Sliently Install QuickBooks Accountant 2019

Successfully Tested On: Windows 10 Enterprise versions 1803 - 2004, Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) version 1607, Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) versions 2015 - 2019

I was recently tasked with creating a silent SCCM application installer for QuickBooks Accountant 2019. There was a surprisingly lack of information and documentation from Intuit on how to accomplish this. Luckily with some deep searching and past experience, I was able to come up with a silent method that worked.

Find the .MSI

The installer source files I was provided are pictured:

I was not able to find a way to execute Setup.exe silently, however inside the QBooks folder is a QuickBooks.msi.

Install Orca

Microsoft’s MSI editor Orca allows us to create a transform (.MST) file using QuickBooks.msi which, when executed together, will run a silent install. We will no longer need or use the Setup.exe file.

Orca is only officially available in the Windows SDK. It is provided as an Orca.msi file which can be ran after installing Windows SDK to then install the Orca.exe file.

SDK is what we’ll stick to in this post, but note that Orca can also be downloaded from unofficial sources around the web without installing all of SDK.  And with SDK being such a large set of components (multiple GBs), this can be a good option for some (just use a search engine to find it).

The download for Windows SDK is going to depend on your operating system, and they can all be found on Microsoft’s download website:

Once SDK is there, the default location for the Orca.msi is located at: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0\bin

NOTE: The above location may vary depending on versioning.

Once the Orca.msi is ran, Orca will be available under Start > All Programs.

Create a Transform File

Open Orca, then use File > Open to browse to the QuickBooks.msi file. Then from the Transform menu select New Transform.

From the menu on the left select the Property table. Then in the right-hand pane, change the following property values:

PROPERTYNEW VALUE
PARENTAPPINSTALLMANAGER
QBMAJORVERSION29
QB_IS_SUBSCRIPTION1
QbKeyCodeValidValid
STRATUMstandard_stratum


Any of the rows and values you’ve modified should be outlined in green.

Still in the Property table, in the right-hand pane right-click and select Add Row. Add each of the following new properties as new rows with values:

NEW PROPERTYNEW VALUE
INSTALLDIRC:\Program Files (x86)\Intuit\QuickBooks 2019\
QB_LICENSENUMYourLicenseHere (e.g. 1234-5678-1234-567)
QB_PRODUCTNUM946-528
INSTALLID_ACCOUNTANT946-528
LICENSENUMBER_ACCOUNTANTYourLicenseHere (e.g. 1234-5678-1234-567)
NUMUSERLICENSE3
QB_LAYES
QBPROANDUP1
QBUPGRADEORNEWnew
QBVERSION_APP29.0
REBOOTS
SETUPINIPRODUCTQuickBooks Premier Edition 2019
SETUPINIVERSION29
UNIQUE_NAMEaccountant
ISW_LICENSENUM0
ISW_PRODUCTNUM0
BLDSTRATUM1
INSTALLMANAGER1


Now select the LaunchCondition table from the left-hand menu. In the right-hand pane, right-click the condition titled (PARENTAPP=”INSTALLMANAGER”) OR (QB_MORPH=1) OR (ADDREMOVE) OR (REMOVE=”ALL”) OR (PARENTAPP=”QBPatch”) OR (Installed AND (REMOVE<>”ALL”)) and select Drop Row. This should put a green strikethrough over the entire row.

Finally, from the Transform menu select Generate Transform and save the file as QuickBooks.mst (or whatever name you prefer) in the same QBooks folder that our original QuickBooks.msi file.

You should now have both the QuickBooks.msi and QuickBooks.mst files next to each other within the source files:

Run a Silent Install

Finally we can run the silent install using the .MSI and .MST together with the following command: msiexec /i “QuickBooks.msi” TRANSFORMS=”Quickbooks.mst” /q

The Caveats

While this process will silently install QuickBooks Accountant 2019, there are a couple of items that I wasn’t able to figure out how to include in the silent install. Therefore two process need to be done manually after the install:

  1. Run QuickBooks and click the Activate button. Activation will happen quickly since the product codes have already been injected by the silent install.
  2. From the QuickBooks > Help menu, complete updates. This takes care of a DLL error that will pop up prior to updating.

While this process certainly isn’t the cleanest, it’s the closest I could come to creating a fully silent installer for QuickBooks Accountant 2019.

2 comments

  1. Great article!! I wanted to add that I needed to change the property AgreeToLicense to Yes in order for the install to work. I have created a step by step walk through for what worked for me on QuickBooks Enterprise 2021 on my website https://www.fabozzi.net/silent-install-quickbooks/

    Do you know of anyway to automate the selection of your edition when first opening QuickBooks? It appears that QuickBooks runs some sort of routine after selecting Contractor Edition for example.

    This key gets created HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Intuit\QuickBooks\31.0\belcontractor and I notice QBW32EnterpriseContractor.exe gets created in C:\Program Files (x86)\Intuit\QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 21.0 folder.

    Like

    1. Nice article, Anthony, thanks for linking. I am not seeing an edition popup like you are when working with 2019, so possibly there have been some changes to 2021 that are resulting in that. It would certainly be nice if Intuit would just design their product to be more enterprise friendly!

      Like

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