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Windows Update Setup for Internet Explorer and Other Internet Tools

The Windows Update Setup Wizard (IE6Setup.exe) makes it easier for administrators to distribute Microsoft Internet Explorer. It is also easier for users to install Internet Explorer and to recover failed installations.

The Setup Wizard is small and compact; it contains a bare minimum of code necessary to give the client Internet access and provide a basic level of file download capabilities.

You can use the IEAK to customize Windows Update Setup to meet the needs of your users.

Advantages of the Windows Update Setup Wizard

This package also allows Windows Update Setup to collect information about the host computer before download begins. Setup uses this information to intelligently manage the download of Internet Explorer .cab files and make installation as efficient and problem-free as possible. Downloading this small Setup package at the beginning of the process has many advantages, including the following:

  • Speed: It takes about two minutes to download IE6Setup.exe over a 28 KBps link.

  • Users receive feedback early in the Setup process if there is not enough disk space (rather than waiting until after a long download phase that may fail).

  • All user options are collected at the beginning, so users do not have to be present while the files are downloaded and installed.

  • If the link to a distribution server is not reliable and you need to reconnect, the download picks up where it failed previously. This process gets the user closer to a complete installation each time Setup is run, instead of starting over from the beginning.

  • When a link to a distribution server cannot be reestablished, Setup automatically tries other distribution servers.

  • Users receive useful progress information about the download (not just bytes per second, but how long in minutes they have before installation is complete).

  • When the current version of a component is already installed, the files are not reinstalled unnecessarily.

  • You can create and run a custom download package without rewriting Setup.

  • Unnecessary temporary files can be removed from the hard disk to free disk space for installation.

For an illustration, see the Windows Update Setup Wizard for Internet Explorer and Other Internet Tools diagram.

Installing other components with Internet Explorer

In addition to the Internet Explorer browser, you can include many Internet components from Microsoft and other companies in your customized version of Windows Update Setup. The Internet Explorer 6 Customization Wizard makes it easy for you to see the latest software that's available for downloading. The custom package makes it easy for users to install these components, along with other custom programs of your choice, when your users install the browser.

The Microsoft components range from Web authoring tools to multilanguage support. The set of available components is continually updated; the latest list appears in the Internet Explorer 6 Customization Wizard, as long as you have an Internet connection.

For information about the latest product updates, visit the Corporate Windows Update Web site.

How Windows Update Setup works

After IE6Setup.exe gathers all the needed information from the user and the computer, it downloads the necessary .cab files from one of the official Microsoft distribution servers on the Internet. Because Setup has already inventoried any existing Internet Explorer components on the computer and has already asked the user which components are desired, it does not download any unnecessary .cab files.

The next phase of the Setup Wizard uses the traditional setup program (ACME) used by many Microsoft products. At this point, the only difference between the Setup Wizard and traditional setup is that the .cab files are in a folder on the local hard drive rather than on a removable disk or network drive.

If you are an intranet administrator, you can create a custom setup package (also known as an IExpress package) without rewriting Windows Update Setup. To do that, you create a custom version of IE6Setup.exe using IExpress technology.

You can use additional command-line switches to fine-tune the installation process. For more information, see Internet Explorer Batch-mode Setup Switches.

Customizing Windows Update Setup

You can customize Windows Update Setup in several ways. You can add Internet Explorer components or create up to 10 different Setup options. This extends the Minimal, Typical, and Full options that come with default installations of Internet Explorer. Adding several Setup options can be helpful if your employees have different usage needs and varying disk-space limitations.

Important Important

  • Regardless of the installation options you configure for your package, the Windows Update Setup presents only one installation option to users running the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. This installation option includes the full set of Microsoft Internet components, along with all custom components included in your package.

Perhaps you want to reduce confusion by making certain choices in Setup for your users. You can configure Internet Explorer so that users can install it with little or no intervention. This type of setup is sometimes referred to as a "silent install."

Installations with limited intervention are often used for setting up Internet Explorer after hours, when employees are not at their desks. You can further adapt these types of installations by using command-line switches or batch files. Because you are making choices for the user, you can create only one "silent install" setup option.

If you suppress all user feedback, including error messages and status information, you should make sure your setup plan includes error handling. If you suppress restarting after installation, you'll need to handle restarting in your custom program or script to ensure that Internet Explorer is set up correctly. For more information on these options, see Silent Install.

You might find it convenient to install your own custom components (such as virus-checking programs or scripts) when you install Internet Explorer. You can include up to 10 custom components in your custom package.

You can also alter the appearance of the Setup program by adding your own bitmap and including custom descriptions for your different setup options.

For an illustration of how branding is applied to your customized browser, see How Customization Works. For a flowchart of what happens when you use the Internet Explorer 6 Customization Wizard to create your customized package, see How the IEAK Generates Custom Packages.

Log files that record setup problems

Enhanced logging features simplify user, administrator, and Microsoft troubleshooting of setup problems. The Setup Wizard creates the following two log files that help you pinpoint any issues that may occur. The log files appear in either the Windows or WinNT folder:

  • Active Setup Log.txt. Logs all actions during the Setup Wizard or component installation. Refer to this log if Internet Explorer components are not installed properly. For more information, see Error Log Information for Active Setup Log.txt.

  • RunOnceEx Log.txt. Logs all actions during Dynamic Link Library registration. Refer to this log if you receive a message stating that a specific .dll file did not register properly, or if any unexpected dialog box appears during the final phase of the setup process.

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