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 TroubleshootingOne of the challenges faced by the Windows Installer community is that there…


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…


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 Service accounts, see the Professional Support site Choose an option from…


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…


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.   Scenario  “I create a small patch for my product.   When I selectively…


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 points prior to 1/31/06. Ever since 1/31/06, windows installer pops…


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 Table [Windows Installer] is intended to have the needed…


Windows Installer Troubleshooting Tips From Halloween

Question 1In 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 1First, start with the MSDN Library and run a search for “windows installer” 1618. This query (when I click it) turns…


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 Carolyn has provided detailed analysis for a customer inquiry from Product Support….


Windows Installer Troubleshooting Tips from Last Week of October

Question 1Any 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 ERROR_INSTALL_ALREADY_RUNNING 1618 An installation is already in progress Second, have a look…