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Check out the section "How to perform a custom installation of ArcGIS Desktop silently" on the following link:
Python is listed as a Miscellaneous feature.
I have Python installed, but that does not include the Python Windows extensions.
Interesting question. I think you're close.
Obviously this won't work if Python is not first installed.
I'll play with the Jordan Rinke suggested steps and see if I can cook up a recipe suitable for command line or scripted deployment.
Looking at the Rinke's write up and your error--did you extract the "contents" of the two folders, PLATLIB and SCRIPTS into the c:\python26\arcgis10.0\lib\site-packages folder? Or did you incorrectly extract the whole folders there?
Suggest you use 7zip to open the installer package, and use that to copy out contents.
Believe Rinke's suggestion (with input from Mark Hammond) was to end up with the pywin32_postinstall.py in the site-packages folder along with the contents from the PLATLIB folder.
Looking at a GUI install, the PLATLIB folder contents do end up in lib\site-packages with the default installation.
Make that adjustment and see if you have better result. And if that's good, still a little more work to prep the folders for command line or batch scripted deployment.
I've verified that this works correctly with the installer from the DVD, or a newer SourceForge Python for Windows project download, if you extract the contents of the installer into the site-packages folder.
Change directory into to the lib\site-packages folder and issue the command:
python pywin32_postinstall.py -quiet -install
Or from anywhere (assuming your $PYTHONPATH variable is set)
python C:\Python2.6\ArcGIS10.0\lib\site-packages\python\pywin32_postinstall.py -quiet -install
You can remove the postinstall script once finished.
You still need to deal with extracting the folder contents from the PyWin32-xxx.win32-py2.6.exe installer and deploying them to the Python2.6 lib\site-packages folder in advance of your "silent" install.
Something to consider, installing "silent" this way does not call the bdist_wininst routines that Mark Hammond uses in the PyWin32 installer. So there are no add/remove program hooks laid down, and a WISE style log of the install is not recorded. Meaning that if you later need to maintain or update the Python for Windows package you will need to manually uninstall the package and adjust registry. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.