Saturday, June 25, 2016

Unpacking Inno Installers

Some – but not all – applications that come packaged as “installers” can actually be run “portable” without needing to do the full install.

There are degrees of portability when attempting this. Some applications are truly portable in that they don’t write extra files to the Windows Registry or ProgramData locations but either use their own “local” ini/config files or helper portability wrappers to retain settings and option selections (if available).

Others will run after being unpacked, but may still write settings and changes into the Windows Registry and other system locations.

All that to say, that a common installation packer I encounter is Inno.

Normally, I just run Universal Extractor where I have updated the dated inno unpacker binary with the latest one from innounp to be sure that I can unpack those built with the latest versions.

Or you can try out the newer project UniExtract2 which the author is trying to create an updated and feature enhanced version of Universal Extractor. It’s very nice too though you still may end up having to manually update innounp when a new version comes out.

Anyway, if that is too much overhead, you might want to try one of these Inno-focused unpacker utilites.

  • InnoEx – GUI based extractor. see the Help/tips for more ideas.
  • InnoExtractor – HavySoft
  • innoextract – supports multiple platforms like Windows, Mac OS X, and multiple Linux flavors
  • - A tool to unpack installers created by Inno Setup

Of course if your CLI-fu is strong, you could just keep it old-school and use innounp directly from the command line and be done with it.


--Claus Valca

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