Custom Install Options and Silent Installs from NI Installation Media

Updated Jan 18, 2023

Reported In


  • LabVIEW
  • NI Device Drivers
  • Package Manager

Issue Details

How can I create a custom install option, including silent installs, from a National Instruments installer media?


The installers on National Instruments Installation media like the NI Driver DVD contain a command line switch that allows you to create a custom spec file. You can use these spec files to guide the installation process automatically. It is necessary to create a spec file rather than installing MSI files manually because many drivers have several dependencies.

Create a spec file
To run the spec file generation, execute the following command in a command prompt: 
[path to setup.exe] /generatespecfile [path to spec file destination] 

The spec file is a text file, so you can specify it as an applicable text format, e.g. .txt or .ini.

The spec file generation wizard will open, allowing you to select the options for your spec file. Please note that you are not actually installing anything, even though the spec file generation wizard looks very similar to the installation wizard.

Run the installer with a spec file
To run the installer with the spec file, open the command prompt, and executel the following: 
[path to setup.exe] [path to spec file] /q /AcceptLicenses yes
  • The /q switch will force a quit, silent installation.
  • Alternatively, you can use /qb which will run a quiet installation with a basic UI.
  • The /AcceptLicenses switch will automatically accept all license agreements for you.
  • More options are available, see Customize and Automate Installation of a Single Installer

Additional Information

National Instruments software released after August 2012 may require the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0. If required, the NI Installer installs the .NET Framework 4.0, but you must reboot your computer before continuing to install NI software.

For silent, large-scale distribution of software, NI recommends installing the .NET Framework 4.0 separately before attempting to install NI software. If you attempt to install NI software silently on computers that do not have the .NET Framework 4.0 installed, you will get one of the following return codes:
  • -11641: This code is returned if the .NET Framework 4.0 pre-installation is successful, a reboot is required, and the reboot has been initiated. No NI software is installed.
  • -13010: This code is returned if the .NET Framework 4.0 pre-installation is successful and a reboot is required but is suppressed. The installer simply exited. No NI software is installed. If you attempt to run the installer again with rebooting, you will see the errors discussed in Error 1935 When Installing NI Software .
  • -11603: This code is returned if there is an error with the .NET Framework 4.0 pre-installation. The installer exited, and no NI software is installed.
See Why Do I Get a Prompt to Install the .NET Framework Before Installing NI Software?  for more information on the .NET framework.