Downloading, installing and using MS Orca

For whatever reason, Microsoft has never made ORCA an easy application to obtain on its own. One must download the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers and dig it out of there...

1) Download the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) 

2) You need only install the "Win32 Development Tools" component as shown here:

3) When installation is complete, you'll find the Orca installer hiding (by default) at: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0\Bin\Orca.exe

4) When the Orca installation is complete, you'll find it installed (by default) at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Orca

Once installed, you can use it to open an MSI and view its contents. This is especially helpful when researching command line possibilities by reviewing the contents of the Property table. Here you'll see what properties the vendor has established along with their default values. Many are common to most all MSI packages, but some are unique and can offer unique control over how the installation may be controlled. 

Doing anything fancy here without a good working knowledge of Windows Installer can be a challenge, which is why there is a wide range of MSI editors that offer a graphical, user-friendly view of the information. That said, removing shortcuts, files or changing property values of a vendor-provided MSI is relatively simple. Keeping in mind that you should never edit a vendor-provided MSI directly, I'm happy to report that Orca makes following that guidance ratehr easy. To create a transform...

1) Choose Transform > New Transform

2) Make any changes you wish to capture

3) Choose Transform > Generate Trannsform

That's all there is to it. To verify your transform or view the changes made by any given transform...

1) Choose Transform > Apply Transform

2) Select your transform file

3) Browse the tables and look for a marker on tables that have been altered by the transform

4) Select a marked table and scroll through the values to see any modified highlighed with a colored box. Colors indicate if something has been added, modified or removed.

You may apply the change of one or more transform files from the command line utilizing the TRANSFORMS property (note that the property name is upper case and writte as plural). 

Command Line Switches supprted by Orca:



  • We offer an alternative MSI editing software PACE Suite so we would leave a link for anyone who wished to evaluate it: http://pacesuite.com/ - pace-support 7 years ago
  • UPDATE: The installer is now here: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/windows-10-sdk

    (1) Download, install 'MSI Tools' only.
    (2) Look in C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\10.0.17134.0\x86
    (3) Run Orca installer from here - ITDave 5 years ago
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