Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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Earlier this week, a co-worker ran into an error while installing XNA Game Studio on his computer, and he asked me for help figuring out what caused the problem. I realized that I follow essentially the same set of steps to narrow down the root cause every time I run into an XNA Game Studio setup problem. I want to post these steps on my blog to try to help teach people how to identify root causes and hopefully help solve XNA Game Studio setup problems on their own instead of always needing to rely on a setup expert to analyze and interpret their log files.
Here are the steps I use to narrow down the root cause of an XNA Game Studio setup failure:
Bootstrapper.exe Error: 0 : In Task InstallPlatformTools: MSI Task Processor Failed on task: Installing XNA Game Studio Platform Tools \n Please consult C:\Users\myusername\AppData\Local\Temp\XNA Game Studio 4.0 Setup\Logs\xnags_platform_tools-20101025.180123.LOG for additional log information.
You can see a specific example of this technique in this blog post about troubleshooting XnaLiveProxy installation problems.
The above steps will not work for 100% of all possible XNA Game Studio setup failures, but based on my past experience, they will work in most cases. Finding the root cause is only the first step, and the steps you need to take to solve a setup problem will vary depending on what the root cause is. I’ve found that some setup problems have solutions that are pretty self-explanatory once you know what the root cause is though, so hopefully the above steps will help some people be able to more quickly diagnose and solve XNA Game Studio installation problems.
As always, if you run into a problem that you are unsure of the resolution for or if you have trouble interpreting the information in the XNA Game Studio setup log files, please post a comment on the App Hub forums and/or contact me. When posting on the forums, please zip your XNA Game Studio setup log files, upload the zip file to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com) and include a link to the log files in your post to allow us to investigate and offer workarounds more quickly.
XNA Game Studio setup log file locations
XNA Game Studio setup creates setup log files at the following locations:
As noted on the XNA Game Studio team blog today, the Xbox LIVE Indie Games publishing pipeline is now accepting XNA Game Studio 4.0 games in addition to XNA Game Studio 3.1 games. This was originally scheduled to be enabled last Friday, but it slipped out a few days due to a couple of last minute issues that we ran into at the end of last week. As a result, the 90 day window when you will still be able to submit XNA Game Studio 3.1 games has been moved out accordingly. The last day you will be able to submit an XNA Game Studio 3.1 game for Xbox LIVE Indie Games is Monday, February 7, 2011.
Please see the following locations for more information about supported versions of XNA Game Studio for Xbox LIVE Indie Games and Xbox 360:
A while back, I wrote a blog post describing how to extract the contents of the XNA Game Studio 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 setup packages and install the components manually in case the normal installation process fails. I just went back and updated that blog post to also list the steps for extracting and manually installing XNA Game Studio 4.0.
I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to update this type of older blog posts in place as new product versions are released or post new ones. In this case, I decided to update the existing post since I can then have a single location to point people to for all versions of XNA Game Studio. However, I also wanted to post a new item about this to help improve visibility since I’m not sure how often folks go back and look at older content.
Here is a copy of the steps I added for XNA Game Studio 4.0. Note - for the instructions below, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you will need to use %programfiles(x86)% instead of %programfiles% for the installation paths.
Please refer to the previous post for instructions for all versions of XNA Game Studio.
To manually install XNA Game Studio 4.0
Note: This MSI will only display a small progress bar while it is installing and will not tell you when it is done. When the progress bar disappears, continue to the next step.
<update date="11/8/2010"> Added a note about the %programfiles(x86)% path on 64-bit versions of Windows. </update>
<update date="11/21/2011"> Removed an incorrect step from the list. </update>
Last month, there was an item posted on the XNA Game Studio team blog with a rough timeline for when to expect the final release of the 4.0 version of XNA Game Studio Connect and the opening of the Xbox LIVE Indie Games publishing pipeline for 4.0 games. Today, the exact release dates were announced in this new post on the XNA Game Studio team blog and in this news item on the App Hub site. Here is a summary of the key information announced there:
Stay tuned to the App Hub site on Friday, November 5, 2010 for the official announcement that the Xbox LIVE Indie Games publishing pipeline is open for 4.0 games. There will also be reminders over the next 90 days as the end of the window to submit games created with XNA Game Studio 3.1 approaches.