Workaround for when Visual Studio Update says it doesn’t apply

I previously blogged about a problem some customers were running into that prevented Visual Studio Update from installing. You might see a dialog like the one to the right and an error message that read something like, Update 2 does not apply, or is blocked by another condition on your computer. At least for many… Read more

How to register your program for file extensions shared with other programs

One frequently asked question is, “how do we register our program for a file extension when other versions (or programs) that handle it might also be installed?” The overarching question is really about how to have non-shared resources both write to a shared resource.  But in the case with the Windows registry and file associations… Read more

Why Visual Studio 11 Requires Space on the System Drive

Users have asked why space is required on the system drive (typically the C: drive) when they choose to install Visual Studio 11 to another drive. While Visual Studio 11 does allow you to install the majority of features to another drive, VS11 still requires space on the system drive for the following reasons: Shared… Read more

A patch may take as long or longer to install than the target product

Often I’m asked why installing a Windows Installer patch (MSP) takes as long or longer to install than the target product (MSI). While this isn’t always the case for every patch, it’s certainly possible for a number of reasons. It may also come as a surprise that the size of the patch can have little… Read more

Downgrading Shared Components

Shared components define shared resources. It might seem obvious, but it’s important to understand that whatever you do to a shared resource during the installation of one product affects those same resources for any other product. For example, when upgrading one product to update files shared with another product, that other product will use the… Read more

Comparison of PatchWiz and WiX v3 Patch Build

The Windows Installer SDK ships a library named patchwiz.dll. This contains the logic to build a patch from pairs of database packages (.msi files, or simply MSIs) along with other configuration properties. Another tool that the SDK ships is msimsp.exe which uses patchwiz.dll and parses command line options. These tools consume an input file with… Read more

Customizing Shortcuts for Visual Studio

After installing the last several releases of Visual Studio, you’ll find shortcuts to command prompts that automatically set up the PATH, INCLUDE, LIB, and other environment variables. At least with Visual Studio 2010 these command prompts have larger buffers and enable quick edit mode, but some people like to customize these shortcuts to their liking…. Read more

Test your conditions

When testing the serviceability of your product before you ship, it’s important to test any conditions you might have on the product, features, components, and actions. Feature conditions can set the install level of a feature when the package is installed. But as the Condition table documentation states, be sure that the condition does not… Read more

Verify ISO before burning or mounting Visual Studio 2010 RC

If you have downloaded the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate (RC) from MSDN or the Download Center as an ISO and are having problems installing it, it could be that either the ISO wasn’t downloaded correctly or that it wasn’t burnt to DVD correctly. On the installation error dialog, you will find a link to… Read more

Why does ICE03 state my localized template string is invalid?

Question When I run ICE validation, why does ICE03 state the following error? ICE03 ERROR Invalid template string; Table: Error, Column: Message, Key(s): 1958 The string reads, ユーザー [2] の特権が不十分です。必要な特権をユーザーに付与してインストールを続行しますか? [いいえ] を選択するとインストールは終了します。 Answer This ICE error can appear in several columns in several tables that use the Formatted column type or a derivative, like the… Read more