Error in installation log for Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC can be misleading

Given many of the exciting announcements and features demonstrated recently at Build 2014, customers are downloading Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC. This update is quite a bit bigger than VS2013 Update 1 since it contains many new features. A small number of customers, however, are experiencing problems installing VS2013.2 RC. Symptoms While specific symptoms vary,… Read more

Testing for components that install under TARGETDIR

A while back I explained how Windows Installer sets the TARGETDIR property to the root of the fixed drive with the most free space available. The problem is that even an attached USB external drive can appear as a fixed drive, and these may be later detached. If components are installed to that drive and… Read more

Updated log collection utility available for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 Beta 1

Last Monday we shipped Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 and .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 to MSDN customers, and made them publicly available Wednesday. More information about Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 are available on MSDN, and Aaron Stebner has a good collection of direct links. While we have worked hard to reduce… Read more

Microsoft VS/.NET Log Collection Tool

Using the Collect Utility If you encounter any setup issues, we will need all relevant logs. Please follow the instructions below to collect all those logs. Download collect.exe from the link  below. You may choose to save the tool for later use, or to run directly. The utility creates a compressed cabinet of all the… Read more

Enable BITS Logging

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 uses a new bootstrap application that chains several packages together for a seamless installation experience. Because VS2008 SP1 contains a lot of fixes and new features, it is also quite large – almost 3 times as large as VS2005 SP1. To download all this data, we use the… Read more

BITS Logging

The attached ZIP file contains scripts to both enable and disable logging for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, or BITS. Both scripts must be run elevated so on Windows Vista or newer open an elevated command prompt and run these scripts. You may also right-click on the scripts and choose to Run as administrator. Run… Read more

Visual Studio and .NET Log Collection Utility

Setup and deployment is a tricky business. Machines can be in many different and often unforeseen states that cause setup to fail. But rarely will setup actually crash, and that is why setup logs are vital to diagnose install, repair, and uninstall problems. Setup applications for Visual Studio and .NET may write to many different… Read more

MSIZap is not Uninstall

The tool msizap.exe that is available in the Windows SDK and elsewhere on the web (remember to always download from a trusted source) is a powerful but dangerous tool that is often used to quickly and casually, and can leave your machine in a corrupted state if not used correctly. The same is true for… Read more

Debugging Custom Actions: Leaked Handles

Debugging custom actions isn’t exactly the easiest action to do; Windows Installer spawns separate processes – remoting servers – to run in-process custom actions. Any opportunity to diagnose issues without debugging can be helpful. For example, an issue that comes up from time to time is leaked handles. A Windows Installer debug log might show… Read more

Determine Which Files are Being Patched

Installing a patch will often mean that files are to be updated, though patching isn’t limited or even required to just patch files. Starting with Windows Installer 3.0 you can find the final sequence of patches to be installed or reinstalled in a verbose log file similar to the following: MSI (c) (8C:C4) [14:27:53:319]: Final… Read more