As part of the ongoing development of my unattended Windows XP build, I need to install core applications without any user intervention. Anybody who has attempted any form of application packaging will know that it is something of a black art and whilst many applications install with standard InstallShield/MSIExec command line switches, quite a few do not. So far, with my limited set of applications, I haven’t had to resort to using the Windows Scripting Host SendKeys method but I’m sure its just a matter of time.
The developers of Unattended, a Windows deployment system have written an excellent summary of performing unattended/silent installations using the many popular application installers.
Other references that have been useful are the AppDeploy.com Package Knowledge Base and the Microsoft Software Forum Network (MSFN) application switches forum (although that can take some time to navigate to find the latest information for a given application).