The version number wont update after creating an msi single file in Installaware group policy wizard

Posted on 2011-03-24
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
We have been successfully able to update the version number in our application when deploying an exe file in Installaware, however we are now required to deploy an msi. We create the msi via the group policy wizard and it compiles without issue however when installed the application version number does not update.

Are we simply missing a step? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:drmor4
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Expert Comment

ID: 35214023
I believe the group policy wizard is only wrapping your setup.exe in a "wrapper" MSI.  If it is correctly running your setup.exe, then the setup.exe should be handling the upgrade as it normally does.

If you wish to submit a verbose log of the MSI execution, please use the attached files.  Find the most recent log in %TEMP%\MSI?????.LOG and attach it to this thread for analysis.

Author Comment

ID: 35237818
Hi, thanks for your assistance. I have attached 2 log files that i could locate.

Expert Comment

ID: 35241363
It looks like you are doing this:

TheTimetablerV8.msi = runs => TheTimetablerV8.exe = which extracts and runs => TheTimetablerV8.msi

I would suggest two approaches:
1) Don't generate an MSI to run and EXE which then runs an MSI
1.a) run the EXE manually until you see the feature selection dialog.  
1.b) grab the folder (entire folder) C:\Users\PAUL~1.THO\AppData\Local\Temp\mia1\
1.c) use the MSI in that folder to schedule the GPO - make sure you replicate the folder first.

2) If you can't do #1, then DON'T use the MSI name TheTimetablerV8.msi in the Installaware Group Policy wizard as it is also the name of  the embedded .MSI  

I have low confidence that #2 will fix your problem
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Author Comment

ID: 35246642

Thanks for the ideas. We tried both but ran into the same issue, we were able to successfully locate the msi by following the above instructions. We copied the file to our ftp site ran the update and still the version number did not update from the previous version. Symptoms are that a command line prompt appears briefly.

The msi file is only 377 kb in size?

Any other thoughts?

Expert Comment

ID: 35247004
You may be trying a major upgrade when you need a minor upgrade.

Do this please:

*) Open a command line
*) Change to the folder containing the msi.
*) Run "msiexec /i thetimetablerv8.msi"

If you are trying to install a minor upgrade by double clicking or with the above command line, you will receive the message that the software is already installed.  If you receive that message, then use this command:

"msiexec /fvomus thetimetablerv8.msi"

Once you figure out the correct command line, add "/qn" to make it silent for production rollout.

Author Comment

ID: 35251344
So if we determine that the second command line is correct does the msi code in installaware need to be changed? Could you please point us to the steps that need to be taken from here?

Expert Comment

ID: 35258426
To accomplish an upgrade, you will need to use the "Upgrades" tab of the GPO software installation object you are creating for the new version to identify the previous version package and whether you wish to upgrade over the old package or uninstall the previous version package before install.

Author Comment

ID: 35267082
I added the the command: msiexec /fvomus /qn thetimetablerv8.msi into the group policy wizard command line parameters is this correct?

We currently use the web updates feature. Each time we update the software we increment the version number by 1. So currently the exe upgrades from the previous version.

I am unable to locate an upgrades tab, the other alternative is to create a patch?

Expert Comment

ID: 35269723
No I mean when the package is actually deployed within Group Policy software distribution in active directory.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding here.  Isn't the purpose of the Installaware group policy wizard to create a .MSI to wrap a setup.exe?

But now you have the .MSI that was inside the setup.exe - so you don't even need the group policy wizard, correct?

When your customers need to run the package via group policy software distribution, they would need to use the "Upgrades" tab in Group Policy Management console.

If they are running an msiexec.exe command line - they would need to use the /fvomus command line.

Author Comment

ID: 35272182
Previously we have used the package installshield and compiled an exe and msi file each time an update was released. These files were then made available on our website for clients to download and install. The reason we require an msi is because some of our clients have issues downloading and installing exe's.

Essentially from our point of view we want the msi to behave the same way as the exe. EG the client runs an update and the msi is downloaded and installed the same way the exe would be. We do no neccasarily need it to be deployed by group policy (the client can deploy it in this fashion if the possess the know how), we have just used the group policy wizard in installaware to package the file.

