Windows Installer on 64-bit Platforms

Beginning with Windows Installer 2.0 installation developers can write installation packages that target 64-bit platforms. At first only IA64 was supported but support for AMD64 — now collectively referred to along with EM64T as x64 — was added in Windows Installer 3.0. Many questions are asked regarding how to author 64-bit packages and merge modules… Read more

Logging for the New Patch Wrapper

One of several apparent improvements for the new patch wrapper is better logging support. More often than not if a problem occurred while trying to install the patch it was difficult to diagnose because there was no logs for the patch installation itself. A user would have to extract the .msp file and install it… Read more

Patch Wrapper Improvements

A new patch wrapper will be shipping for patches targeting the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. A lot of work went into simplifying the wrapper and removing managed code, as well as standardizing the command-line options. The previous patch wrapper for the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1, and Visual Studio .NET 2002… Read more


Sequencing Windows Installer patches is typically straight forward but when the original product install or a previous, non-superseded patch defines ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT as 1 in the Property table a custom supersedence plan is necessary to support writing Add/Remove Program registry keys correctly with patch supersedence and sequencing in mind. The Dangers of ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENTUsing the ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT Windows… Read more

A Better Way of Working with ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT

Just when you thought the series on ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT was over, I present to you an improved plan for supporting custom supersedence so that you can ship effectively superseded patches and still support N-1 patches, which are patches that apply to the RTM or a previous Service Pack, but are produced after the SP that should… Read more

Installing Windows Installer on Checked Builds of Windows

I mentioned previous that patches for the .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 will require Windows Installer 3.1 to be installed on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, and future Windows platforms. A reader mentioned that he can’t install the Windows Installer 3.1 redistributable on his checked (debug) build of Windows XP SP2. An error dialog… Read more

Repair Your Products After an OS Upgrade

The Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and SQL Server 2005 will soon be shipping. If you’ll be installing these products and are planning on upgrading your operating system later be sure to repair the product from the Add/Remove Programs (ARP) control panel. Some components don’t install on certain operating systems. Mostly notably are… Read more

MSDN Magazine Available for Download

Maybe I’m the last one to realize this, but in case I’m not I wanted to share with the rest of you. When I became I Microsoft MVP back in January 2004, I was entitled to a free MSDN Magazine subscription. I’ve had this before and it is a great magazine comprised of interesting, helpful… Read more

Supporting MSI 2.0 and Newer Features

Like all major upgrades, Windows Installer adds features to at least each major version released. Windows Installer 2.0 added support for managed and Win32 assemblies, signed installer support, and much more over previous 1.x versions of Windows Installer. Windows Installer 3.0 added support for more robust patch sequencing, installing multiple patches at once, double-clickable patches,… Read more

.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 Patches will Required MSI 3.1

The .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005, along with SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006, will be officially launched November 7th. .NET and Visual Studio, at least, will require that you have Windows Installer 3.0 installed on Windows NT-based platforms, including Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, and newer. If you have Windows XP… Read more