Creating a 'Full' Sophos Cloud Windows installer to minimize initial bandwidth utilization

  • Article ID: 121318
  • Rating:
  • 5 customers rated this article 4.8 out of 6
  • Updated: 24 Jul 2015

By default the Sophos Cloud endpoint installer is a 'slim installer' in that it needs to connect to the Internet during the installation to download further software.  This article provides information on how to package up the Sophos Cloud installer for Windows computers in order to prevent a large initial update from the Internet.  This 'full installer' package may also be referred to as a 'fat installer'.

This may be required where:

  • One or more computers have limited bandwidth to the Internet.
  • A caching proxy server is not available or inappropriate for one or two computers.  For more information on configuring a caching proxy see article 121131.


  • It is not currently possible to create a fat installer for the Mac OS X package.
  • In order to provide the maximum benefit on an ongoing basis you may need to re-create the package at regular intervals, for example every two or three months.  
  • The resultant package will be around 160 MB.
  • The default command line run by the installer is 'SophosInstall.exe -q'.  If you need to change this, for example to remove a competitor product, please update the strCommandToInstall variable in the VBS file attached later in this article.  A list of supported switches for SophosInstall.exe can be found in article 120613.
  • It is a requirement of this method that when running the installer, the computers are connected to the Internet in order to perform connectivity checks and their initial registration with Sophos Cloud.  Without an internet connection the installation will fail.
  • The install time of the package will take longer due to the unpacking stage.

Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)
Sophos Cloud

Operating systems

What To Do

Gathering the files required to build the installer

  1. Install the Sophos Cloud client to one template Windows computer and ensure it is fully up to date.
  2. Locate the 'Warehouse' directory on the up to date computer, this can be found in the following locations:
    • Vista+: 'C:\ProgramData\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Data\'.
    • XP/2003: 'C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application data\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Data\'.
    Note: The operating system may have hidden the folder. Refer to the Microsoft article on to show hidden files, for example, for Windows 7/8
  3. Right click on the 'Warehouse' directory and choose 'Send To' - 'Compressed (zipped) folder'.  This will generate the file ''.
    Note: Any archiving application that can generate a zip file could be used for this operation.
  4. Download a copy of the Sophos Cloud installer, 'SophosInstall.exe' from you Sophos Cloud account.
    Important: Ensure you use the generic download installer found under 'Downloads' rather than a user specific emailed installer.
  5. Download the following Visual Basic script file 'SophosInstall.txt' and rename the file to 'SophosInstall.vbs' once downloaded.

Creating the self-extracting installer

You should now have the following files:

  • SophosInstall.exe
  • SophosInstall.vbs

Note: The following steps focus on one specific method of creating a self extracting archive using the Windows in-built application 'IExpress'.  There are a number of common third-party utilities such as 7-Zip that are cable of creating a self-extracting archive which can run a command line such as SophosInstall.exe -q.  For more information on possible command line parameters to SophosInstall.exe see article 120613.  

Important: If you intend on using IExpress to generate the package, it is recommended to carry out the following steps on Windows XP/2003 computer if you will need to run the package on these platforms.  During testing, creating a package using iexpress.exe on a Windows 7 computer failed to run run on an XP computer but creating the package on XP ran successfully on Windows 7 as an example.

  1. Launch 'IExpress' by running the command 'iexpress.exe'.

  2. Choose 'Create new Self Extraction Directive file.', click  'Next'.

  3. Choose 'Extract files and run an installation command.', click 'Next'.

  4. Give the package a title for example: 'Sophos Cloud Full Installer.', click 'Next'.

  5. In this example, we will create a package with no user interaction, with that in mind choose 'No prompt.', click 'Next'.

  6. Choose 'Do not display a license.', click 'Next'.

  7. Add the three files:
    • SophosInstall.exe
    • SophosInstall.vbs

    Click 'Next' once all three files have been added.

  8. On the 'Install Program to Launch page, under 'Install Program' enter the command:
    cscript.exe //b //nologo SophosInstall.vbs

    The 'Post Install Command' can remain at <None>.

  9. Choose 'Hidden' as the 'Show Window' option and click 'Next'.

  10. Choose 'No message', click 'Next'.

  11. Give the package a name such as:
    Check the options:
    • 'Hide File Extracting Progress Animation from User'.
    • Store files using 'Long File Names inside Package'. Clicking 'Yes' to ignore the message about Windows 95 computers.
  12. Unless required, Choose the 'No restart' option and click 'Next'.

  13. It is recommended to save a Self Extraction Directive (SED) file to disk to help automate the rebuild of the package in the future.  Once complete click 'Next'.

  14. Click 'Next' on the 'Create package' page to initiate the build process.  

  15. Click 'Finish'.  You should now have a 'SophosInstallFull.exe' file in the location specified in step 11 above.

This full installer can be run on multiple computers to install the Sophos Cloud client.  Once the computers register with Sophos Cloud, users will be automatically created from the logged on username.  These can be edited later as required to better reflect the user of the device.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

Rate this article

Very poor Excellent