Sunday, November 24, 2013

Creating Windows Installer Logs in InstallShield

If you are using InstallShield and you need to create Windows Installer Logs in order to troubleshoot installation issues with the package, there are 2 major ways to create these Windows Installer Logs:

  1. From the General Information window, select "Yes" for the option to "Create MSI Logs"
  2. In the Releases window, click on the Setup.exe tab and specify "MSI Command-Line Arguments"

With option #1, you can select various logging switches to create the MSI Logs, however, there is no option to specify the location of the MSI Logs (even with the Custom MsiLogging value):

To understand what the different letters in the MsiLogging value means, you will have to review this article:

However, a brief synopsis of the various switches is here: 

The letters in the value field can be in any order. Each letter turns on a different logging mode. Each letter's actual function is as follows for MSI version 1.1:
v - Verbose output
o - Out-of-disk-space messages
i - Status messages
c - Initial UI parameters
e - All error messages
w - Non-fatal warnings
a - Start up of actions
r - Action-specific records
m - Out-of-memory or fatal exit information
u - User requests
p - Terminal properties
+ - Append to existing file
! - Flush each line to the log
x - Extra debugging information. The "x" flag is available only on Windows Server 2003 and later operating systems, and on the MSI redistributable version 3.0, and on later versions of the MSI redistributable.

"*" - Wildcard, log all information except for the v and the x option. To include the v and the x option, specify "/l*vx".

With option #2, you have more options in terms of how you want to handle logging, including specifying the location of the resultant Windows Installer log file:

In order to determine what options, you can use for building your Windows Installer Log File, you can leverage the help of the "MSI Command-Line Builder" from the Tools menu:

You can then select the "Log Settings" link in the navigation and review the various switches available for creating Log files:

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