Is there an MSI file for Windows Installer Service that works with our institution's Sketchpad site-license?

Sketchpad 5

There is currently no MSI available for Sketchpad 5 but the .exe installer should perform all of the functions of an MSI. Please refer to our instructions on installing Sketchpad silently and other command-line options.

Sketchpad 4

There is an MSI available for Sketchpad 4. To install Sketchpad on a PC, users of single-user or limited network licenses of Sketchpad can use the simple installer application that comes on the Sketchpad CD-ROM. But systems administrators managing large installations for academic departments or schools may wish to use the Windows Installer Service to deploy their site-licensed edition of Sketchpad. These administrators can download the appropriate MSI file from this page.

The Windows Installer Service is a service of the Windows operating system that lets system administrators manage the state of software applications, including application installation, modification, upgrade, or removal. This service is included as part of Windows 2000 SP3 and Windows XP, and is available as a redistributable package to earlier versions of Windows. MSI files are database files that contain the requirements and instructions the Windows Installer Service uses to manage applications.

For more information on MSI files and whether they fit your system management requirements, see Microsoft's Windows Installer FAQ.

For a more detailed discussion of the Windows Installer Service for System Administrators, see this white paper.

The MSI file available here performs a full installation into C:\Program Files\Sketchpad, and places a shortcut in the Start->Programs menu. It requires no user intervention or input in the setup process. It is intended to provide a starting point for customized deployment on your network. The MSI file can be customized by direct editing, or preferably by creating a transform (MST) file. Microsoft provides some tools for customizing MSI files in the Windows Installer SDK, located here.

A variety of third party tools are also available for customizing MSI installations.

In order to use Sketchpad's MSI file, you must have:

  • The current release of US English Sketchpad in 10 pack, 50 pack, or site-licensed edition. (Earlier releases can update to the current release here.) This MSI file will not work with the single-user editions, or with non-US editions of Sketchpad.
  • Windows Installer Service v2.0 or greater. This version is included with Windows XP, and Windows 2000 SP3. For Windows NT and Windows 2000, the service is available as a separate download from Microsoft here.

To perform a basic installation of Sketchpad with this MSI:

  • Copy the Sketchpad folder from the 4.07 CD-ROM into a new folder on your hard disk (for example, MySketchpadMSIFolder).
  • Alternately, copy the contents of a Sketchpad folder from a full installation of the current 4.07 release of Sketchpad to a new folder (for example, MySketchpadMSIFolder). Note that on some systems, the traditional 4.07 installer/updater will not have installed gdiplus.dll into your Sketchpad folder. This is a required source file for the MSI installer, and should be in your source folder (MySketchpadMSIFolder). You can locate it on your original Sketchpad CD-ROM, if it was not installed onto your hard disk.
  • Download ManageGSP407.msi and copy into the same folder.
  • Right-click ManageGSP407.msi and choose Install; or, from the command prompt type:

    msiexec /i C:\MySketchpadMSIFolder\ManageGSP407.msi

    to start the MSI installer.



We are interested in your use of MSI files and would appreciate hearing about whether this download meets your needs, or how we could extend it. If you have time, please drop us a note here.