Self Extractor

Install problems continue to plague my project. The development lead has taken on the task of resolving these problems. I took over some of the work he was doing. The dev lead called me up and explained what he had found out. Our install executable is unpacking the compressed files. However it is then deleting those files before installation is complete. The install program is then unable to access the files needed for installation. He asked me to research whether it was possible to turn off the delete of temporary install files.

Our build process uses the Winzip Self Extractor program. First we create a zip file which contains all of the installation files. Then we use the Self Extractor program to change the zip file into a self extracting archive which automatically launches the setup program. Unfortunately I did not have my development machine with me. However I did have a computer. I tried to research the Self Extractor options using Google. But I did not have any luck.

I decided to download Winzip Self Extractor itself to see if there was any documentation that came with it. Winzip has an evaluation download copy for free. I did clarify that we were using the self extractor for software installations. This product always deletes the temporary files when it is done. However is does have a wait option that delays the temp file deletion until your setup program is done. By default it waits until setup is complete. Out setup program is called something else. So we need to pass the name of our program to the Self Extractor as an option.

Having done the necessary research, I passed the information on to the dev lead. He commented that we already use the wait option with Self Extractor. However it seemed like we only wait until our setup program removes the old version of our application before Winzip deletes the temporary files. That was surely not correct. I hope this latest bit of information helps our lead solve this problem. It is embarrassing when we release software to the customer and the darn thing just won’t install.