[Rd] testing a Windows custom installer

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Wed Jul 20 18:18:35 CEST 2011

Dear Duncan,

First, thanks to Duncan and others for addressing my question.

In light of Duncan's remarks, I've arrived at the following procedure, which
seems to work:

(1) Install R using my custom installer.

(2) Uninstall the newly installed R. This clears the registry but leaves my
other installed versions of R undisturbed.

(3) Reinstall R using the custom installer.

BTW, following this procedure, I found that an option in the installer that
wasn't set the way I want and was able to fix it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Duncan Murdoch [mailto:murdoch.duncan at gmail.com]
> Sent: July-20-11 10:57 AM
> To: John Fox
> Cc: R-devel at r-project.org
> Subject: Re: [Rd] testing a Windows custom installer
> On 20/07/2011 10:29 AM, John Fox wrote:
> > Dear R-devel list members,
> >
> > For several years, I've created a custom R installer for my students
> > who use Windows. When I test the installer on my own Windows machines,
> > selections in the installation dialogs reflect my previous choices,
> > which I suppose are saved in the Windows registry.
> >
> > I'd like to be able to see what a student who has never installed R
> > before will see, to verify that an installation that takes all
> > defaults in the custom installer produces the desired result. In the
> > past, I've dealt with this problem by finding a Windows machine on
> > which R has never been installed, but that's inconvenient (and, as R
> > proliferates will, I hope, become impossible!). Is there a better
> approach?
> The settings are saved to the registry by the installer, Inno Setup, and
> restored automatically (for most of them), or using its
> "GetPreviousData" function (for the R specific ones).  I don't think
> there is a way to tell the installer to ignore the previous data, but
> there might be.
> I believe if you uninstall R then the settings will be forgotten,
> because the settings are saved in locations like
> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\R
> for Windows 2.13.0_is1 in string values named "Inno Setup: *" for the
> ones used internally, and "Inno Setup Codefile:
> *" for the ones specific to R.
> It's probably okay to delete that whole key and then it will forget the
> old settings, but that seems risky.
> There's a command line option to the installer called "/SAVEINF" which
> saves the settings to a file and "/LOADINF" which loads them from a
> file, but I don't see how to tell it to just ignore the registry
> settings.
> Duncan Murdoch

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