Software Deployment Question

MSI runs manually not unattended

12/31/2013 2413 views

This pertains to a Windows 7 64 bit system.

The msi I am running works fine when run manually.  Typically though, it runs a configuration wizard that configs the software.

When I run the msi and attempt to do it unattended, it seemingly does the installation, then hits a snag and rollsback.The error I am getting is 1602 from a CustomAction.

One thing that this msi does is install some services at the end of the process, I'm wondering if perchance 1) it is hitting a snag installing the services? or 2) It is trying to run the configuration wizard and dying.  There is a property called RUN_WIZARD, but if I do RUN_WIZARD="0" in the command line, it seems to do nothing to change the output.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

3 Comments   [ + ] Show comments


  • Only 1700 lines in the verbose log and that already looks like a haystack? Logs can run into multiple megabytes (You did use "/l*" to get the full log I assume)

    In Orca you are in the right place when looking at the sequencing tables. Best to read up a little on handling of custom actions in these sequences in msi before editing the msi. O

    A good start is in the product documentation from Microsoft on custom actions: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372409(v=vs.85).aspx
  • Brilliant...this useless forum software only does 3 levels of replies so I have to post my response to your last message here, in a 'Comment'! @Bob: sort this nonsense, please! :-)

    OK...ORCA is fine but InstEdit is ORCA having taken a short course of steroids.

    Log file-wise, look for entries that contain the text 'Action started'. These will be both the Standard Actions and Custom Actions.

    A quick Google will have told you that the 'Admin[x]' tables are used when creating an Administrative Installation point and the 'Advt[x]' tables when a package is advertised. The tables we're interested in here are 'InstallExecuteSequence' and 'InstallUISequence'.

    If you intend to do anything serious packaging-wise, seek out the free download of Phil Wilson's "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer" and the similarly-named "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer Technology" from RealtimePublishers.com.
  • Well at this point I'm just trying to fix this one package so I can automate creating an image. It appears when I run the msi, it installs all the files in the directory before it hits whatever the problem is and does the rollback, which is why I wondered if the issue may have been when it tried to install services. I'll take a look again at the tables again on Monday to see if I can see the Install sequences.

All Answers


Almost certainly, this is because a Custom Action appears in the User Interface sequence but hasn't been duplicated in the Execute sequence.

Take a verbose log of both install types - i.e. with a UI and without - and compare the output. That log will also tell you whether or not your theory about services not being installed/started properly holds water.

Answered 12/31/2013 by: anonymous_9363
Red Belt

  • Thank you for your reply. What am I looking for in the log? One thing that I noticed is in the one that errors out, just before the error there is a section that beings with "InstallShield" instead of MSI that does not appear in the one that finished correctly.

    Alternatively, is there a way that I could confirm your suspicions about the action being in the User Interface sequence but not in the execute sequence?
    • >What am I looking for in the log?
      In a verbose log, every action will have an entry so it'll be relatively simple to see one action having been run only in UI mode

      >is there a way that I could confirm your suspicions about the action being in the User Interface sequence but not in the execute sequence?
      Use your authoring tool! If you don't have one - and I sympathise hugely if you don't - download and install InstEdit then use it to open the MSI. You can then sort the sequence tables by sequence number and, again, anything missing will be pretty clear.
      • Thanks again for helping me.

        The difference in the log size is that the failed unattended setup is like 1400 lines and the attended one is over 1700, so I'm still picking a little at a needle in a haystack, so anything else you could tell me would be helpful.

        Also, what I had been using to look at the msi was just ORCA. I don't mind using InstEdit if you recommend it.

        I see 3 sequence tables - AdminExecute, AdminUI and AdvExecute. Would I be comparing the AdminExecute and AdminUI?
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