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John Paul Cook

Windows 8 SDK and Orca

The Windows 8 SDK has a new version of Orca for those of us who edit msi files. The download is for a small executable, sdksetup.exe which causes the following dialog box to appear. If you only want Orca and you don’t want to install the SDK, override the default and download all of the files to the location of your choice. In this example, the files are downloaded to D:\Media\Windows8\SDK


Figure 1. Downloading the Windows 8 SDK to D:\Media\Windows8\SDK instead of installing it.

Click the Download button to download the files.


Figure 2. Windows 8 SDK full download.

After the files are downloaded, you will find an Installers subfolder underneath the folder you specified. In this example, that would be D:\Media\Windows8\SDK\Installers


Figure 3. Windows 8 SDK download contents.

In the Installers subfolder you will find a Orca-x86_en-us.msi file that contains Orca. You don’t have to run the msi and install Orca. You can just extract it.

Open a command prompt (administrative prompt not required) and enter something similar to the following command to extract the Orca files (I found I had to use a full path for targetdir):

msiexec /a Orca-x86_en-us.msi /qb targetdir=D:\Media\Windows8\OrcaFiles

The extraction process creates an Orca subfolder containing the Orca.exe file. You can run Orca from that folder. It does need the other files in the directory to work. You can copy the entire folder to another location, even another computer and run Orca without installing it.


Figure 4. Orca 5.0.9200.16384

Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:07 PM by John Paul Cook

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Bammer said:

Thanks. This was a good quick way for me jsut to install the laterst version of just ORCA... I didn't need the rest of SDK.

November 14, 2013 8:27 AM

Paul Rohorzka said:

Very helpful post. Thank you.

Just a side note: In my case (latest download of the full Windows 8 SDK from Dec 6th, 2013), the Orca msi resides in ~\bin\x86.

December 6, 2013 2:41 AM

Prasad said:

Thanks. Nice tip on extracting the exe.

December 30, 2014 8:25 AM

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse currently studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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