Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects

Microsoft Free

This official Microsoft extension provides support for Visual Studio Installer Projects in Visual Studio 2013

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by D.Hammink | Mon 10:09 AM

Great tool I really don't like the Installshield. Just for simple Setup projects this is enough.
Next move add Install for a Service (used to work in 2010 )

Keep on going .

by Scaasic | July 16 2014

No guide available for how to use this extension.

by Nii Okai Addy | July 09 2014

by Jay (CTI Developer) | July 09 2014

May your higher power bless you. Having this extension has saved my bottom-side.

Yes, I have the WinXP problem. I intend to follow Xian's post.

But otherwise, this is way more easier to use than the other MS provided solutions.

Thank you!

by mr_super_genius | July 03 2014

Good to see this back! The one provided with VS 2013 was very limited

by PeterŠulek | July 01 2014

by Marcel Raad | June 28 2014

The installers don't work on Windows XP and Server 2003. Unfortunately this is a blocker for me. Apart from that, this extension is great. Thank you very much for bringing it back!

by daniel.pereira | June 26 2014

The MSIs produced by this extension do not work on Windows 2003 or XP.

by David Lowndes | June 24 2014

Nice to hear that you've fixed the "Error 2727 occurring with more than 1 content file" problem I reported, but my other issue of only being able to load a solution once is still a bug in V1. :(

... but applying update 2 (I was using VS2013 update 1), appears to have resolved the subsequent solution loading issue.

Now, how about having a setup that will work on XP generation OS's?

by Viktar | June 19 2014

Thank you for bringing it back. Finally I can uninstall Visual Studio 2010.

by Fred Iannon | June 16 2014

If anyone figures out a way to get around the problem with the msi running in XP please let me know. I have been worked on this for a while by editing the .msi with Orca and did make progress getting it to work, however it then caused another problem if the installer also had custom actions (the previous 1001 error appeared)

by Edwin_C | June 16 2014

The version still cannot build msi which can be run in Windows XP. Will this be fixed? Or XP was totally abandoned by Microsoft?

by Mike E Yeager | June 15 2014

Good to have you back!

by Peter Wimmer | June 14 2014

It's really good news that the Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects are back.

I wish you could fix the issues that already bothered me in VS2010:

1) Desktop icons created by the installer on the desktop are limited to 48x48 pixels and look bad on high-DPI displays. This applies even when the application icon includes higher resolutions, it's an installer issue, not an issue of the icons.

2) Add an option to set DISABLEADVTSHORTCUTS for icons. Otherwise installing updates of the applications breaks shortcuts the user has manually attached to the taskbar.

3) Enable antialiasing in the dialog fonts.

by Sriram Kalyanasundaram | June 10 2014

I don't understand why this is included in VS 2013 by default. I don't want to install any third party components for the components I built through VS 2013.The edition that is provided for free doesn't allow you to do lot of stuff since it is a limited edition. I would like to have the Setup and Deployments project back to do this! This was so easy in older versions of Visual Studio. I hope installing this extension solves my issue.

by Adam Floyd | June 09 2014

Nowhere is it made clear that this does not work with the Visual Studio Express edition. Trying to install it with VS Express misleadingly informs me that Visual Studio is not installed. Please clarify the exact products it supports in the above information, and mention that Express editions are not supported in the error message - its current form is very misleading as it suggests there are no VS products installed at all.

by NinaMariaP | June 05 2014

Very cool. Thank you

by Daniel Castenholz | June 01 2014


by mess | May 30 2014

Installer is BROKEN - will not work on command line - should never have passed QA.

Do not install this as it will not work from the command line - nor will the installer work on server 2003.



by a r a p a w a e t a s k | May 28 2014

Ok, this version fixed the Error 1001. InstallUtilLib.dll: Unknown error. Please integrate this extension in the next Visual Studio 2013 Update.

