After going through few MSDN link, got to know when you have an updated application and set RemovePreviousVersions as true in setup project “VS 2005 setup project will create MSI which completely uninstalls the old version and reinstalls the new version” but “VS 2008 will create MSI which updates the old installation based on pre defined file replacement rules”. In simplified terms below are the rules,
- Both the old and new files are versioned files (i.e. application’s
executable, dll files)
- If your new file is having higher version compared to old files (e.g., old dll version is 184.108.40.206 and new dll version is 220.127.116.11), old file will be replaced by new file
- If your new file is having same or lower version compared to old files (e.g., old dll version is 18.104.22.168 and new dll version is 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199), old file will not be replaced by new file
- Both the old and new files are non versioned files (i.e. txt files, help
- Installer will compare the created time and the last modified time of the old file. If the times are not same (case when the file is modified after installation in users machine), old file will not be replaced by new file (though your new file could be different than old file). The intent of this logic is to prevent Windows Installer from overwriting files that users have modified on their machine.
- Installer will compare the created time and the last modified time of the old file. If the times are same (case when user haven’t changed the file), old file will be replaced by new file.
As one of my text file (non versioned) was not updated in my upgrade MSI, I ran the MSI with verbose log to understand how the Windows Installer treats my file. Below is the command to run MSI with verbose log in command prompt.
/l tells Windows Installer to create a log, * tells it to log everything and v tells it to use verbose mode.
msiexec /i "SampleInstaller.msi" /l*v "d:\SampleInstaller.log"
This is the entry in log file for one of the file which failed to update.
MSI (s) (60:8C) [09:48:51:735]: Executing op: FileCopy(SourceName=SAMPLE~1.TXT|SampleTextFile.txt,SourceCabKey=_897AF91AADD144A4A32B738927E9B501,DestName=SampleTextFile.txt,Attributes=512,FileSize=6608,PerTick=32768,,VerifyMedia=1,,,,,CheckCRC=0,,,InstallMode=58982400,,,,,,,)The log tells that SampleTextFile.txt as “Existing file is unversioned but modified”, hence Windows Installer “Won't Overwrite; Won't patch;”.
MSI (s) (60:8C) [09:48:51:735]: File: C:\Program Files\Sample Application\SampleTextFile.txt; Won't Overwrite; Won't patch; Existing file is unversioned but modified
Ouch, SampleTextFile.txt has been modified after it was installed, hence my upgrade MSI is not updating this file. What can I do to solve this?
After googling got to know, there are no direct solutions inside Visual Studio (atleast to my knowledge in VS 2008). Here are the steps to follow to solve this issue.
- Download ORCA, a free utility to edit the MSI packages
- Open the MSI file in ORCA editor
- Look for Property table under Tables
- Add a new property named REINSTALLMODE and set its value as amus
- Save the MSI and close ORCA
Here are the screen shots of ORCA editor.