Viewing Patches in Orca

Viewing Patches in Orca

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I am often asked why file changes don't appear in the handy Windows Installer tool, Orca. When people open an .msp patch package in Orca, they will likely see something like the following:

An MSP in Orca

As described in What's in a Patch, a patch package contains transforms and, optionally, tables. Currently, Windows Installer-supported tables include the MsiPatchMetadata and MsiPatchSequence tables. In order to view the changes a patch would make to a product, you need to open up the target .msi installer package in Orca first.

An MSI in Orca

After you've opened the .msi package in Orca, either click the Transform -> View Patch menu item or drag-and-drop an .msp package into the window. If that .msp is a small update that targets a latter minor upgrade, apply that minor upgrade using one of the methods described previously first. Once the .msp is applied, you'll see all changes to the product in green as you can see below:

A patched MSI in Orca

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  • I met a problem when I create the service pack.

    In my service pack, I added some new files, and the .msp file create successfully. But when I try to apply it, it said :Transform in patch package is invalid.

    Following the same build steps, if I remove the new files in Service Pack, the .msp can be installed successfully.

    Do you have any idea for this kind of problem?

    Is it possible to add new files into Service Pack? How to handle this in common way?

  • New files can be added, as documented in You need to generate a verbose log and investigate why the minor upgrade won't install. Read

  • PCW_CAB_H10577_1  I can't find this file in my computer.

  • mamdouh, if the cabinet begins with # it is embedded in the MSI or the patch (depending on the source for the media) but the MSIs in %WINDIR%\Installer are stripped of embedded cabinets. Orca views MSI files and does not let you look or browse the actual files that your MSI would install.

    You can search my blog for more information on the installer cache files, embedded cabinets, and tools to extract embedded cabinets from MSIs, MSMs, and MSPs. You can also search for more information on file sequencing and how cabinets are used during install.

    Orca itself is just a tool to view the MSI databases and how transforms (and patches, which just contain transforms and embedded cabinets) affect those database. You can even create your own transforms to customize installations.

  • Hello,

    I'm not sure if this is the correct blog for this post.  If not, please let me know.

    I'm seeing the following problem when trying to apply a minor update (Windows Installer 3.1):

    A file that has an entry in the RemoveFile table is being removed even though its' corresponding component is not being updated.  The RemoveFile InstallMode entry is set to 3.  When I open up the RTM msi and the subsequent patch in Orca there is no indication of an inadvertant change to the component associated with the file being removed.  A verbose MSI.log shows the file removal but nothing about the associated component changes.

    Is there anything I can look for in Orca or the verbose log that might shed some light on this problem?



  • Check after InstallFinalize to see if the component's Feature is being reinstalled, and then if the component is reinstalled (you'll install, request, and action states for both features and components).

  • I use Orca from the Windows Installer SDK to view the contents of Windows Installer setup packages (MSI

  • Hoy en cosas interesantes: Nuevos Service Packs, Formación gratuita sobre Forefront y Longhorn, El interior

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