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Windows Installer does not remove previous version

Posted on 2014-01-14
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Last Modified: 2014-01-14
Hi experts
I had a problem with my Windows Installer. It does not remove the previous installed version.

On the 'Properties' of the Installer:
I'd updated the 'Version', and click 'Yes' when prompted to change 'ProductCode'.
I had the 'RemovePreviousVersion' set to 'True'.
I had the 'DetectNewerInstalledVersion' set to 'True'.
I had the 'UpgradeCode' remain unchanged.

Could someone point to me what I am missing?

Thanks in advance.

PS. I am using VS2008.
I didn't have this problem before until I moved everything to a new HD. So something might have missed out from my settings.
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Question by:dominicwong
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Expert Comment

by:AndyAinscow
ID: 39778568
>>and click 'Yes' when prompted to change 'ProductCode'.

I think you should have said no to that - the code should be how a previous version is identified.  Try setting the code to the value you had before and see if that will remove the previous version upon installation.
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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 39779231
Please post detailed installation log:

msiexec /l*v c:\installation.log /i <path>\installation.msi

@AndyAinscow, the product code in question applies to this version, not previous version. Previous version is identified by upgrade code, i.e. Installer searches for my upgrade code*; finds product code of the previous version, and then uninstalls product with that found product code.

*) more accurately - for the upgrade code specified in UPGRADE table. There can be several, so it's possible to upgrade several different products. It's also possible to upgrade completely different product, if you know its upgrade code.
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Vadim Rapp earned 250 total points
ID: 39779252
> I didn't have this problem before until I moved everything to a new HD

Always try things on clean machine. The best is to have virtual machine with saved snapshot, representing just-installed state, which you can always restore in one click. When you test on machine "contaminated" by previous installations (especially imperfect ones made in the course of development), you never know whether the problem is in the new installation, or in the those previous ones, and all this creates an infinite amount of difficult problems. So you may in fact disregard my prev. comment about the installation log, with the best luck we will only find one of those 1,000 reasons introduced by previous installations. Try on clean v.m., post if you still have a problem.
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Assisted Solution

by:AndyAinscow
AndyAinscow earned 250 total points
ID: 39779428
Hmmm.
From the help files (for my windows installer):

Product Code

Every Windows Installer installation must have a unique product code, which is used as the principal identification for the application.



I have had this behaviour described here when I did change the product code for an existing app by mistake.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:AndyAinscow
ID: 39779443
Ooops - I've done some more digging.
My memory was wrong, I had changed both product and upgrade codes when things went wrong.

Ignore my last comment.  :-((
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Author Comment

by:dominicwong
ID: 39780693
Thanks AndyAinscow and vadimrapp1.
What happened was my old HD was corrupted so I couldn't easily go back to examine.
I reckon something might be missing in my Installer project as I'd experimented it by building two versions. The newer one doesn't uninstall the older one.
I need to do more digging.
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Author Comment

by:dominicwong
ID: 39780751
I managed to resolve this issue.

There was a static red-colour icon next to the icon file under the Installer project.
The path of this icon file that had pointed to an old location. This icon file was referenced by the 'User's Program Men' under the 'File System (Installer)'.

There wasn't any error when I built the Installer project to produce installer files. I can't understand why an icon file could lead to this issue. But fixing the path of this icon file managed to resolve this issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dominicwong
ID: 39780756
Thanks Andy and vadimrapp1 for your prompt responses and help. Much appreciated.
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