3 Ways to Create MST Files

MST Files

If you regularly use MSI files to install apps without disturbing end users, then MST files are going to help you make modifications that help you meet business demands. As such, this post will tell you how you can create MST files using a dedicated tool. Although you can use Windows to open MST files, it is only by opening MST files with a dedicated tool will you be able to edit them to your requirements.

MST Files What are they?

A .mst or MS Transform file allows you to customise an MSI file. They make it possible to:

  • Disable updates.
  • Add or remove files and shortcuts.
  • Change registry settings.
  • Apply upgrades.

And quite a bit more.

How to Create a Blank MST

To create a blank MST do the following:

  • Open your MSI Editor and click on the MENU Tab.
  • Select New MST.
  • You will be invited to specify the name and location for your MSI file, so do this.
  • Make necessary changes to your MSI database and click 

Create a Response MST

Response MST installs MSI packages and it contains your input files and other ‘responses’ to the installation dialogue options. They capture the Windows Installer dialogue changes to the MSI file, saving them to the Response MST file. Better tools will allow you to simulate the processes so no changes to the live system are made.

To create a Response MST open:

  • Your software and select Package, Virtualize from the Tasks tab.
  • Click Create response transform.
  • Select your MSI package for tailoring, then click 
  • Open the MSI package you want to work on.
  • If you want to specify an additional MST select Apply Transform. Here, you can specify public properties to the Command Line Transform before tailoring. Should the package not run due to installation conditions not being satisfied, click Ignore MSI Launch.
  • Click 
  • As the dialogue boxes present themselves choose the options you want saving to your response transform.
  • Review the captured changes using the corresponding tabs and the add and remove buttons. The choices specified will be saved to the Response Transform.
  • Click Next and change the name and location if you want to by clicking Browse. When you click Finish the MST file will be created.

Capture System Changes to MST

It is possible to capture system changes made to the MST file. This can be from source installation or user specification. To make this happen, go:

  • Tasks, Package, Virtualize.
  • Specify if you are capturing remotely or locally.
  • Make necessary changes to the file system and registry that you want to be included in the MST file.
  • Click Finish Capturing. This may take a while to complete.
  • Go through the project tabs to review. Ensure you remove captured files and registry entries that you are almost 100% sure are unneeded. Firefox application for example.
  • Use Package Generator to open the capturing project.
  • Select Package, MST.
  • Click Browse and select the MSI package relevant to your MST file. Click 
  • Review both the Application Details and Transform If you’re happy click Build-MST. This will be created in the MST subfolder of the project file.

Use Go-to option to open the project folder.

MST Tools

It is a good idea to get a good editor to keep the process as straightforward as possible. For more information visit Microsoft.


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