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  • Workaround for Win XP / Win 2003 problem
    7 Posts | Last post Mon 3:52 PM
    • Hi Space!
      For everyone who needs the setup projects to run on Windows XP or Windows 2003, here are steps for a workaround which worked for me.
      - Create a simple dummy setup in Visual Studio 2010 (you just need a VS 2010 .msi).
      - Install the tool “MsiDB” from Microsoft or look if it is installed on your drive (search for “MsiDB.exe”). For me it was on C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin.
      - Start the tool an select the Visual Studio 2010 .msi. Select an export folder.
      - Select “Binary” in the tool, select “Export” and click “OK”. (Now new files are found in the previous selected export folder.)
      - Close the tool!
      - Create your Visual Studio 2013 setup project.
      - Start “MsiDB” again and now select the VS 2013 .msi. Select an OTHER export folder.
      - Select “Binary” in the tool, select “Export” and click “OK”.
      - Now, this is the magic (!). Copy the file “MSVBDPCADLL.ibd” from the VS 2010 export folder to the VS 2013 export folder and overwrite the existing file.
      - Now select “Import” in the tool a select “Binary.idt” and then hit “OK”. (There is no visual response after clicking OK so make sure you click it.)
      - Close the tool with “Quit”.
      - Now you should see, that the last edit date of the VS 2013 .msi changed. Your setup is now ready for WinXP / Win 2003. 
      I have tested it also on Win 2012 R2. It worked for me every time!
      Hope this helps you to.
      Cheers from beautiful Austria! - Xian
    • Do you have to do this every time you build an MSI file or can you do it just the once?
    • The final solution:
      "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin\MsiDb.Exe" -f "D:\Temp\VS2010-MSI-IDT" -i Binary.idt -d "C:\TO\VS2013Setup.msi"
      The folder should contain Binary.idt and the folder Binary. They can be extracted just once from VS2010Setup.msi using the following command:
      "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin\MsiDb.Exe" -d "C:\TO\VS2010Setup.msi" -f "D:\Temp\VS2010-MSI-IDT" -e Binary
      Thank you, Xian!
    • VBScript Version (once you have extracted MSVBDPCADLL.ibd from a VS2010 MSI):
      Option Explicit
      Const msiOpenDatabaseModeReadOnly = 0
      Const msiOpenDatabaseModeTransact = 1
      Dim Installer
      Dim View
      Dim Record
      Set installer = Wscript.CreateObject("WindowsInstaller.Installer")
      Set Record = Installer.CreateRecord(1)
      Record.SetStream 1, "C:\Binary\MSVBDPCADLL.ibd"
      Dim databasePath:databasePath = Wscript.Arguments(0)
      Dim database : Set database = installer.OpenDatabase(databasePath, msiOpenDatabaseModeTransact)
      Set View = Database.OpenView("UPDATE `Binary` SET `Binary`.`Data` = ? WHERE `Binary`.`Name`='MSVBDPCADLL'")
      View.Execute Record
      WScript.Echo ".MSI Updated"
    • cscript.exe <vbs file> <msi to modify>
    • Thanks, Ty_Trunk !
    • Xian, I don't have Visual Studio 2010 to create dummy setup, all I have is Visual Studio 2013 only
  • Does this work on Windows Server 2003 with .NET Framework 4.0 ?
    1 Posts | Last post Mon 3:50 PM
    • Does this work on Windows Server 2003  with .NET Framework 4.0. I don't have Visual Studio 2010 to create Dummy setup ?
  • setup blocked
    2 Posts | Last post Mon 2:45 PM
    • I downloaded "Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects" on my computer. And when I try to install it I face "Setup Blocked" message.
      And the reason describes in this way:
      "Microsoft Visual Studio is required, but it is not installed on this computer. Please install it and retry."
      While I've already have "VS Express 2013 for Desktop". What is the solution?
    • We have the same problem.
      Sorry I'm not helpful.
  • Cannot install this template
    1 Posts | Last post July 16, 2014
    • I want to install this template on my computer and my Visual Studio 2013 Express but the install report me that no Visual Studio in my computer.
      I opened the Log File and the install search for Professional edition.
      Do I must to have Professional Edition?
      Or it's all about the install not found my Visual Studio files in Hard Disk (C:) cause the files in (D:) Hard Disk?
  • Not able to build .vdproj in TFS
    1 Posts | Last post July 16, 2014
