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  • Blog Post: What changed in Windows Installer (MSI) in Windows Vista Service Pack 1?

    Stefan Krueger met with us a few weeks ago for the Microsoft MVP Global Summit . Among the many topics we discussed was a suggestion from Stefan that we use the team’s blog to communicate relevant bug fixes that we make in our releases. This posting is the result of that suggestion. (Thanks, Stefan!...
  • Blog Post: Request for suggestions for updating the 1603 KB article?

    Feedback on our existing Knowledge Base article for the error 1603 is that 'it is not very useful.' My first thought to update the KB would be to go over the troubleshooting techniques such as verbose logging and then how to find and read the errors in the log. Before proceeding to writing, I thought...
  • Blog Post: Tips to find Windows Installer specific product support

    Customers have mentioned having trouble finding Windows Installer support when they try to navigate the maze of Microsoft support offerings. If you too need to find Windows Installer specific product support, the support staff dedicated to Windows Installer can be reached by For non-Premier...
  • Blog Post: Integration Hurdles for EXE Custom Actions

    A while back, two sets of engineers were arguing whether simply calling an EXE custom action would be good enough for Windows Installer based package. The first team with the EXE didn't want to do the work to move to Windows Installer but they really wanted the second team to take a dependency. The team...
  • Blog Post: What happened to Windows Installer 4.1?

    For a time, there was a release named Windows Installer 4.1 on the MSDN topic Released Versions of Windows Installer that was associated with Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. When this reference to 4.1 was removed, it naturally lead to the question: what happened to Windows Installer 4.1? ...
  • Blog Post: Where is good, comprehensive training covering the Windows Installer?

    Our friend and blogger Aaron Stebner asked on behalf of his readers whether the Windows Installer had recommendations for "good, comprehensive training covering" the Windows Installer. This question comes up regularly and I've built up the following stock answer. Windows Installer depends on our...
  • Blog Post: Configuring Windows Vista Software Explorer

    One of the questions I received in the lounge area at Tech Ed 2007 in Orlando pertained to Windows Vista Software Explorer display of applications. Specifically it centered on the ARP* property mappings to the Software Explorer information display. Before I get to that, many thanks to those of you that...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer 4.5 Beta Accepting Nominations

    The Windows Installer team is closing in on our Beta release of Windows Installer 4.5 so it's time to open the Beta program. As usual, the connect site at http://connect.microsoft.com is the host for the program. The Windows Installer 4.5 specific subsite is at https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails...
  • Blog Post: Update on KB Articles requested for Windows Installer 4.0 on Windows Vista

    Late last year, we posted the article Preview of Upcoming KB Articles: Windows Installer 4.0 on Windows Vista listing four KB articles we'd requested be written based on user feedback. Two of the initially requested four have been written Proposed Title: Custom Action code that is not NX compliant...
  • Blog Post: Policy Interactions and Behavior (Source List)

    A few years back, I received some questions pertaining to what privileges were required to modify the source list for a given product. The questions have come up again and rather than debating on where this information belongs (MSDN vs. TechNet vs. whitepaper), I figured I’d skip all of that and lay...
  • Blog Post: Preview of Upcoming KB Articles: Windows Installer 4.0 on Windows Vista.

    Hello everyone -- Based on feedback we have received from recent customer engagements, webcasts and the blog, we plan to have several KB articles created to clear up some points about Windows Installer 4.0 on Windows Vista. Since the KB creation process can take some time, I wanted to post a summary...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer Appears Every Time a Program is Started

    Question OS: Windows XP Home SP2 with Automatic updates every day at 3AM; Machine: Toshiba Satellite M35X-S311; 80% of hard drive free. My trial version of Office 2003 expired 1/31/06 (no warning messages received prior). I couldn't access Control Panel (system32/CoPM.cpl error). No System Restore...
  • Blog Post: What are the common reasons for error 1308?

