Software Deployment Question

How to create an Project file from an msi and get orginal folderpath for all files in InstallShield 2010

06/04/2014 7209 views


I have a beginners question for InstallShield 2010. I have got a msi file that I want to update whit new files. When i use the "Open as: Wizard" and try to convert the msi file to an ism projectfile it saves all the folders white the componet name.

Is it possible to save it as the actual folderstructure it will be installed in? I have 1000 components in the software I am trying to update so it would be nice if I just could copy and paste the new files to the old folderstructure instead of draging 1 file at a time.

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Why would you like to convert an existing (vendor) MSI to ISM??

This is not the preferred way:

You can either:

1. create a TRANSFORM with the updated files
(Safest way, just open MSI , save as.. MST and start making the changes.. adding / removing files etc..) 

2. or create a Patch based on the old MSI and eventually merge the Patch to create the new MSI. ( more experienced professional task)

3. Just open the MSI with Installshield as a MSI and edit the MSI , save as a new MSI.
(least knowledge needed, but you will get no support from any vendor by doing this)




Answered 06/04/2014 by: jaybee96
Red Belt


No it was not an vendor msi. I dident have the ism file from the old project. The msi had a lot of Custom Action in it and almost all files needed to be replaced so I thout instead of creating a transform I could only replace all the old files whit the new on hence they had the same folderpath.

If I only edit the msi I dont have the option to upgrade from the old msi to the new one when installing. 

Answered 06/04/2014 by: Atlas
Senior Yellow Belt

  • Major upgrade is the least of your problems ;-)
    Very easy to configure that (even without a wizard)
    Just check google

    I would do the following:
    - use the msiexec /a option to create an uncompressed MSI to get all the files / folders

    - create a new project and build your MSI with the new files and add the custom actions.
    And add an Major Upgrade rule in the new MSI so that the old MSI will be uninstalled completely first.
    • Thanxs for the reply. I did that and everything worked but it was a bit timeconsuming. I dont know if there is a way to extract all custom actions and the import them? Is there no way to just get the files in the folderpath instead of componentname? Even when I create a new msi it dosent save the files as it are installed when using the application. There must be some setting for that that I have missed? Before I used WISE and there you could only drop the files in its orginal path, change version, add major upgrade and just compile.

This used to work a lot better in older versions.

Run the MSI with /a to extract it, then use installshield to go File>Open, browse to the MSI, make sure you change the drop down box to Wizard...


It normally sorts itself out OK, but sometimes you need to tweak the path variables to make things easier moving forwards (for the next time you have to update it)

With the later versions I have had a lot of these fail.
Copying and pasting the rows from ISM to ISM worked OK. Last time I did this was for a Wise conversion (Best job ever, I hate Wise) but I had to do this for an MSI with about 80 features, 120 CAs and 2000 files. Not a 10 minute job.


Also the problem (sort of) with InstallShield is if you edit an MSI it does not give you the Upgrades  options (as in the pic above). In your situation I would have changed the files directly then added the upgrade directly using the DirectEditor (or Orca)

Answered 06/06/2014 by: Badger
Red Belt

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