I'm an InstallShield newbie - I've only worked with the Re-Packaging wizard, and some light editor use.

I have a VMware guest where I do snapshot style package building. After the snapshot is complete, I copy the source project files to up the server which is a safer place to keep it all.

When I want to work with the project again, it seems to have the original path buried somewhere in the project. (c:\packages\). I can only work with the project if I copy it back to a folder with that exact name, otherwise it won't build the MSI. Is there a setting somewhere to specify a relative path, so I can modify and rebuild the MSI without having to copy it locally every time?

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Create a network folder to contain your IRP output and it's associated files.
When you do the second snapshot specify this network folder.

Then you're on your way. (Edit IRP to create an ISM, then using InstallShield Editor generate your MSI.)

The following is a process I use that seeems to work for me, it's pretty much in line with Macrovision's suggested best practices for repackaging:
I have a server, ITPKG01, and on it a share, DevPkgs, and in here I have a folder called "~NewRpkgrProject" with 5 folders in it named:

Each folder represents a step in my repackaging process. When I have a new package to make I make a copy of the "~NewRpkgrProject" folder and rename it whatever the neame of the software I'm repackaging is (let's say BlahBlah), and then use the folders above in sequence. I copy the vendor's installation media to ITPKG01\DevPkgs\BlahBlah\1-LegacyFiles then do my first snapshot on my clean machine, then install the software, then when I do my second snapshot I ensure my Output Files go to ITPKG01\DevPkgs\BlahBlah\2-IRP then I'm done with my clean machine (until step 5). All subsequent steps I perform on my main working machine on which I have a working copy of AdminStudio. So I open up the IRP file and cull the crap out of the registry and the filesystem and generate the ISM ensuring it's created in the 3-ISM folder, then I edit my ISM with InstallShield Editor (selecting "Shallow Folder Structure" on my Release settings) and selecting 4-MSI as my output location. When you build your release your MSI and its related files will go into 4-MSI and a folder named "4-MSI DATA" will get created - which I move into my 6-Documentation folder along side any other files I want there.

If I am curious to see how clean my new MSI uninstalls I use step 5, which breifly goes like this, I get another clean machine or reset my clean machine, take my first snapshot, install my MSI - use it a bit, then uninstall my MSI, then take my second snapshot setting the Output Files go to 5-RemovalSnapshot then have a boo at that folder's IRP to see what (if anything the MSI leaves behind.)

The end result is a folder named BlahBlah in my DevPkgs share that has my repackaged application at all the different stages it went through - which I hold onto indefinitely so I can go back and look at it someday to see how I packaged it in the first place should I ever have problems upgrading or uninstalling it.
Answered 12/18/2006 by: fosteky
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Nice writeup, thanks.
Answered 12/19/2006 by: e40
Senior Yellow Belt

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Just want to add a thing... You can try checking your "Path Variables"
Try deleting the one that has a defined value...
Hope this helps..

Answered 12/19/2006 by: monster
Senior Yellow Belt

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