I have heard it said by several people that if you have a MSI file you "don't" want to do a setup capture of it. But instead you should run it using a .MST file.
I know that using a .MST file is the way to go but where I work some want setup captures done and I have been trying to tell them that is not the way to do it.

What are the main pitfalls of doing a setup capture on a MSI file that all of you have seen?

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There are various disadvantages of capturing an MSI.

Some of them are..
In case of Vendor MSI's the vendor would have written or embedded some scripts to give permissions to registry (or) call some exe or call some msi. It is always difficult to know what actually the vendor has done to his MSI, SO that it gives desired results. These changes needs to be incorporate into our captured MSI also which is a trivial task.

If there is an upgrade to the product(Vendor MSI) then it might work or not work on your captured MSI.

Answered 08/28/2006 by: DevGowda
Orange Belt

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An example: Just say the .msi has logic in it for xladdins. They would be placed into the registry such as,


How will your script know what the next OpenX would be without you having to create a custom action to figure that out for you. Keep in mind that if you do a capture and you capture the key at Open2. Your MSI will alway replace Open2 on every PC, possibly overwriting previous open2 keys.

Hope I didn't confuse you with that.
Answered 09/18/2006 by: Secondlaw
Third Degree Blue Belt

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Hi mhsl,
the most important problem: It will be static.
Allmost all of the vendors MSI's will have 'Custom Action' inside, which do various things. That are little helper applications to do things that are not native built into Windows Installer. In quiet a few MSI, these CA's are vital part of the game!
Beside that, you can do quiet a lot, in check various things on a target machine, using native MSI-functions.
If you capture such an app, all this special things are lost and you get an MSI, which will run on the machine you captured it, but not on certain other machines.
Hope this helps a bit.
Answered 09/20/2006 by: nheim
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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