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  • Blog Post: Customizing Shortcuts for Visual Studio

    After installing the last several releases of Visual Studio, you’ll find shortcuts to command prompts that automatically set up the PATH, INCLUDE, LIB, and other environment variables. At least with Visual Studio 2010 these command prompts have larger buffers and enable quick edit mode, but some people...
  • 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: 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: Immediate Custom Actions Always Impersonate

    Windows Installer is a client/server application. When you install a package using msiexec.exe - which is executed by default in response to shell verbs such as Install - or APIs like MsiInstallProduct the package is initially processed under the user's credentials. This means, of course, that in over...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer Errors 2738 and 2739 with Script Custom Actions

    Windows Script custom actions should be avoided . They are difficult to debug, get blocked by virus scanners, and are far more susceptible to machine state than native custom actions. That is indicated by Windows Installer error messages 2738 and 2739, which read: 2738, Could not access VBScript run...
  • Blog Post: Custom Action Guidelines

    Rob Mensching, father of Windows Installer XML (WiX), blogs about why managed custom actions are a bad idea . Aaron Stebner follows up by saying (and has said before ): "Avoid custom actions entirely if at all possible. "Investigate the WiX build-in custom actions if you find a setup action that...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista Available

    As Aaron notes , the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista is available on the download center. This patch is available for all supported languages of Visual Studio 2005, unlike the beta which was available in English and Japanese. You should first uninstall the beta update for Vista...
  • Blog Post: The Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Installation Experience

    Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 can take a long time to install and may apply to multiple products on your machine, appearing to install multiple times. This is a large service pack and installs a lot of files, fixing many issues and adding several new features to over 200 Visual Studio 2005 editions...
  • Blog Post: Mitigating Custom Action Problems for Patches on Vista

    Because some of the custom actions in Visual Studio 2005 are authored to impersonate the non-privileged token of the invoking user on Vista, a mitigation has been checked in for the patch wrapper that is used to add additional compression for the patch and to patch multiple products, if present, without...
  • Blog Post: Impersonating the Right Token in Vista

    In The NoImpersonate Bit Mistake , Robert Flaming of the Windows Installer team discusses how some custom actions may fail because they impersonate the non-privileged client token and won't be able to perform some actions. Such a scenario is described in Custom Actions under UAC on Vista . For administrative...
  • Blog Post: Custom Actions under UAC in Vista

    Visual Studio 2005 works for the most part on Windows Vista, but there are some known issues being addressed beyond SP1. One compatibility issue when running on Vista with UAC enabled may actually occur when installing the recently released SP1 beta on certain editions of Visual Studio 2005. User Account...
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