weird 'complete' install

Another strange day in the office..

Install with GUI, setup type has radio button options


So, far, all quite normal...
Default install is complete….

Looking at the custom install, two features are NOT installed. (bear that in mind)

So you would think that a silent install would install the complete option (with all the features, as requested by the user)

Oh, no. It’s way weirder than that.

I get a call saying ‘some files are missing’. So, can you be more specific?? How is this happening??

When I look into the MSI, I see a lot of files in the folder they are talking about, checking the features, its all a bit unclear about which features go where. Then I realise some features have the level set in the Feature table to 101 or 201. With InstallShield the default INSTALLLEVEL=100 (in Wise it was 3). So I would expect those features to NOT be installed normally (but since the Complete is the default...why aren't they there)

So, I will just check the INSTALLLEVEL property, hmmm, its not set.

When you select the complete button and click next, how are all the features getting installed???

So, the setup type dialogue, has a radio button option,

Two options, as you can see from the image, complete and custom. But complete is actually ‘typical’

There is a control event so that when the Typical button (which appears with the text ‘Complete’) is selected, the event AddLocal is created with an argument of ALL.

ControlEvent table info:
SetupType          Next      AddLocal             ALL         _IsSetupTypeMin = "Typical"      3

I thought it might have done something cleverer like changing the INSTALLLEVEL property so the correct features are installed. So, I fixed this in a hurry by changing the Level of the features in the feature table to 1. So they are all installed. But it was bugging me.

So, now, why did they do it this way??

Having a rant to someone else about this, I remember that I did some work for a bank a while ago, moving them from Wise to InstallShield. They wanted the install setup type to have 3 options. Wise by default has the 3 options, I think Typical, Custom & Complete. InstallShield only has two, Typical and Custom. I had to modify the setup type dialogue to have 3 options available. Quite tricky, not super hard, but when you create MSI’s to install silently for years, to do a custom dialogue box is tricky. Or for a techy, fun, an interesting day.

I think the vendor had the same sort of issue, wanting to get 3 options, which is why ‘typical’ appears as Complete. So they have repurposed the Typical install (which is normally a minimal install) and called it complete, then making it a complete install by making the AddLocal=ALL, which is not the  public property (ADDLOCAL), I am a bit confused by that, if I had more time I might try changing the controlevent to the public property, OK, did that, still didn’t work.

Stick with the change in the Feature table…. (with an MST of course)


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