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Making VS-generated MSIs Patch-Friendly

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Scott Mayham

Scott Mayham
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 14:22


I just started working at a .NET shop which produces MSIs directly out of the VisualStudio 2010 build. These MSIs work fine, but are not Patch-Friendly.

For example, when patching one of these MSIs, you get a Maintenance screen from the MSI asking you if you want to repair or remove the original MSI. The reason for this is that the Action which produces this UI, "MaintenanceForm", has a Condition of Installed<>"". This says "run if the MSI is installed", which of course it is when you are patching it.

I have devised an inelegant solution which I'd like to improve upon. The solution is a VbScript which uses the MSI API to change that condition to Installed<>"" And NOT PATCH. InstallShield-generated MSIs have this. This script is run as a post-build action in Visual Studio.

What I'd like to know, is there some way to modify how Visual Studio produces these MSIs? I would hope that there is some kind of template or settings, but nobody here seems to know, and neither do I.

Longer-term, I'll be developing InstallShield projects for these MSIs, and hopefully, the problem will go away. So I'm looking for an interim solution.


T. Scott Mayham
Senior Software Engineer - Innovations
678 319 8384

Stefan Krueger

Stefan Krueger


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 14:56

I'm not aware of any such setting or template.