Microsoft is adopting a consistent set of command-line switches that you can use to deploy packages that contain software updates, such as security updates, critical updates, and hotfixes. This article describes these new command-line switches and their behaviors.
Note Packages that support these new command-line switches also support earlier command-line switches for backwards compatibility. However, usage of the earlier switches should be discontinued as this support may be removed in future software updates.
For additional information about current command-line switches that are used by IExpress packages, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
197147 Command-line switches for IExpress software update packages
For additional information about command-line switches that are used by Windows software update packages, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
262841 Command-line switches for Windows software update packages
For additional information about command-line switches used by Windows Installer, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
For additional information about the standard terminology that Microsoft is adopting to describe software updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
Microsoft is adopting the following command-line switches for software update packages:
/help; /h; /? - Displays a dialog box that shows the correct usage of the Setup command, including a list of all its command-line switches and their behaviors. You can display this help information in the command-line interface (CLI) or the graphical user interface (GUI). If you use any command-line switch incorrectly, this help switch is invoked and the correct usage is displayed. The dialog box also provides references to more online information.
/quiet - Runs the Setup program or the removal program in "quiet" mode. The program does not prompt the user with any messages. The program enters all messages in a log file. By default, the program restarts the computer with no prompt or warning if the process requires a restart for the changes to take effect. To change the default restart behavior, use a different restart mode.
/passive - Runs the Setup program or the removal program in "passive" mode. The program does not prompt the user with any error messages. The user sees a progress bar that indicates that the installation or the removal is occurring. The user cannot cancel the installation or the removal. By default, the program invokes the /warnrestart switch. If the program is installing multiple updates, the progress bar indicates the progress of the installation or the removal for each update.
/norestart - Does not restart the computer after the installation or the removal, even if the process requires a restart for the changes to take effect.
/forcerestart - Restarts the computer after the installation or the removal, even if the process does not require a restart for the changes to take effect. Restarting forces programs that are running to close.
/warnrestart[:x] - Invokes a dialog box that warns the user that a restart will occur in x seconds (in 30 seconds if no value is specified). For example, to warn that a restart will occur in 60 seconds, type /warnrestart:60. The dialog box contains a Cancel button and a Restart Now button. If the user clicks Cancel, the computer is not restarted.
/promptrestart - Prompts the user that the computer must be restarted for the changes to take effect. The user can select whether to restart the computer.
/uninstall - Removes the package.
/log - Enables the user to define the path for the local log file. This switch invokes the default logging behavior.
/extract - Enables you to extract the installation files to a specified folder.