    • Hi, I am not able to build .vdproj in TFS, does anyone have a solution for this ?
  • Installs don't work on XP
    9 Posts | Last post July 03, 2014
    • Just discovered that all of my installers fail when used on an XP system - this is worrying, because our customer site has a number of XP boxes and I will need to deploy applications to these.
      For information, my XP test systems are on Virtual PCs. Installers created in VS2010 still work fine. I have tried upgrading the Windows Installer version  on the XP machines from 3.1 to 4.5, but this makes no difference.
      The new installers work fine on Windows 7 and 8.1, but I need them to work on XP.
    • This is also an issue for my. It fails with an 1603 in the event log.
    • I wonder if this is caused by the problem with custom installer actions? It seems to fail in the built-in custom action DIRCA_CheckFX, which is checking that the specified .NET framework is installed. It happens after id did the install of the .NET 4.0 framework. An excerpt of the installation log looks like this:
      Action 20:32:53: DIRCA_CheckFX. 
      Action start 20:32:53: DIRCA_CheckFX.
      MSI (c) (A8:00) [20:32:53:632]: Note: 1: 2235 2:  3: ExtendedType 4: SELECT `Action`,`Type`,`Source`,`Target`, NULL, `ExtendedType` FROM `CustomAction` WHERE `Action` = 'DIRCA_CheckFX' 
      MSI (c) (A8:00) [20:32:53:632]: Creating MSIHANDLE (1) of type 790542 for thread 3328
      MSI (c) (A8:18) [20:32:53:632]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:\DOCUME~1\XPMUser\LOKALE~1\Temp\MSI364.tmp, Entrypoint: CheckFX
      MSI (c) (A8:84) [20:32:53:632]: Cloaking enabled.
      MSI (c) (A8:84) [20:32:53:632]: Attempting to enable all disabled privileges before calling Install on Server
      MSI (c) (A8:84) [20:32:53:632]: Connected to service for CA interface.
      MSI (c) (A8:18) [20:32:53:992]: Closing MSIHANDLE (1) of type 790542 for thread 3328
      Action ended 20:32:53: DIRCA_CheckFX. Return value 3.
      So maybe fixing the custom installer problem will also make this work?
    • Any plans as to when the "Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects Preview" will support installs for Windows XP? Or if it will never support Windows XP, since XP is no longer supported?
      Is there known solution around this issue for installing to Windows XP? Could the DIRCA_CheckFx be ignored or skipped?
    • Version still fails to generate msi which can run in XP.  Very disappointing!
    • If anyone figures out a way to get around the problem with the msi running in XP please let me know.  I have been worked on this for a while by editing the .msi with Orca and did make progress getting it to work, however it then caused another problem if the installer also had custom actions (the previous 1001 error appeared)
    • 不支持XP,令人失望。失望、失望、失望!
    • 强烈要求,增加对XP的支持。
    • You can use my workaround. See my post on 03.07.2014.
  • XP Support
    2 Posts | Last post July 03, 2014
    • I will have to abandon this installer (AGAIN) since most of my customers run XP still. I cannot provide them with updates if the installer is not working. Switching to try WiX. 
    • You can use my workaround. See my post on 03.07.2014.
  • Failure to install under XP/2003 OS's
    2 Posts | Last post July 03, 2014
    • Has anyone created a Connect bug on the inability of this tool to create an installation package that works on Windows XP/Server 2003 OS's?
      If you have, please post a link to your report here so that we can vote it up.
    • You can use my workaround. See my post on 03.07.2014.
  • Installers don't work on XP
    2 Posts | Last post July 03, 2014
    • Installers created with Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects for VS2013 do not install on Windows XP. Please fix this issue, it is not possible yet for most developers to drop XP saupport.
    • You can use my workaround. See my post on 03.07.2014.
  • Framework 4.5.2 as a prerequisite
    2 Posts | Last post July 01, 2014
    • If I'm using the VSIP preview to create a setup project for a project using framework 4.5.2, is there a way to add Framework 4.5.2 to the Prerequisites screen?  It seems to only support up to 4.5.1 and the page to which you are directed to include additional prerequisites does not seem to contain a link to the 4.5.2 redistributable.
    • You need to install the 4.5.2 ClickOnce Bootstrapper package ( - or search for "KB 2961101")
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