Command-Line Options

The executable program that interprets packages and installs products is Msiexec.exe. Note that Msiexec also sets an error level on return that corresponds to system error codes. Command-line options are case-insensitive.

The command-line options in the following table are available with Windows Installer 3.0 and earlier versions. The Standard Installer Command-Line Options are also available beginning with Windows Installer 3.0.

Option Parameters Meaning
/I Package|ProductCode Installs or configures a product.
/f [p|o|e|d|c|a|u|m|s|v] Package|ProductCode Repairs a product. This option ignores any property values entered on the command line. The default argument list for this option is 'omus.' This option shares the same argument list as the REINSTALLMODE property.
p - Reinstalls only if file is missing.
o - Reinstalls if file is missing or an older version is installed.
e - Reinstalls if file is missing or an equal or older version is installed.
d - Reinstalls if file is missing or a different version is installed.
c - Reinstalls if file is missing or the stored checksum does not match the calculated value. Only repairs files that have msidbFileAttributesChecksum in the Attributes column of the File table.
a - Forces all files to be reinstalled.
u - Rewrites all required user-specific registry entries.
m - Rewrites all required computer-specific registry entries.
s - Overwrites all existing shortcuts.
v - Runs from source and re-caches the local package. Do not use the v reinstall option for the first installation of an application or feature.
/a Package Administrative installation option. Installs a product on the network.
/x Package|ProductCode Uninstalls a product.
/j [u|m]Packageor
[u|m]Package/tTransform List
Advertises a product. This option ignores any property values entered on the command line.
u - Advertises to the current user.
m - Advertises to all users of machine.
g - Language identifier.
t - Applies transform to advertised package.
/L [i|w|e|a|r|u|c|m|o|p|v|x|+|!|*] Logfile Writes logging information into a logfile at the specified existing path. The path to the logfile location must already exist. The installer does not create the directory structure for the logfile. Flags indicate which information to log. If no flags are specified, the default is 'iwearmo.'
i - Status messages.
w - Nonfatal warnings.
e - All error messages.
a - Start up of actions.
r - Action-specific records.
u - User requests.
c - Initial UI parameters.
m - Out-of-memory or fatal exit information.
o - Out-of-disk-space messages.
p - Terminal properties.
v - Verbose output.
x - Extra debugging information. Windows Installer 2.0: Not supported. The x option is available with Windows Installer version 3.0.3790.2180 and later.

+ - Append to existing file.
! - Flush each line to the log.
"*" - Wildcard, log all information except for the v and x options. To include the v and x options, specify "/l*vx".
For more information about all the methods that are available for setting the logging mode, see Normal Logging in the Windows Installer Logging section

/m filename
The length of filename must be no more than eight characters.

Generates an SMS status .mif file. Must be used with either the install (-i), remove (-x), administrative installation (-a), or reinstall (-f) options. The ISMIF32.DLL is installed as part of SMS and must be on the path.
The fields of the status mif file are filled with the following information:
Manufacturer - Author
Product - Revision Number
Version - Subject
Locale - Template
Serial Number - not set
Installation - set by ISMIF32.DLL to "DateTime"
InstallStatus - "Success" or "Failed"
Description - Error messages in the following order: 1) Error messages generated by installer. 2) Resource from Msi.dll if installation could not commence or user exit. 3) System error message file. 4) Formatted message: "Installer error %i", where %i is error returned from Msi.dll.
/p PatchPackage[;patchPackage2 ] Applies a patch. To apply a patch to an installed administrative image you must combine the following options:
/p <PatchPackage>[;patchPackage2 ] /a \
Advertises a new instance of the product. Must be used in conjunction with /t. Available starting with the Windows Installer version that is shipped with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (SP1).
/n ProductCode Specifies a particular instance of the product. Used to identify an instance installed using the multiple instance support through a product code changing transforms. Available starting with the Windows Installer version shipped with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP with SP1.

The options /i, /x, /f[p|o|e|d|c|a|u|m|s|v], /j[u|m], /a, /p, /y and /z should not be used together. The one exception to this rule is that patching an administrative installation requires using both /p and /a. The options /t, /c and /g should only be used with /j. The options /l and /q can be used with /i, /x, /f[p|o|e|d|c|a|u|m|s|v], /j[u|m], /a, and /p. The option /n can be used with /i, /f, /x and /p.

To install a product from A:\Example.msi, install the product as follows:

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi

Only public properties can be modified using the command line. All property names on the command line are interpreted as uppercase but the value retains case sensitivity. If you enter MyProperty at a command line, the installer overrides the value of MYPROPERTY and not the value of MyProperty in the Property table. For more information, see About Properties.

To install a product with PROPERTY set to VALUE, use the following syntax on the command line. You can put the property anywhere except between an option and its argument.

Correct syntax:

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi PROPERTY=VALUE

Incorrect syntax:

msiexec /i PROPERTY=VALUE A:\Example.msi

Property values that are literal strings must be enclosed in quotation marks. Include any white spaces in the string between the marks.

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi PROPERTY="Embedded White Space"

To clear a public property by using the command line, set its value to an empty string.

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi PROPERTY=""

For sections of text set apart by literal quotation marks, enclose the section with a second pair of quotation marks.

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi PROPERTY="Embedded ""Quotes"" White Space"

The following example shows a complicated command line.

msiexec /i testdb.msi INSTALLLEVEL=3 /l* msi.log COMPANYNAME="Acme ""Widgets"" and ""Gizmos."""

The following example shows advertisement options. Note that switches are not case-sensitive.

msiexec /JM msisample.msi /T transform.mst /LIME logfile.txt

The following example shows you how to install a new instance of a product to be advertised. This product is authored to support multiple instance transforms.

msiexec /JM msisample.msi /T :instance1.mst;customization.mst /c /LIME logfile.txt

The following example shows how to patch an instance of a product that is installed using multiple instance transforms.

msiexec /p msipatch.msp;msipatch2.msp /n {00000001-0002-0000-0000-624474736554} /qb

When you apply patches to a specific product, the /i and /p options cannot be specified together in a command line. In this case, you can apply patches to a product as follows.

msiexec /i A:\Example.msi PATCH=msipatch.msp;msipatch2.msp /qb

The PATCH property cannot be set in a command line, when /p option is used. If the PATCH property is set when the /p option is used, the value of PATCH property is ignored and overwritten.