How to test an installation before you create it

Before you actually create an installation package on your hard drive or USB stick, with Visual Installer, you can test it. You can step through all setup dialog boxes in your project and simulate an installation of you files. The tip below explains how to do it:

1. Start Visual Installer.
2. Open a current Visual Installer project or create a new one.
3. Open the File menu.
4. Choose Test on the menu.
5. In the dialog box that is opened, click on the Start simulation button.

Now the simulation will start.

The simulation will look like a real installation, but no files are copied and no folders are created. The Registry will also remain untouched. There will be no changes in the computer at all, so you can run it safely to test your installation.

More tips
More tips for Visual Installer are available here:
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic Visual Installer

SamLogic’s Newsletter Issues in 2018

We have an international newsletter that is targeted for our international customers where we publish information and news related to our products and our company. We send the newsletter about 6 times/year. In the newsletter you can read about:

  • Information about SamLogic Software´s products
  • Tips and tricks for SamLogic Software´s programs
  • Technical and non-technical articles
  • Videos (tip videos and information videos etc.)
  • Special offers

Below you can view all newsletter issues that we sent during 2018:

> 06/2018 – Visual Installer now supports EV code signing
> 05/2018 – More information about the new Visual Installer 2018 and CD-Menu Creator 2018
> 04/2018 – Visual Installer 2018 and CD-Menu Creator 2018 has now been released
> 03/2018 – How to write-protect a file after installation (when using Visual Installer)
> 02/2018 – How to use the log function in Visual Installer
> 01/2018 – Top Lists 2017 – Most read articles, read blog posts and viewed videos

Subscribe to our newsletter
If you want to subscribe to our newsletter you can visit the web page below:
> Subscribe to SamLogic Software’s newsletter

How to change source folder paths for a group of files

Sometimes it is necessary to change source folder paths for a group of files in Visual Installer’s file list. This is necessary if for example some files have been moved to another folder location or if you change computer and the folder paths that are used in the new computer are different. But luckily, this is very easy done in Visual Installer. In the tip below we show how to do this.

How to change source folder paths for a group of files

1. Start Visual Installer and open your Visual Installer project file (.VIP file).
2. Open the List – Replace – Replace source folders menu item (see picture below).

List - Replace - Replace source folders

3. Enter the existing folder path and the new folder path in the dialog box that is shown.

Search and replace source folder

4. Click OK in the dialog box to do the replace operation.

Now every folder path that match the criteria will be updated in the file list.

To make sure that folder paths are correct spelled and really exists on the drive, you can hit the F5 button. If the folders do not exists, Visual Installer will show a warning message and show which files in the file list that have wrong folder paths.

See also
> How to view source paths in the file list in Visual Installer

How to make sure that a shortcut (icon) is created for all Windows accounts

In Visual Installer you can choose whether you want to add shortcuts (icons) for the Windows account that is used to install your files, or for all Windows accounts in the computer.

Mostly the Windows account that is used for installation is the same as the Windows account that is used to run the software or access the files. But this is not always the case. If different Windows accounts are used for installation and for daily use, you might end in a situation where there is no shortcut (icon) to access your software or files.

To prevent that this situation occurs, you can open the Program group / menu dialog box (via the List menu) in Visual Installer, and make sure that the Create program group / menu for all users option is selected in the dialog box. If not, you can select this option.

Program group / Menu

Now your shortcuts (icons) will be accessible for all users (all Windows accounts) in the computer. This affects also desktop shortcuts and other types of shortcuts.

Visual Installer now supports EV code signing

Nowadays it is very important to code sign installation packages. This increases the security and gives less warning messages in Windows and in web browsers.

Since many years back our setup tool Visual Installer has supported standard digital certificates, but in the last update of Visual Installer we have also added support for EV digital certificates. EV digital certificates increases the security even more and the risk for warning messages in Windows and in web browsers (for example in Chrome, Edge and Internet Explorer) is reduced to almost zero. EV digital certificates are more trusted by Windows and web browsers than standard digital certificates.

Updated ‘Setup Options’ dialog box in Visual Installer
The Code Signing tab in the Setup Options dialog box in Visual Installer has been updated to also support EV code signing. An EV digital certificate is always distributed on a USB token and we have added a new option to the Code Signing tab that handles digital certificates on USB tokens. The name of the new option is My digital certificate is located on a USB token and if you select this option, Visual Installer will get the digital certificate from the USB token when a setup package is created.

You can see the new My digital certificate is located on a USB token option in the dialog box picture below:

Visual Installer - Setup Options

Alla binary files that are distributed are EV code signed
As an addition to the above, all SamLogic’s binary files that are distributed to end-users has been code signed with an EV digital certificate. This reduced the risk that Windows reacts (gives a warning message) after a setup package has been unpacked and all files extracted.

See also
> Article: Extended Validation (EV) Code Signing in Windows 8 / Windows 10
> Blog: The file information window now displays info about digital certificates

Visual Installer: The XRUN command now also supports OS and bitness

The XRUN script command in Visual Installer has been updated and extended to handle two more parameters: %OS and %Bitness. These two parameters are optional and allows you to specify in which Windows version and with which Windows bitness (32 bit/64 bit) the program file that XRUN starts can be run in. Below are some more information about the two parameters:

%OS
The %OS parameter is an optional parameter that specifies in which operating system (Windows version) the program can be run in. You can specify if the program can be run in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or in any Windows. If you omit this parameter the program will be run in any Windows version.

%Bitness
The %Bitness parameter is an optional parameter that specifies which bitness (32 bit or 64 bit) the operating system (Windows version) must have to let the program start. The program will only be run if the Windows bitness match the bitness that you specify via this parameter. If you omit this parameter the program will be run in a Windows of any bitness (both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows).

Syntax
The definition of XRUN, with all of its parameters, is now:

XRUN %Filename, %Flag, %Param, %OS, %Bitness

The Filename parameter specifies the filename of the executable file. The Flag parameter informs Visual Installer how to start the program. The Param parameters specifies command line parameters to the executable file (if used). And the OS and Bitness parameters are described above

Examples of usage
The example below starts MyWin7App.exe if the operating system is Windows 7. If the operating system is anything else, for example Windows 10, the program is never run.

XRUN  %DESTDIR\MyWin7App.exe, 1, “”, 7

The example below starts MyWin7App.exe if the operating system is a 64 bit Windows 7. If the operating system or bitness is anything else the program is never run.

XRUN  %DESTDIR\MyWin7App.exe, 1, “”, 7, 64

More information about the XRUN command and the %OS and %Bitness parameters is available in Visual Installer´s User Guide.

See also
> Visual Installer’s Scripting Language

CD-Menu Creator: Creation date of a menu is automatically saved

A date field has been added to the Version tab in CD-Menu Creator’s editor. This new field will be automatically updated with the date of the last creation of the menu. Every time you create a menu, this field will be automatically updated with current date.

The picture below shows an example of how it may look (in the Version tab):

Last Created

You can now see in an easy way when you last created or updated a menu interface.