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Setup and Deployment - Automatic Reinstall RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all.

    My group has dealt with a problem that has plagued us for quite a while now. We use Visual Studio 2005 to create Setup and Deployment projects for our applications. A strange phenomenon seems to occur.

    Once we install our software to a PC, we occasionally modify some of the files listed in the setup project's file system. For example, if our installer project creates a subfolder filled with JPEG's, we may on occasion manually modify these JPEG files with Windows Explorer.

    When we delete/modify these installed files externally, the next time we start our application .exe file, an "Uninstalling" dialog pops up and proceeds to delete ALL the installed files, much like what would happen if the user had selected to uninstall our application from the "Add Remove Programs" Windows dialog.

    After the strange uninstall completes, it then proceeds to reinstall the application (from the .exe and .msi that we originally installed from).

    If the original install files are present on the hard drive, a progress dialog appears as it installs. When the installation is finished, the second dialog disappears and then the application starts up normally. If you use explorer, you find that all  the modified files in the application folder have reverted to the installed versions.

    If the install files were originally located on a CD, the re-install fails because the original CD is not present in the drive.

    It appears as though Windows is checking the files that were installed in the setup package, and re-installing the product if it finds that the files are missing/modified. But to add to the mystery, THIS ONLY HAPPENS OCCASIONALLY. 98% of the time we modify a file and start the application, the application starts just fine, as expected. No reinstall takes place, and the application can access the modified files. The other 2% of the time, the uninstall/reinstall process occurs. There seems to be no pattern to predict whether or not the uninstall/reinstall will occur if we modify a random file and start the application.

    The rare occurrence of the bug makes it very difficult to find the cause of. Is there a setup project option to disable Windows' file checking/reinstall system? Does anyone know why the reinstall happens intermittently?
    • Moved by Figo Fei Monday, June 23, 2008 6:11 AM redirect
    Friday, June 20, 2008 2:29 PM

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