FreeInstall is able to install up to 32767 files on the target machine. The user can freely select the installation root directory on his machine. The files are packed into the Installer executable using the ZLib compression. This compression is very efficient and reduces the installer size significantly.
Optionally these installed files can be removed by the user using the Uninstaller, which is placed in the installation target directory automatically.
FreeInstall can transfer up to 32767 Registry keys from the packing machine to the user's target machine.
These registry keys set by the Installer on the target machine are all removed by the Uninstaller when the user performs the uninstall.
FreeInstall can create Windows start menu entries in form of a start menu folder with up to 32767 entries (links).
This folder with content can be removed using the Uninstaller.
FreeInstall can run one executable if the user checks the corresponding check box during the installation process.
FreeInstall allows the software developer to display his/her product's name in the installer executable's title bar (up to 35 chars).
FreeInstall is freeware. It does neither contain spyware nor does it display any advertisement. There's only an unobtrusive link to this webpage the user can click when the installation is finished.
Win98, ME, 2000, XP, or Vista.
No ActiveX controls used. The only required third-party dll is Msvbvm50.dll which is shipped with all Windows versions since Win98 by default.
Single-core CPU 500 MHz.
128 MB RAM or higher.
at least a few MB of free hard disk space on the target machine plus the size of your (uncompressed) application to install.
3) What can be installed?
FreeInstall can copy any kind of file from your PC to the user's machine. That can be executables, HTML files, text files, ActiveX controls, and so on. The software developer can avoid that the user uninstalls some or all of the installed files. This is used to avoid that ActiveX controls or DLLs, as well as settings files, are uninstalled using the Uninstaller. You can use '%windir%' and '%winsysdir%' to copy files to the user's machine's Windows (system-) directory. Note that on Win2000, XP, and Vista this might not work if the user is not logged on as an administrator. You can also use '%userdir%' within a file's target path to install files to the installation root directory the user had to choose during the installation.
FreeInstall copies Registry keys from the software developer's machine to the user's machine. These Registry keys should be located in Registry areas where you have write access on the target machine (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE). Keys and key values should be of the type 'String' and are copied 1-to-1, i.e. without any manipulation by FreeInstall. So,
'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\DeveloperSoft\MyApp\StartupNumber' will also be
'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\DeveloperSoft\MyApp\StartupNumber' on the target machine.
4) What can NOT be done?
Any online upgrade or any kind of (Installer-/application-) version checking is not supported.
5) What is shipped within the FreeInstall Zip file you can download here?
You get the Installer executable (Installer Client) the user must run on his machine.
You get the Installer preparer (Installer Server) which is run only by the software developer. The Installer Server packs the files into the Installer Client (i.e. it compresses the files and copies it behind the Installer Client's executable code. When the user runs the Installer Client it opens itself and searches for the data to install).
Msvbvm50.dll. It is required to run the Installer Client. The Msvbvm50.dll is shipped from Win98 on by default. You only need to place Msvbvm50.dll in the Installer Client's directory if you want to install it under Win95.
The Installer Server configured to install Toricxs (www.toricxs.com).
You might see the full configuration by pressing 'Load...' and loading 'Install Files\MP3 Renamer 2 - v1.1.1 16.01.06 - SGFile.dat must be 0.dat'.
6) Preparing the transferring of your project to the user's target machine
Create a folder named 'C:\MyInstaller\' (an example, of course, you can name it differently).
Copy 'Installer_Client.exe' from the FreeInstall Zip-file to 'C:\MyInstaller\Installer_Client.exe'.
Click on 'Browse' to select the Installer Client file. Select 'C:\MyInstaller\Installer_Client.exe'.
Now add the files that are to be copied to the user's PC:
Click on 'Default Target Dir...'. Enter '%userdir%[...]'. Replace '[...]' in any subfolder if you want to create subfolders. Example: '%userdir%\Skins\'.
Click on 'Add File...' or 'Add Directory...' to add one or more files that are to be copied.
Repeat steps A) and B) for all subdirectories on the target machine.
If you did not completely understand what was just explained, just try around a bit. It is not difficult!
If any file is not to be uninstalled by the Uninstaller (shipped with the Installer Client by default), e.g. an OCX- or DLL file, mark 'no uninst.' for the corresponding file.
Add registry keys to copy by pressing 'Add Reg Key(s)...'. Enter for example 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MyApp\'. Mark 'scan sub keys' to install a whole key tree at once (e.g. all subkeys of 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MyApp\').
Enter the name of your product (max. 35 chars). This name will be displayed in the Installer Client's title bar as well as in the installing instructions displayed to the user. Example product name: 'Toricxs v2.0', 'Tim's Action Game', and so on.
Tell FreeInstall what executable the Installer Client must run in order to make the user try out your application after installing. Example: '%userdir%\Application.exe'. Only one file can be run. Special folder names ('%userdir%', '%windir%', '%winsysdir%') must be located at the very left of the path (so that e.g. the first 9 chars give the string %userdir%).
Set the name of the Windows start menu folder. Please use a name that does not contain chars that are not allowed as a file name, e.g. '\', '/', '"', '?', '*', ':' and so on (at best, don't use ANY special chars).
Press 'Add' to select what will be located WITHIN the Windows start menu folder. After having pressed 'Add' you will be asked 3 parameters. First, where the link shall physically be located. Then, how the link shall be named and, finally, where it refers to.
Finally, click on 'Create Client'.
Rename 'C:\MyInstaller\Installer_Client.exe' to your desired installer's name. For example, 'C:\MyInstaller\Tims_Action_Game_Installer.exe'.
Congratulations, finished! Now copy your installer to DVD or upload it on a web server. Please note: if you did not completely understand anything, just try it out! Every time you screwed an Installer Client, begin from the second step, which means copy the new 'Installer_Client.exe' to 'C:\MyInstaller\' (you should not pack the files into the same Installer Client executable twice).
7) The Uninstaller
FreeInstall installs the Uninstaller in the %userdir% automatically.
The Uninstaller will remove all files, except itself (Uninstall.exe) and those files that the software developer has excluded from uninstalling (mark 'no uninst.' for those files in Installer Server when creating the Installer Client).
The Uninstaller will remove all Registry entries that were copied from the software developer's machine to the target machine (that what you have added by pressing on 'Add Reg Key(s)...' in the Installer Server).
The Uninstaller will furthermore remove any Windows start menu entries and -folders as well as the desktop shortcut.
8) Saving an Installation as Install File
You don't have to configure the Installer Server again and again. You can save the data to create an installation as Install File. After having created the Installer Client (by pressing 'Create Client'), click on 'Save...' to save the configuration. After restarting the Installer Server, instantly click on 'Load...' to load a configuration. After having loaded a configuration, you can instantly press 'Create Client' to prepare the same installation again. (Note that the files for being packed into the Installer Client as well as the Registry keys must not have been changed since pressing 'Save...').