    Question Are there common reasons for error 1308? Answer Generally: Bad Driver/Device, Bad Media, Bad Package are the most common sources. The most common path to eliminating the driver/device from the equation, is to copy to the local hard drive like the media copy instructions in this...
  • Blog Post: "Stop Installation Idiocy" PCWorld's Hassle Free PC article

    While searching for news with "Windows Installer" in the subject, I recently came across the Hassle Free PC article Hassle-Free PC: Fix Stubborn Windows Install Errors where a reader asked for assistance with the Windows Installer dialogs under the subheading “Stop Installation Idiocy”. I thought I'd...
  • Blog Post: Affects of a Vista Upgrade on Existing Application Installs

    Context: Glimpse at an internal thread where Technical Evangelists were asking about Affects of a Vista Upgrade on Existing Application Installs Question 1 : What will happen to the installed programs at the time of OS upgrade? Will the user be able to uninstall the program from vista if it is installed...
  • Blog Post: How do I merge an MSM with a nested MSI in it's substorage into a MSI?

    Question How do I merge an MSM with a nested MSI in it's substorage into a MSI? Answer This isn't really possible given the current merge tools since they don't handle movement of substorages from the MSM to the MSI. Content credit also belongs to Carolyn, MSI Team Dev Lead...
  • Blog Post: Most frequent problem with the msi-fusion interaction? Incorrect authoring of strong name.

    Question Most frequent problem with the msi-fusion interaction? Answer Incorrect authoring of strong name. This particularly crops up at uninstall time as the MSIAssemblyName table ends up feeding the wrong identity to the Fusion API. This doesn't break at install because the Fusion API does...
  • Blog Post: How to get file's compressed size inside an msi?

    Question How to get file's compressed size inside an msi? Answer Windows Installer SDK tools like PatchWiz.dll and WiMakCab.vbs with msifiler.exe will compress files into a cabinet ( .cab ) file either separate or added as a sub- storage of the MSI, MSP, or MSM itself. To get the compressed...
  • Blog Post: How do detect the MSI version on the computer?

    Question How do detect the MSI version on the computer? Answer Tyler mentioned the following in his blog entry Windows Installer 3.1 Version Confusion If you want to check the version of the Windows Installer on your system, check the version of MSI.DLL in the Windows\System 32 folder. ...
  • Blog Post: How can I pass the installation directory info to the custom action exe?

    Question How can I pass the installation directory info to the custom action exe? Answer See MSDN Topics: Changing the Target Location for a Directory [Windows Installer] MsiSetTargetPath(MSIHANDLE,LPCTSTR,LPCTSTR) function [Windows Installer] TARGETDIR property [Windows Installer] Using the...
  • Blog Post: Why does the Windows Installer log list apparently duplicate components prepended with double underscore and appended with 65?

    Question Why does the Windows Installer log list apparently duplicate components prepended with double underscore and appended with 65? Example: Action start <time>: InstallValidate. MSI (s) <process info>: Feature: Simple; Installed: Absent; Request: Local; Action: Local MSI (s) <process...
  • Blog Post: Where is the Windows Installer SDK?

    Question I went to the Microsoft download site and could not find a entry for the Windows Installer SDK. Where is the Windows Installer SDK? Answer The Windows Installer documentation on MSDN always lists the download page for the Installer SDK. It's the same location as the platform SDK. Our parent...
  • Blog Post: Is there a way to surgically update the MSI with the signed binaries without having to repackage the MSI?

    Question Is there a way to surgically update the MSI with the signed binaries without having to repackage the MSI? Answer You can use MsiFiler.exe tool to update File table and MsiFileHash table. If you are looking for fully verified signed installation, then check out Authoring a Fully Verified...
  • Blog Post: How do I detect that the installer is doing a repair?

    Question How do I detect that the installer is doing a repair? Answer You can check if the REINSTALL property is set. If you want to detect if a patch operation is happening (which also sets the REINSTALL property), you can check if the PATCH property is set (or the MsiPatchRemovalList property for...
  • Blog Post: Where can I get some help parsing the Windows Installer logs?

    Question Where can I get some help parsing the Windows Installer logs? Answer Check out Wilogutl.exe Content credit also belongs to Ashish, MSI Team Test Engineer. You can get other Ashish insights about developing for Windows Installer from the Windows Installer Chat Archives [Author...
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