Saturday, April 02, 2011

Automate Windows software installation with Ninite

If you frequently setup Windows PCs for others, or even yourself, then this little tool will come in real handy. Installing the same set of software over and over on multiple machines becomes a chore fast. Ninite is a much better option if you're looking for silent installation of popular Windows software.

Ninite at work
For starters, it's a small customised download that's also portable. No installation required. The Nanite installer you download is completely self-contained and can be run on multiple machines. It will download the installation files for your selected software and silently install them for you.

Ninite also automatically rejects toolbar installations. Lots of software will bundle toolbars and their silent installation commands will also silently install those toolbars whether you want them or not. Ninite just installs the software you want.

If you already have some, or all, the software installed it's still OK to run Ninite. If there's a newer version of installed software it'll upgrade to the newer version for you. Needless to say, it also downloads and installs the latest stable release it can find.

The downside is Ninite provides installations mainly for free software. There's a Microsoft Office trial version that it can install for you but you'll need to buy a licensed copy of Office to activate it, of course.

Installing software is usually a boring series of mouse clicks on Windows. But there's no need to actually bother doing all that. Particularly, if you maintain computers for friends or family.

Related posts:

Technician's toolbox - malicious software removal tools
Technician's toolbox - system maintenance tools
Technician's toolbox - Ultimate Boot CD