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  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 installing for over 2 hours could be a sign of a problem

    On average customers are experience ~45 minute installs for Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Based on machine performance, even seeing install times of a little over an hour isn’t unexpected. But if VS2010 SP1 is taking more than a couple hours to install, there could be a problem and in the case described below...
  • Blog Post: A patch may take as long or longer to install than the target product

    Often I’m asked why installing a Windows Installer patch (MSP) takes as long or longer to install than the target product (MSI). While this isn’t always the case for every patch, it’s certainly possible for a number of reasons. It may also come as a surprise that the size of the patch can have little...
  • Blog Post: Installation sequence restrictions for multi-package transactions

    Windows Installer 4.5 introduced a feature to install multiple packages in a single transaction. Multi-package transactions allow setup developers to install multiple packages as an atomic unit that are installed together, or rolled back completely. You can also apply patches to multiple products or...
  • Blog Post: Patch Applicability

    When installing a patch package , Windows Installer first determines if the patch is applicable. Depending on how the patch is installed, this happens a little differently. Windows Installer can determine the list of applicable products, or it can be told to which products the patch should be applied...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft .NET 1.x and Visual Studio 7.x patches may fail to uninstall

    When attempting to uninstall a patch from the products listed in the Applies To section below, the following error may occur. Internal Error 2771. M953297 The last part of the error message will vary with each patch, where the last 6 digits are the knowledge base article related to the patch. Applies...
  • Blog Post: Changes to Package Caching in Windows Installer 5.0

    Windows Installer 5.0 is shipping in Windows 7 as part of the operating system. To address the issue where the User Account Control consent dialog is displayed with an “Unidentified Publisher”, the .msi package is cached in its entirety. Prior to Windows Installer 5.0, installation packages, or .msi...
  • Blog Post: Another Possible Workaround for Error 1330

    When installing Visual Studio 2008, you might run into an error dialog that reads, Error 1330.A file that is required cannot be installed because the cabinet file D:\cab1.cab has an invalid digital signature. This may indicate that the cabinet file is corrupt. The path and name of the cabinet may be...
  • Blog Post: VS 2008 SP1 fails to install because of missing packages from the cache

    Some customers are reporting that Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is failing to install with the following error in the HTML log you can view from the error dialog. Patch (C:\Users\heaths\AppData\Local\TEMP\WebDesignerCore_KB950278.msp) install failed on product (Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007). Msi...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Released

    Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1, Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1, and Team Foundation Server 2008 Service Pack 1 have been released . This is a big release on the heals of SQL Server 2008 which has a dependency on .and includes NET Framework 3.5 SP1. This is a big release with many new...
  • Blog Post: Enable BITS Logging

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 uses a new bootstrap application that chains several packages together for a seamless installation experience. Because VS2008 SP1 contains a lot of fixes and new features, it is also quite large - almost 3 times as large as VS2005 SP1 . To download all this...
  • Blog Post: BITS Logging

    The attached ZIP file contains scripts to both enable and disable logging for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, or BITS. Both scripts must be run elevated so on Windows Vista or newer open an elevated command prompt and run these scripts. You may also right-click on the scripts and choose...
  • Blog Post: KB944899 Should be Removed before Installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1

    Before installing Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 , you should first uninstall KB944899 , a hotfix which improves performance when stepping through source downloaded from a source server. If KB944899 is not removed prior to Visual Studio 2008 SP1, sometime during the middle of installation an error...
  • Blog Post: Changes for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (Beta) has been released to web , along with Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (Beta). Included as part of .NET 3.5 SP1 are Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2 (Beta) and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2 (Beta). Visual Studio 2008...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio and .NET Log Collection Utility

    Setup and deployment is a tricky business. Machines can be in many different and often unforeseen states that cause setup to fail. But rarely will setup actually crash, and that is why setup logs are vital to diagnose install, repair, and uninstall problems. Setup applications for Visual Studio and...
  • Blog Post: Installing Silverlight 2 Beta 1 Tools for Visual Studio 2008

    While attempting to install Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008 , you may get a prompt for source that looks like the following screenshot. This problem commonly occurs if you have not installed one or more of the features Visual Basic, Visual C++, or Visual C# when installing Visual...
  • Blog Post: Another Workaround to Add New Components to Existing Features

    Yesterday I described an issue when adding new components to existing, not-installed (absent) features the feature tree is installed. This can lead to prompts for source or failed installations. One workaround is to add new, top-level hidden features. This works well unless new resources have a dependency...
  • Blog Post: Adding New Components to Existing Features Installs the Feature Tree

    As Developer Division starts to ship patches for the Visual Studio 2008 , some users are being prompted for installation source media. This is a resulting of Windows Installer needing the original source files if, for example, files are missing from disk when you repair your product or backup files are...
  • Blog Post: Debugging Custom Actions: Leaked Handles

    Debugging custom actions isn't exactly the easiest action to do; Windows Installer spawns separate processes - remoting servers - to run in-process custom actions. Any opportunity to diagnose issues without debugging can be helpful. For example, an issue that comes up from time to time is leaked handles...
  • Blog Post: Different Packages are Required for Different Processor Architectures

    A common question is how to create a Windows Installer package that installs 32-bit binaries on 32-bit platforms, and both 32- and 64-bit binaries on 64-bit platforms. If you're actually trying to install 64-bit binaries to appropriate directories and write to the 64-bit view of the registry, the short...
  • Blog Post: How to Workaround Error 1330 During Visual Studio 2008 Installation

    When installing Visual Studio 2008, you might run into an error dialog that reads, Error 1330.A file that is required cannot be installed because the cabinet file D:\msdn\cab2.cab has an invalid digital signature. This may indicate that the cabinet file is corrupt. The path and name of the cabinet may...
  • Blog Post: AppCompat in Windows Installer

    The Application Compatibility (AppCompat) platform in Windows is a powerful feature that allows for fixes on practically any program or package to be loaded on Windows. Windows Installer takes advantage of a protected database full of fixes in the form of transforms and custom action shims. While looking...
  • Blog Post: ResolveSource Requires Source

    It might be tempting to schedule the ResolveSource action , but ResolveSource actually requires that the original installation source is available whenever it is called. If your installer package is authored correctly, source must only be resolve in cases where the original RTM files are missing or during...
  • Blog Post: EXE Custom Actions are Bad

    Windows Installer custom actions that launch executables (base custom action type msidbCustomActionTypeExe , 0x2) are typically bad and should be avoided. How are they bad? Let the Windows Installer team count the ways . During internal audits we question any EXE custom actions (CAs) but inevitably some...
  • Blog Post: Column Types Cannot be Changed in a Patch or Transform

    Transforms can change just about anything in an installation package - even the code page. Transforms can also add and drop both tables and columns but they cannot, however, change the column type. This is true for patches as well, since a patch package contains transforms . At their core, transforms...
  • Blog Post: What's New in Windows Installer 4.5: Overview

    The What's New section of the Windows Installer 4.5 CHM available in the downloads section of the Windows Installer 4.5 Beta Connect site has technical details of new functionality and changes as usual, but now that we can talk about Windows Installer 4.5 I wanted to provide an overview of the new functionality...
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