I hope this clarifies things

Accepted Solution

CSI-Windows earned 500 total points
ID: 35277741
Moving an installation to .MSI just to get around firewall blocking is a pretty big step.  Unlike proprietary setup.exe's, the MSI upgrade rules for internal package structures must be followed exactly - and there are different rules for major versus minor upgrade.

When you say "the client runs an update..." do you mean an update functionality from within the software?

From your log MSIbfe9.LOG it looks like your Installaware is ALREADY creating an MSI that get's wrapped in an EXE.

When you run that EXE with /update (which can be seen in MSIef2cb.LOG) it runs the MSI with the command line:


Which can be seen on line 5 of MSIbfe9.LOG.

FYI: msiexec /fvomus package.msi IS THE SAME AS msiexec /i package.msi REINSTALL=ALL REINSTALLMODE=vomus

In Installaware, simply turn off generation of the setup.exe and you will get ONLY an MSI.

Without the setup.exe you need something to run the above command line (SRCDIR and SOURCELIST may not be necessary).

If you have a built-in updater, have it do the new command line.  Otherwise you will need a script or something similar - but these can be blocked by a firewall as well.

Are your installers signed?

You may also just want to find out the nature of the blocking - if the specific client has a very hard-core firewall configuration (like adaptive) then maybe you just need a manual link where they can download and update outside of the auto-updater.

Author Comment

ID: 35320020

Unfortunately we keep hitting a brick wall. We have been in contact with Installaware support and have been very unimpressed with the level of support we have recieved. Please see below the chain of emails, they are quite vague and really havent assisted us at all. They believe there should not be an issue attempting what we are doing, however havnt given us any specific instructions to assist.

We have reached as stage where we really have to get this resolved and we would potentially like to engage your services, would you be interested? My personal email is please contact me if you are interested doing this.

Installaware support

When you unable updates, InstallAware adds a script called "update" to your project. You need to play around with the installer to tweak it to enter the update mode even though it was ran normally (by altering the MSIcode using the Include Script command for example).
Otherwise, you could also use debug assertions like writing to a text file (with the Write to Text File command).
Please let me know.

Timetabling Solutions

We can debug the installer, but only for installing which goes through fine.  Can't seem to find a way to debug the Update process (eg clicking update from the program files entry)?  Any suggestions?

We've tried renaming the msi update to a different name from the exe.  It still fails the same way, eg finds and displays the update to download/install.  Completes the download, then a flash of the command prompt and then nothing.

Installaware Support

Are you able to debug your installer? When you add the update functionality, an update script is added to your project.
Could you step through that script and see where it failes?

Timetabling Solutions

Unfortunately no error message.  After clicking the Update item in the All programs list, the update dialog correctly displays indicating the version number update is available.  Click Download, the green progress bar runs through and gets to the end, holds for a few seconds, then there is a flash of the command prompt dialog (which doesn't occur with the exe) then it closes.  The update dialog doesn't move onto Installing.  The program isn't updated.  However, if you click the Update item in the All programs list again, you get the message "All updates have been installed" etc.  The version date in Program files hasn't changed.

Interestingly if we uninstall our program, we can successfully install using the msi, but we encounter the same issue when attempting to apply an update.

Installaware Support
What makes you say that the download is successful? What error are you receiving exatly?


Expert Comment

ID: 35324364
I am too busy right now to engage in any projects.

I have a follow up question.  When you said "...when installed the application version number does not update..."

Do you mean:
(a) the version number visible in Add/Remove Programs
(b) the version number of one of the EXEs or DLLs

If you mean (b), could you tell me which file?

I will take another look at the log once I have this information.


Author Comment

ID: 35329102
In our software application he have a help tab with an About the software section this lists the version number and we find it has not updated from the previous version when an msi file is applied. The file version is present in the Properties | Details of the exe but not present in the msi. Other symptoms include that we cannot apply any further updates without completely uninstalling after attempting to run the msi via automatic updates.

We have also attempted to apply a patch which again installed without issue for the exe, but we encountered issues when trying for an msi.

Expert Comment

ID: 35329381
Ok, I understand from your last post that you want to leverage the InstallAware auto-updates feature (auto-updates is not a feature of MSI) - that wasn't clear to me.  I am not familiar enough with the product to know how it is supposed to work and what it's requirements are in order to have it work well over the long run - I would escalate with the original company - ask to talk to a support supervisor.

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