you really want to do it yourself, you will have to do the research (as well as the writing and debugging) yourself.
    The cost of software maintenance increases with the square of the programmer's creativity. - Robert D. Bliss

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    Technical Lead QuantumPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oogabooga View Post
    This has already been researched, written, and debugged for you in the provided tools.
    Exactly, you should avoid NIH where possible and furthermore writing an installer has no direct link with C (there is no "C way" as you put it). There are far more suitable programming challenges you can take on in C.
    "No-one else has reported this problem, you're either crazy or a liar" - Dogbert Technical Support
    "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" - The IT Crowd

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    I also suggest the NSIS Nullsoft Scriptable Install System | Free Development software downloads at SourceForge.net installer; I believe it is written in C/C++.
    So if you really want to work on a installer you could; note, I have never used it.

    I have used Inno Setup; but, since it is written in a Pascal dialect you might like NSIS better to read about how much code is needed to make a real scrip-able installer.

    Tim S.
    "Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." Rick Cook

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