Extract files from an MSI package

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Written By Jan Reilink

Windows Server systems administrator & enthusiast.

Windows has the ability to allow the MSI package (.msi file) contents to be extracted using the command line or via a script. I keep forgetting the correct msiexec syntaxis to use to extract files from an .msi file (MSI package), so here is a short post with the command.

To extract all files from a .msi file, use the following msiexec.exe command:

msiexec.exe /a C:\Users\user\path\to\file.msi /qb TARGETDIR=C:\Users\users\temp
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

A more PowerShell way is to:

Start-Process -NoNewWindow msiexec.exe -ArgumentList "/a C:\Users\user\path\to\file.msi /qb TARGETDIR=C:\Users\users\temp" -Wait
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

Make sure you type out full paths and the destination directory must exist.

Msiexec.exe command arguments used:

  • /a: Specifies administrative installation
  • /qb: Specifies there’s a basic UI during the installation process.
  • TARGETDIR=: Represents the installation directory for an InstallScript installation, or for an administrative Windows Installer based installation (when the user runs Setup.exe or MsiExec.exe with the /a command-line switch).

7-Zip can also be used to extract .msi files (read in Dutch β€œ7-Zip installerenβ€œ)

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