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Tools: Redistributable Packages

This page lists some common redistributable files that are available for download from Microsoft. In many cases you will also find these packages in the Redistributable folder of your development system. Be sure to use the proper version, depending on your application and development tools, and target operating system.

IMPORTANT: Please check the mentioned sites to make sure you really get the latest version.

Information about merge modules for Windows Installer can be found here.

Command-Line Switches for Self-Installing Microsoft Files

This is a list of common command-line switches you can use when implementing a self-installing update. You can use these switches with downloadable self-installing update files for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Internet Explorer. These switches do not work with all update files. If a switch does not work, the functionality is necessary for that package. (Taken from article Q197147 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base).

Switch   Definition
/q Quiet mode - Skips all user prompts
/q:u User Quiet mode - Shows some dialog boxes
/q:a Admin Quiet mode - Does not show any dialog boxes
/t:path Extracts the files to the specified path
/c Extract only - Extracts the files without installing them
/c:path Change location of Setup file - Specifies the path to the Setup file if it is different from the default path
/r:n Never restart - Do not restart the computer even if it is necessary to complete the installation
/r:i Restart if necessary - Automatically restart the computer if it is necessary to complete installation
/r:a Always restart - Always restart the computer after installation
/r:s Silent restart - Automatically restart the computer without prompting the user
/n:v No version checking - Install the program over any previous version

Microsoft DLL Database

Microsoft has put together a database of all DLLs, EXEs etc. they distribute with various applications and packages. You can search the database in three ways:

The databse also provides additional information about selfregistration, CLSIDs, location of the file on the distribution media etc.

This comes in very handy if you're wondering where a file is coming from or who had updated it.

WWW Microsoft DLL Help Database

Prerequisite Installers

Microsoft Component Installer Software Development Kit

Microsoft Component Installer Software Development Kit helps you deliver the needed Windows component to your customer in order to run your application. The SDK provides support for installing MDAC, DirectX, .NET Framework, Windows Installer Runtime, in various versions and service packs. The resulting user experience is a small application they can download and run (or run from a CD). It provides the user with a simple wizard user interface that has details on the components that are needed and on the progress of the installation. The customer experience is already localized for over 20 Windows languages and will auto-detect the system locale at launch and will adjust its language as appropriate. After all prerequisites have been successfully installed the tool can execute a custom command (via ShellExecute), e.g. to launch your main setup or to navigate to a wen site. The tool handles reboots and also has a silent mode.

WWW Microsoft Download Center

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is free and freely distributable. It is available for various platforms and in variuos languages.

WWW Acrobat Reader download page

The Acrobat installer can be configured with an INI file. Document Extending the Adobe Installer on Windows® Platform describes the options and required steps.

WWW Acrobat 4.05 SDK Documentation on the Adobe support web site

Common Control Library (COMCTL32.DLL)

To use the latest versions of the common controls with Windows, you must have the latest version of Comctl32.dll installed, which is currently version 5.70.

Use the following command line parameters to install this package silently:

The /r:n parameter prevents the reboot. However, you must reboot before you can use the updated file.

Compatibility: This package requires Window 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0 (SP4 or above).

Another way to update Comctl32.dll is to install the latest version of Internet Explorer.

WWW Microsoft's Comctl32.dll Redistribution page

Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM)

DCOM98 for Windows 98

DCOM98 Version 1.3

DCOM98 version 1.3 is intended for Windows 98 only.

Warning: DCOM98 version 1.3 as available for download through this link may not be redistributed. The only version of DCOM98 that you may distribute is the one that ships with Microsoft Visual Studio.

WWW Microsoft's DCOM98 Download page also includes release notes and licensing and redistribution guidelines

DCOM95 for Windows 95

DCOM95 Version 1.3

DCOM95 version 1.3 is intended for Windows 95 only. It supercedes DCOM95 version 1.2.

WWW Microsoft's DCOM95 Download page also includes release notes and licensing and redistribution guidelines

Uninstalling DCOM95 Version 1.2

Microsoft has published a description of the steps required to uninstall DCOM95 version 1.2 and restore the previous version.

WWW Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q230613


The HTML Help Installation and Update package (Hhupd.exe) is used to install the files required to view help files in the new .chm format.

See also: Book about authoring HTML Help

WWW Download Hhupd.exe

Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC)

To install MDAC as quietly as possible without reboot, use the following command line.

For MDAC versions up to 2.1 (works still with 2.5):

    mdac_typ.exe /q:a /c:\"setup.exe /qn1\"

For MDAC version 2.5 and above:

    mdac_typ.exe /q:a /c:\"dasetup.exe /q /n\"

Note: On Windows 95 you must install DCOM for Windows 95 before installing MDAC 2.0x or 2.1x.

WWW Microsoft Universal Data Access Download page

Related Information

WWW MDAC Installation White Paper

WWW MDAC Installation FAQ

WWW List of Useful MDAC Setup Related Articles

WWW MDAC Component Checker Tool

Installing MDAC with a Windows Installer (MSI) Package

Currently there is no merge module (MSM file) available from Microsoft that could be used to incorporate the MDAC setup into an MSI installer. This means that you have to call mdac_typ.exe as a custom action to install MDAC on a Windows 9x or NT4 system. Microsoft is working on a merge module, but there is no information when it will be available. The Visual Studio Installer (VSI) includes a mdac.msm merge module that will check whether MDAC is installed. However, it will not install MDAC if required. It just pops up a message telling the user to run mdac_typ.exe manually.

Windows 2000 will include MDAC 2.1 or 2.5 as a system component, so if you have a Win2k system, you can safely assume that MDAC is there. The only supported way to install an updated version of MDAC (whenever MDAC 3.0 rolls around) would be via Microsoft-created service packs.

Special thanks to Daniel Odievich for providing the above information

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer and associated tools are available in various languages and for various platforms. Use the Internet Explorer Administration Tool (IEAK) to create a customized IE setup that includes only the parts you need and that can be branded with your company logo etc.

WWW Microsoft Internet Explorer Download page

Visual BasicRun-Time Files

Visual Basic 6.0 Run-Time Files

Latest Service Pack version

WWW Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q235420

Original Release version

WWW Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q192461

Visual Basic 5.0 Run-Time Files

WWW Microsoft VB 5.0 Run-Time Download page

Windows Scripting Host

Windows Script for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4 includes:

It is available in various languages for x86 and Alpha platforms.

Note: On Windows 95 versions before OSR2 you must install Internet Explorer 4.0 or DCOM.

WWW Microsoft Windows Script Technologies site has documentation and downloads

XML Parser

The Microsoft XML Parser is implemented as a COM component, providing a complete XML foundation for Windows DNA applications.

WWW Microsoft XML Parser Redistributable page




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