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How toidentify list of files to be uninstalled

I have a software that gets installed using .MSI (Windows Installer). I can remove this software from Add/Remove programs. Can anyone tell me where does windows get the list of files to be removed when this particular software is uninstalled/removed ???
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milindsm
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milindsm
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darkappleCommented:
during the installation process, the installer makes a note of list of the files to be deleted and the keys to be removed from the registry later during uninstalling process. The list of the files may be written in different files and different direcotries depending upon installers.
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senadCommented:
During design time installers first build a list of files to be installed and then they compile.The compiled file ,when run on a client machine,just follow the process designed at run-time.
It is also optional during the creation of the installer to have the un-installer as well.
So ,some programs have it and some do not.Those that do have usually a menu option to uninstall
the product.Those that do not,you must use Add/Remove programe to do so.
When installing,the installer builds the list of files that were installed (usually called install.log)the path to those files and the path to the uninstaller.Some then replicate this file into unstall.log (which is then used for uninstalling.This is where your list is....But this very much depend on the installer used.
When you use Add/Remove programe ,it first checks if an uninstaller exists and if it does it triggers it.
So when you uninstall,the uninstaller goes by the list,removing everything on it.
Final phase is removing itself completely.
Some bad uninstallers do not know how to remove main folder after uninstall and leave plenty of registry junk lying arround.
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senadCommented:
some installers (instalshield) create a separate map on your drive called InstallShield Installation Information
that MSI installers use for uninstalling the product.
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senadCommented:
Here is an example of Cyberlink PowerDVD :
You can also see the uninstal.iss file ...
sys.png
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senadCommented:
Program compiled with Wise installer (pic).
You can see the install.log and the unwise.exe (that is the uninstaller)
sys.png
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senadCommented:
But if you wish to learn about MSI installer :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Installer
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senadCommented:
sorry about this much additional info,just thought you wanted to know ....
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MirfsterCommented:
An MSI is basically a database, which contains the information about what it installed (Files, Registry Keys, etc).  Each of these items are called "components" within the MSI.  Now, depending on how the vendor created the MSI, it is possible to set each component to be "removed" during Uninstall or left on the machine.

For example, say you added a DLL that was used by more than just your program.  You would want to ensure that during an Uninstall you did not remove this DLL, since it may affect the functionality of other programs.

Without really digging into the actual MSI itself, it would be difficult to tell you 100% what files will be removed during install.  But, for a pretty good listing, you could use this VBScript:

Export File List to Excel From MSI Using VBScript
http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/1548261/Export-File-List-to-Excel-From-MSI-Using-VBScript.htm
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