Stupid subject line I'm sure, but here's the background...

I've been trying to modify the client.msi for SMS 2003 SP1 to automate deployments via GPO assignment. You cannot assign the default MSI as it requires some inputs along the way. The key entry required is SMSSITECODE=XXX where XXX can be the actual code or the word AUTO. Sounds simple enough, right?

I opened the MSI in Wise for Windows Installer 5.21 and add that one property to the property table, save and close. Run it and it crashes with an error indicating a problem trying to install the BITS 1.5 client service. No good. Repeated edits/recompiles using a fresh original MSI produce the same results. Every single time.

I open another clean MSI and add the same property using Orca, save and close. Run it and it works perfectly. Every single time.

Question: Is there some hidden, magical setting in Wise that I need to set to correct this or is it one of those "you gotta get the newer version, which fixes that" kind of thing? Or is Orca just better at some things? I really am curious, I'm not trying to cast doubt on Wise or any other product. I happen to like Wise for most of my other packaging chores, this is the only serious problem I've encountered with it so far.
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[8D]

Yo Yo!

Ideally, when you want to make changes to a MSI file, you should be creating a MST (transform) file to adjust the settings.

When you open a MSI in Wise, you have to 'compile' the MSI again to save the changes and this can 'alter' the MSI.
Using ORCA to modify the property table is alot easier because when you save the MSI it doesn't recompile it again.

[8D] Keep cool. [8D]
Answered 02/13/2005 by: brenthunter2005
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Wise adds a couple tables that are usually benign, but cause problems with the big Microsoft MSIs such as Office and apparently SMS 2003 SP1 client as well. Most, if not all, start with "Wise" if you want to investigate for yourself. If you're only tweaking a property value, it's usually much easier to create a transform with Orca.
Answered 02/14/2005 by: VikingLoki
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Thanks guys. I can't use a transform (I am aware of MST files and compiling things), becuase you cannot use them with computer-assigned GPO policies. They only work with user-published or user-assigned policies.
Answered 02/16/2005 by: ds0934
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In that case I'd suggest merging in your transform. In orca, open your MSI, apply the transform, then under File select "Save Transformed As". That way you're distributing a single MSI, but your development area has the original MSI and a transform for future reference.
Answered 02/16/2005 by: VikingLoki
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umm, you CAN use MST files with computer-assigned GPO's ! [8|]
Answered 02/17/2005 by: brenthunter2005
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Thanks brent, I thought that sounded strange. I don't distribute via GPO so I took his word for it.
Answered 02/17/2005 by: VikingLoki
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