Tarma Setup 1.x

Note: The products on this page are no longer maintained and may be incompatible with current Windows versions and software standards such as HTML.

No technical support is available for this free tool.

Tarma Setup is a complete software installer/uninstaller for Windows 95, 98 and NT4 applications. Its design goals are to provide Windows-compliant install/uninstall functionality with a small distribution size, a straightforward user interface, smart install and uninstall behavior, and simple setup specification and installation log files.

You get a choice of two user interface styles:

Windows 95 style
Tarma Installer, Windows 95 style

Windows 2000 style
Tarma Installer, Windows 2000 style

A single Setup.exe file of only 50 KB contains everything required to install, register, and remove software applications on Windows 9x/NT platforms. With the exception of the installation script, no additional files are required - everything is built in, including all registration facilities from ActiveX to generic REGEDIT4 files. Its flexibility and small size ensure that it loads very quickly and is suitable in many situations, including setup packages intended for downloading over the Internet and diskette-based distributions.


Tarma Setup offers the following features:

  • Microsoft Windows-compliant software installation and removal
  • Straightforward user interface, requiring minimal user interaction for both installation and removal
  • Optional Readme (before and after installation) and License Agreement pages
  • User-selectable installation folder with sensible defaults
  • Creation of application shortcuts on the Windows Desktop, Start menu, and/or Programs folder, at the user's discretion
  • Creation of an application folder with additional shortcuts under the Programs folder of the Windows Start menu
  • Installation of new or modified files, including the creation of all required folders
  • Built-in support for the registration of DLLs, ActiveX controls, device drivers, type libraries, and REGEDIT4 files - no need for separate regsvr32.exe, regini.exe, or other registration utilities
  • Delayed installation of (system) files that are in use during the installation process
  • Post-boot registration of DLLs, ActiveX controls, type libraries, etc. if necessitated by delayed installation of new files
  • Platform-dependent installation of file groups to allow different installation configurations for Windows 95, 98, and NT4
  • One-click uninstall functionality that completely removes all installed components: files, folders, shortcuts, registry entries, and the uninstaller itself
  • Smart uninstall of shared files - will correctly and without user intervention remove or retain shared (system) files even if their SharedDlls reference counts are unreliable
  • Application-accessible and fully documented installation log to allow the installed application to modify the items listed for removal
  • Small distribution size: a single executable of only 58 KB incorporates all install/registration/uninstall functionality. The accompanying Setup.ini file is typically 2-5 KB, depending on the application being installed

Tarma Installer in Uninstall mode

Tarma Setup relies on external compression/archiving software for packaging; self-extracting WinZip or WinRAR archives are excellent choices for this purpose. However, you can also use Tarma Installer without them.

Supported platforms

Tarma Setup runs on Microsoft Windows 95, 98 and NT4; Intel x86 versions only (where applicable). It has not been tested on Windows 2000 or Windows ME, but is believed to run on those platforms as well.

Note The Windows 2000-style user interface does NOT require special operating system support or updates; it will run on any supported 32-bits Windows platform, including the original (August 1995) Windows 95 edition.

How to use it

To use Tarma Setup for your application, this is what you need to do.

  1. Collect all distribution files required by your application and place them in a separate installation image directory, say C:\MyApp\Setup. Optionally, you may add Readme and License Agreement files to the image directory. You should also place a copy of Setup.exe and a skeleton Setup.ini file in the image directory.
  2. Edit the contents of Setup.ini to reflect your installation needs. This process is described in greater detail in the Tarma Installer User Guide.
  3. Run TSURefresh to update all file sizes and check for any missing files.
  4. Test your setup configuration by running Setup.exe from your image directory.
  5. [Optional] Using WinZip, WinRAR, or a similar utility, create a self-extracting compressed distribution package. Hints and tips on how to do this are given in the Tarma Installer User Guide.

Tarma Installer in Registration mode

That's all there is to it. Most of your work as a developer is done in step 2 where you put together the installation script. The Tarma Installer User Guide contains a detailed explanation of the contents of the Setup.ini file and the general operation of Tarma Installer. A skeleton Setup.ini file is included with the distribution.

The Tarma Setup distribution contains the Tarma Installer User Guide.