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How To Create a Single EXE Install of Internet Explorer

This article was previously published under Q185375
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Applications that use WinInet (WININET.dll), URL Monikers (URLMON.dll), the Web Browser Control (SHDOCVW.dll), or any other Internet Explorer 4.0 technology require at least the minimal install of Internet Explorer 4.0 on Users' systems in order to work correctly. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) can be used to produce a redistribution of Internet Explorer.

The IEAK typically creates a directory of several files for inclusion on aCD or other installation medium. This article details steps to use theIExpress utility included with the IEAK to build a special single file self-extracting EXE redistribution package.
More information
NOTE: Applications that only require Internet Explorer 3.0 functionalityand work correctly in an Internet Explorer 3.0 environment can use theAxdist.exe and Wintdist.exe redistributables included with the ActiveX SDK. Applications that use either of these redistributable packages must verifythat Internet Explorer 3.0x or higher does not exist on any installmachines before installing either package. See the REFERENCES section belowfor links to relevant topics in the Internet Client SDK.

Use of AXDIST and WINTDIST is not recommended. The use of special DLLredistribution packages can be the cause of unanticipated futureapplication compatibility problems and is therefore generally discouraged.

Steps for Creating a Single File Self-Extracting EXE Install

These terse steps were designed with the explicit goal of designing a"minimal impact" redistributable EXE for an ISV-type installation.Developers should feel free to diverge from any settings or steps listedbelow; the IEAK was designed especially to allow for a wide variety ofcustom installation methods. In all cases, refer to the IEAK Documentationfor more in-depth information about use of the IEAK to create custompackages.
  1. Follow the steps on the IEAK site to register, obtain an IEAK license, and download the IEAK. You will receive both a password to login to the IEAK site and a 10-digit confirmation number that allows access to the IEAK Wizard once it is installed.
  2. Run the IEAK Wizard. For options pages not listed below, choose the setting appropriate to your application.
  3. On the Property page for "Select Media to Distribute Your Browser," select CD-ROM and a valid destination folder.
  4. On the property page for "Select Installation Options," Delete the"Standard Installation" and "Full Installation" options.
  5. On the Property page for "Specify Download URLs," select an appropriate URL. This will not be used for the final install package, but the IEAK Wizard will not allow you to proceed without specifying one.
  6. On the Property page for "Customize the Welcome Message," choose "Do not display a welcome page" and select "Disable Internet Explorer 4.0 Welcome window."
  7. On the property page for "Select Channel or Category," choose "Do not add any channels." On the next page, delete all of the offered channels from the list box.
  8. Follow the rest of the pages to finish the IEAK process. The resulting files will be placed in the target directory specified.
  9. From the target directory specified during the IEAK Wizard, go to the WIN95_NT\CD\Win95\En\packages directory (henceforth called the "packages" directory.) Once there, run the following command line:
    ie4setup /c /t:"<full path to temporary unpack directory>"
    Copy the files unpacked from ie4setup back to the "packages" directory.
  10. In the "packages" directory, delete these files:

    • (unless you want Web Integrated Shell)
    • " "
    • Iecd.ini
    • VInstall.ins
    • Isk*.*
  11. Go to your IEAK Program directory and then the tools subdirectory (\Program Files\IEAK\tools). If Wextract.exe is missing from this directory, locate it from (\Program Files\IEAK\iebin\EN\Optional) and copy it into the tools directory.
  12. Run Iexpress.exe. Use all defaults unless specified otherwise.
  13. On the "Packaged Files" property page, select Add, then browse to the "packages" directory and add all files in that directory.
  14. IMPORTANT: For "Install Program" on the "Installation Program to" page, use the following complete line:
    ie4wzd.exe /Q:A /X /I:N /R:N
    If you want to display progress information while IE is installing, substitute /Q:U for /Q:A:
    ie4wzd.exe /Q:U /X /I:N /R:N
    (The /Q:U switch is omitted in the current IEAK docs and is only supported on recent versions of the IEAK.)

    Feel free to change any of the other options. These are described in the IEAK documentation.
  15. When given reboot options, select "No Reboot."
  16. Complete the IExpress Wizard with the default options and use the resultant EXE as a self-installing Internet Explorer package in the desired applications which use Internet Explorer functionality. You MUST reboot after your application installation; Internet Explorer will not function properly until after the system has been rebooted.
How to version check Internet Explorer -- Internet Client SDK: InternetTools & Technologies; Reusing the WebBrowser and MSHTML; Licensing andDistribution - Determining the Internet Explorer Version from Shdocvw.dll

Command line options for IE4WZD as used in step #14 -- IEAK Help:Reference; Internet Explorer Batch Mode Setup Switches

IEAK Web site --

ActiveX SDK for Internet Explorer 3.0x --


Article ID: 185375 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 02:35:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1, Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0

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