Corrupt VB.net ClickOnce Deployment

I have a VB.NET (Built in VS 2008 SP1) ClickOnce Deployment.   I am no expert in the ClickOnce technology, but have been able to successfully deploy 1 application on our internal network to about 100 machines.

We recently had an issue where one of the published manifests (I think) on the server was accidentally opened (in Notepad) by someone which broke the signing/security.   Then, every time a client ran the application (to get the auto-update) many errors occurred (which I did not save unfortunately).  

Eventually, I restored from backup the network setup files to the server and that 'fixed' the issue.

Does anyone have an explanation of the role of these manifests in the application:

1)  company.application
2)  company.exe.config
3)  company.exe.manifest

I am guessing it is a no-no to edit these files directly - which is what caused the original problem.

What would be the procedure to Re-Deploy the application if did 'break'?

1) Uninstall the application at the client machine
2) Re-Publish a new Application to a new network location.
3) Re-install from this new publish location?

I am trying to do some disaster preparedness for any potential roadblocks....  I would appreciate any direction from the Experts!

Thanks.
browe68Asked:
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EYoungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, just publish the project again.  If that does not work, then delete the click-once folder (after saving it off to another location) and re-publish the project.  This should make it think you are publishing for the first time.
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EYoungCommented:
What I have done is as follows:

If the manifest is damaged, I just re-publish a new one.

If the client application is damaged or not able to update, then I uninstall it on the client machine and re-install from the Setup.exe.
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browe68Author Commented:
Thanks EYoung.... How do you publish a new Manifest?   Just Publish the whole project?
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CodeCruiserConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1)  company.application
     This contains the list of files and other settings required to run the app. This is used by the ClickOnce DLL file to deploy your application(in the same way MSI files are used by Windows Installer).
2)  company.exe.config
     This is the configuration file which stores the configuration of your program. You can also use this to store any app settings (Settings tab on Project properties).
3)  company.exe.manifest
     http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374191%28VS.85%29.aspx
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