Alex Shevchuk

Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it. - Lazarus Long

From MSI to WiX

From MSI to WiX

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Русская версия здесь.


This is a series of articles on building installation packages using WiX.


  • Excellent postings, very useful. It's always good to see real examples

  • Can you point me to some information on how to keep the package from registering itself so that every time the install package is started it will function like it was the first time installation?  I realize this is not very normal but that is the way my company wants this particular package to work.  I came across some property settings that might cause this type of functionality but I did not write them down.   And I really would rather not have a CA that launches msizap.exe to remove the install information.  Thanks.  Lyle

  • Thank you so much for this blog. It helped me out tramendously in understanding Wix. One of the best one I found on the net that explains everything with real example... I am keeping this blog  as my favorite..

  • To Lyle Hollenbeck:

    Sorry for being so late.  Sounds, like you need Major Upgrade.  It will require some extra work on your part, but the good news is that there will be no need for msizap.

  • I really appreciate and enjoy your tutorial - it is one of the few great WIX / MSI resources.  

    Is there a reason why i cant access the Chapters 4 & 18? (I cant wait to see how the story ends!) :)

    Thanks again,

    We here at Harley-Davidson salute you as an honorary "Rider" -

  • большое спасибо!

    I really appreciate your work here. We are moving from using the built-in Visual Studio deployment projects to using WiX. Your blog has been very helpful!

  • Are you going to update this to reflect 3.0?

  • Great stuff! Would be nice if a chapter would be dedicated to x64/64 bit installers.

  • Alex this is a very good and large post, thanks for spending time on it!

  • On adding the <Property Id="ALLUSERS">1</Property>, i can install the .msi to all users of the machine, but only thru Administrator account.

    But when i tried to install the same .msi with a non-admin user rights, i received an error saying "You do no have sufficient privileges, please logon as adminstrator and retry the installation".

    Can anyone help plz me to write a script, when i install the .msi from a non-admin user, i should not receive admin privileges error msg.

    Thanks in advance..


    Vinod K

  • Hello everyone,

    When tried to run Wix v3 scripts i've received the following errors

    1. error LGHT0204 : ICE43: Co

    mponent C_Rel has non-advertised shortcuts. It should use a registry key under HKCU as its KeyPath, not a file.

    2. error LGHT0204 : ICE57: Co

    mponent 'C_Rel' has both per-user and per-machine data with a per-machine KeyPath.

    Can any one please help me in resolving the above things.

    Thanks in advance.


    Vinod K

  • You need to read Part 10-Shortcuts ( to understand the difference between advertised and non-advertised shortcuts.

  • Hi Alex,

    I created a wix file using the Major upgrade wix file sample described by you. It works great.

    The wix file I created is for a Visual studio package application.

    I am facing a problem in the upgrade scenario. When I install a new build of the msi, if Visual studio is running, I get a UI from the installer with two options

    1. Automatically close applications and attempt to restart them after setup is complete

    2. Do not close applicaiotns

    The check box is set for the first option.

    When I click OK. Visual studio crashes during closing and gives an option to debug or close.

    WHen I hit debug, there is a access violation exception in devenv.exe.

    Do you know why this is happening.

    Any help on this would be great.



  • Hi Abhishek,

    Sorry, I don't know why Visual Studio crashes when Restart Manager is trying to shut it down.  You need to ask Visual Studio people why this is happening.

  • Thanks Alex for your response. I would like to know how I get this dialog automatically when I am performing an upgrade.

    1. Automatically close applications and attempt to restart them after setup is complete

    2. Do not close applicaiotns

    What part of wix code brings up that dialog. Is it an out of box feature.

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