Using and customizing the Visual Studio 2005 setup bootstrapper


As many of you probably already know, Visual Studio 2005 ships with a setup bootstrapper that can be used to create a setup package that chains together prerequisite packages and then installs the product that you create an MSI for within Visual Studio.  The setup bootstrapper includes the necessary data files and binaries to install several Microsoft redistributable packages (the .NET Framework 2.0, Windows Installer 3.1, the Visual C++ 8.0 runtime files, SQL Express and a few others).

The bootstrapper is designed to be data driven and generic, so you can add other packages to the list of prerequisites that it will let you install by adding some information to the directory where the bootstrapper is installed on your Visual Studio 2005 development system.

Recently, I found a couple of good resources that can be useful to extend the functionality provided by the setup bootstrapper by authoring new packages that it will be able to install:

If you are building a setup package that requires installing other packages as prerequisites, I encourage you to take a look at the Visual Studio 2005 setup bootstrapper to see if it will meet your needs.

Comments (2)

  1. vgribok@hotmail.com says:

    Hi, Aaron.

    I wanted to post this in MSDN managed newsgroups but was unable to find appropriate forum. I will appreciate either a fix or redirection to appropriate support venue.

    Here’s what happens. I ship a product that includes a couple of my custom prereqs created with Manifest Generator. Bootstrapper instructed to load prereqs from Internet. All that works fine in 99.9% cases, but some people experience a problem – Setup.exe reports following: "Setup has detected that the file ‘XYZ’ has either changed since it was initially published or may be corrupt.", where ‘XYZ’ file is a prereq file in a TEMP folder. If one looks in the folder, the file is simply not there. Subsequent runs of the Setup.exe do not seem to attempt to download prereqs again. The cryptic bootstrapper’s error message always translates into support incident. The only workaround is to create links to prereqs so users could download & run them manually. Is there a solution to this problem?

    Thank you,

    Vlad Hrybok.

    http://UltiDev.com

  2. eitanbehar says:

    Just for back-tracking: in this case the message is giving the correct direction:  "file … has .. changed since it was initially published". The file is different that the one used to build the bootstrapper, setup.exe is checking the hash of the file, and if it changed compared to the hash of the file when setup.exe was built, it will show this lovely message. Try to check why the hash are differents, maybe you need a newer bootstrapper, or the original files were indeded modified.

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