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all i need is to add a silent switch to an msi and recompile it as an msi or exe. I have the MSI SDK but admittedly i'm over my head with this sort of scripting and don't know where to begin

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Just as BriGuy answered below, there are built-in flags for MSI installation. If you want a completely silent install you would use "MyInstall.msi /qn" for no UI. – Josh Mar 13 '13 at 22:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You should be able to install the MSI file silently using MSIEXEC with the following flags:

/quiet - quiet mode, no user interaction

/q[n|b|r|f] Sets user interface level
n - No UI
b - Basic UI
r - Reduced UI
f - Full UI (default)

Or you just create an installer that does not display a GUI during install.

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Maybe i should rephrase the question. I need to deploy an MSI to remote users, and i want it to work silently and automatically. So i'd like a way to have the MSI with those switches built in. – acme64 Mar 14 '13 at 13:30
    
@acme64 - if you are deploying the MSI via GPO, if you make it assigned it will automatically install silently. – BriGuy Mar 14 '13 at 18:18
    
No its just hosting on our website. I went ahead and just made an autoit exe with the switches in there. First code ever! thanks for the lead though – acme64 Mar 15 '13 at 16:10

Try this, works like a charm every time:

msiexec.exe /qb- /l*vx %LogPath%\<file>.log REBOOT=ReallySuppress UILevel=67 ALLUSERS=2 /I filename.msi

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