About Windows Installer, the .NET Framework, and Visual Studio.
A new patch wrapper will be shipping for patches targeting the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. A lot of work went into simplifying the wrapper and removing managed code, as well as standardizing the command-line options.
The previous patch wrapper for the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1, and Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003, supported the following command-line options:
Because the patch wrapper actually reconstituted the .msp while extracting via the /Xp command-line option you couldn't just grab the .msp out of the patch using an unzip application. Doing so will result in an unusually small .msp file that will not install correctly.
Starting with new patches the patch wrapper itself supports the following command-line options:
All other command-line options are passed to msiexec.exe so any syntax errors will display the Windows Installer usage dialog that describes the Windows Installer command-line options as well as the standard installer command-line options beginning with Windows Installer 3.0.
So why is a wrapper needed? The new wrapper compresses the whole .msp file since any streams are not compressed. This decreases the patch download size. Because .msp files can contain a pair of transforms for multiple products and some of our patches will for Visual Studio, if the patch applies to multiple products installed on the machine but a reboot is required Windows Installer will prompt for a reboot. The user will have to re-apply the patch until it's installed for every applicable product. The wrapper eliminates this burden by catching the return code ERROR_SUCCESS_REBOOT_REQUIRED (3010) and prompts when the patch has finished apply to each applicable product. If the patch is installed silently the machine is automatically rebooted.
With the new wrapper you can currently use an unzip application but we recommend that you use /extract to extract the patch.
Some customers are reporting that Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Beta tries to install multiple times.
Because some of the custom actions in Visual Studio 2005 are authored to impersonate the non-privileged
Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 can take a long time to install and may apply to multiple products
A link to Aaron Stebner's troubleshooting guide for Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 setup (and patching).
About the logging policy for the new patch wrapper shipping with patches for the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005.