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  • Blog Post: Growing Windows Installer Experts through Troubleshooting

    Windows Installer expert Dennis Bareis responded to a previous post, Request for suggestions for updating the 1603 KB article . As I worked through his points, the problem of "Growing Windows Installer Experts through Troubleshooting" came into focus. Growing Windows Installer Experts through Troubleshooting...
  • 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: How to Interpret Windows Installer Logs

    If you have a problem with the Windows Installer or an MSI package you're installing, it's a sure bet that you will be told by some smart person to "enable logging". That's great advice, except ... what do you do with the log once you get it? Well, find out by popping over to my blog, where I walk through...
  • Blog Post: Arbitrary labels used as Primary keys must not be changed between versions

    Summary Msi Editing tools that write auto generated references inside installer tables may cause unnecessary content to be included inside a patch. ‘Patching’ components with unchanged content may cause them to be uninstalled when the patch is removed thereby breaking the original application. ...
  • 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: Windows Installer Troubleshooting Tips from First Week of November

    Question 1 What is the correct way to find whether a certain product (msi based setup) is installed on the machine? Answer 1 Searching for Existing Applications, Files, Registry Entries or .ini File Entries [Windows Installer] lists the built-in detect methods. In this case, the CompLocator...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer Troubleshooting Tips From Halloween

    Question 1 In my lab automation that silently installs Windows Installer packages. This automation is inconsistently getting Error 1618 from its msiexec calls. Please help unblock this scenario as it's inhibiting our push to ship. Troubleshooting 1 First, start with the MSDN Library and run a search...
  • Blog Post: Instance of Troubleshooting Patch Applicability

    Context: While troubleshooting Windows Installer installs can be complex, troubleshooting patch installs adds a couple more layers of complexity (patch transforms and applicability rules). Given the lack of patch troubleshooting documentation (at least that I've seen) I figured I'd take a case where...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer Troubleshooting Tips from Last Week of October

    Question 1 Any tips troubleshooting silent install exiting with error 1618? Answer 1 Start with the Windows Installer SDK . First, search for “windows installer” 1618 which turns up Initialization Errors [Windows Installer] as the sixth hit. When you look at this page you’ll see ...
  • 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: Where did my custom action permissions go? Terminal Server is special.

    The other day a user complained that they were trying to donfigure Active Directory and their queries were intermittently getting access denied. They had roughly identified the problem as having been related to the Windows 2003 server SP1 however they had not a clue why it worked intermittently. I pecked...
  • Blog Post: Billboard bug is fixed in MSI Vista

    We've got a couple of pings on a billboard bug that I thought I'd share in case others are seeing this problem. Problem In Windows Installer 2 billboards showed one after another smoothly during InstallFiles action. With Windows Installer version 3, billboards showed twice during the install. The...
  • 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: Help Troubleshooing 'Error 2902. Operation ixfAssemblyCopy called out of sequence.'

    Question Can you help troubleshooting 'Error 2902. Operation ixfAssemblyCopy called out of sequence.'? Answer The 2902 errors generally point to authoring issues. One case has been identified as authoring error wherein the win32 sxs components do not include a key path. For this case, adding a key...
  • Blog Post: Our patches seem to work fine, yet none of the files on the disk are replaced.

    Question I am seeing a very strange issue with patches on msi 2.0, our patches seem to work fine, yet none of the files on the disk are replaced. I tried regenerating the patches with the 2.0 toolset , but that did not help. Answer For MSI20 Patches, you will need to pass property REINSTALL...
  • Blog Post: How should I determine the success or failure of a Windows Installer install?

    Question How should I determine the success or failure of a Windows Installer install? Answer Generally there are two ways of invoking Windows Installer, a MSIExec command line call or an MSI API (MsiInstallProduct, MsiInstallProductEx, MsiReinstallProduct). For the MSIExec case If one...
  • Blog Post: How do I get a deep view of what Windows Installer is doing?

    Question How do I get a deep view of what Windows Installer is doing? Answer One of the comments I got from the PDC was that the SDK documentation and commercial tools lacked sufficient depth if one really wanted to figure out what was going on. Verbose logging helps but what's happening in between...
  • Blog Post: Any clues to why we're seeing Error code 1912: Could not unregister type library for [file]?

    Question Any clues to why we're seeing Error code 1912: Could not unregister type library for [file]? Answer The error comes from the typelibrary API -- so it's what's having an issue. From the log file: MSI (s) (84:FC) [11:44:22:589]: Executing op: TypeLibraryUnregister(,,FilePath=C:\Program...
  • Blog Post: Insights into the underlying Windows Installer reboot behavior.

    Here are a set of frequent and infrequent questions around Windows Installer's reboot behavior Question What happens if the user reboots their machine during an installation? Answer This is called a suspended installation. If you’ll search the archives for the alias, you will found more information...
  • Blog Post: How do I lookup the error text associated with a given error code return from msiexec or MsiInstallProduct?

    Question How do I lookup the error text associated with a given error code return from msiexec or MsiInstallProduct? Answer MsiExec returns system error codes so FormatMessage is available to obtain the message text. Related references Windows Installer Error Messages [Windows Installer...
  • Blog Post: Any pointers for troubleshooting 2737 Could not access custom action [2], entry [3], library [4] Available in Windows Installer versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2.?

    Question Any pointers for troubleshooting 2737 Could not access custom action [2], entry [3], library [4] Available in Windows Installer versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2.? Answer First, start with the Windows Installer Error Messages reference as you have done. Second, one needs to recognize this...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting tips for constructing UTF8 MSIs from IDTs?

    Problem I'm trying to import UTF8 encoded IDT files to make a UTF8 code page MSI but the import is failing. Can you help me troubleshoot? Solution Reviewing the SDK, the topics ASCII Data in Text Archive Files and Archive File Format are not entirely clear around this point. I've entered a SDK...
  • Blog Post: Why can I futher compress an MSI with a compressed CAB?

    Question Why can I futher compress an MSI with a compressed CAB? I discovered that our MSI can be further compressed with WinZip from 1798K to 1488K. Answer The resulting MSI file you’re getting has two pieces. One is the MSI database which is not compressed. It is an OLE structured storage...
  • Blog Post: What would be the best way to diagnose error 2762 "Cannot write script record. Transaction not started."?

    Question What would be the best way to diagnose error 2762 "Cannot write script record. Transaction not started."? Answer Usually means that your InstallExecuteSequence table isn't authored correctly. Actions that generate script opcodes have to be sequenced between InstallInitialize & InstallFinalize...
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