Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects

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

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by John-Peter | at 8:29 AM

Most glad when finding out that finally IT is back. Most sad when realizing that it doesn't work on XP (1/4 market share!). MS, please bring that back too. Pleeeeaaaase.

by Public Wireless | September 25 2014

It's appeared to work for me with one glitch.

I imported into Visual Studio 2013 a Setup and Deployment project created in Visual Studio 2010. In my project, I had selected 'Download prerequisites from the same location as my application. But when I tried to build my setup project, I was getting an error such as :

To enable 'Download prerequisites from the same location as my application' in the Prerequisites dialog box, you must download file 'XXXXXXXX' for item 'XXXXXXX' to your local machine. For more information, see

In this case, the link was actually useful for solving the problem. Basically I had to download the MSIs and then copy them to the Bootstrapper folder where it checks--in my case: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.1A\Bootstrapper\Packages\<folder for prerequisite>\

When I was using Visual Studio 2010 I didn't have to do this--the redistributable MSIs were already in the correct bootstrapper folder.

Maybe the Visual Studio Installer Projects Extension should add them as part of the install to avoid this hastle for others

by Tirinti | September 25 2014

It doesn't work with 64bit version Windows Services.
the same is with installshield.
Only the WIX works properly.

by Henrique Machado Müller | September 25 2014


by Dark Likez | September 23 2014

I can't install it, i have VS2013 Express and the extension says what i don't have Visual Studio installed, i also have VS 2010, how i can do?

by YesK | September 23 2014

1. I have VS 2013 ultimate (I am working on Windows 8.1 OS)
2. Update 3 is installed
3. Installed this extension
4. Added a setup project for my windows service
5. I could build and create MSI
7. Saved the solution which has this setup project along with my other projects.
8. Exited VS 2013
9. When I start VS 2013 and open this solution, VS 2013 crashes
10. Restarted my computer to see if that fixes the problem. Unfortunately, same problem.
11. Even installed Update 4 CTP to see if that changes anything. VS 2013 still crashes when I open the solution.

Let me know if you need the log files (or any other information) that might help you guys to fix this problem. This is definitely as CRITICAL issue IMO.

by Farrokhrt | September 09 2014

Solved our problem with useless InstallShield's Limited Edition
(ISLE! Thanks for bringing back simple and working msi installer!
Non-working ISLE Installer packages were my only reason not
upgrading to VS2013 but now we can. I hope Microsoft dumps InstallShield
Limited Edition (ISLE)and go back to their own msi installer that is actually
working. Anyway, thanks for creating this extension may code Gods take
away all pains away from you :)

by Lennart Jansson | September 08 2014

There's something strange going on when installing v1.0.0.0 of this.
After installation you will have some regkeys that doesn't look correct.

Under HKCR you will find three keys:

Looks like it will affect opening vdproj files from command line.
Maybe something that you should fix for next release?

Lennart Jansson

by Tlford | August 28 2014

Is there anyone out there who could fix this project to be able in install to XP. Now I will have to manually fix my WIX installer. What fun.

by kjbartel | August 12 2014

It's great to have support for building old VS installer projects in VS2013 and it will really help people move away from using VS2010. Unfortunately though it's not that great for anything other than legacy programs. New ClickOnce setup packages for newer components don't seem to be getting released meaning you have to try and roll your own if you update your programs to use any newer components. To make it worse, the old Bootrapper Manifest Generator has disappeared from MS's website so making those packages is just that little bit harder and time consuming.
I can't help but feel that this extension is a half-hearted attempt to appease all the users who wanted proper support for these projects. It's clear that proper support won't be given though. ClickOnce and VS installer projects are pretty much dead in the eyes of MS. I just wish MS would provide a viable alternative other than ISLE or the not very user friendly WiX. We still need to write desktop apps and we need a good easy to configure and build installer. This isn't it.

by ICCSol | August 05 2014

Works brilliantly, but being unable to deploy to XP machines is an absolute dealbreaker.

by pavel.grishanov | August 01 2014

Can not be installed on 2013 Express Edition SP2:
Visual Studio is required but its not installed.
"Don't check for the version,check for a feature" - Blog from one of the MS manager.

by Mariano Beeche | July 25 2014

Before this extension I had to keep older versions of Visual studio just to generate a installer. Great tool, THANKS!

by Roberrt Greengrass | July 24 2014

Don't work on 2013 Express edition.

by D.Hammink | July 21 2014

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

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  • Workaround for Win XP / Win 2003 problem
    9 Posts | Last post 8:52 AM
    • 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
    • Look at the post by Diego Alexander Hoyos David on April 21, 2014.  It may point to an easier way to fix the build process rather than fix the .msi afterward.
    • If it is that 'easy', why doesn't MS do it?
  • C++ project dependency detection?
    2 Posts | Last post Tue 5:44 AM
    • Anybody else having issues with dependency detection for C++ projects? It seems the extension dropped my dependencies from the VS2010 vdproj, and won't regenerate them. If I re-add my project outputs some of them are re-added, but they soon disappear again.
    • I was able to get the necessary dependencies to include by manually adding the VC12 merge modules, only two in my case.
  • Chain other .MSI projects?
    1 Posts | Last post Fri 5:06 PM
    • How can you chain other .msi projects in a Visual Studio 2013 Installer Project?
  • Windows XP and Server 2003
    3 Posts | Last post Fri 1:15 PM
    • We get errors when using installers built in 2013 and running on XP machines that don't exist when the installer is built in VS2010.  We are not alone as I found this guy had looked into it quite a lot and has the EXACT same problem we have including the error message.
      Is this planned to be fixed.  Surely XP has to be supported from an installer point of view?  And why has it been broken versus VS2010?
    • +1
    • I've also encountered this problem found temporary solution - set DIRCA_CheckFX and VSDCA_VsdLaunchConditions Condition to 0 in InstallUiSequence and InstallExecuteSequence tables. But this operation block chceckig for installed prequsite components :/
  • VS2013 installer does not do upgrade installation correctly
    1 Posts | Last post Fri 7:22 AM
    • Although the Productcode is different, RemovePreviousVersions is true, Version is higher, file versions of DLLs are higher an upgrade installation seems to run through without any errors (in UI). But if you look in the installation folder then only a new DLL is placed there, all the others that should have been replaced are deleted. Registry settings are fine. A new installation is also fine. Has someone similar experiences? The setup properties are the same as in the installer we build with VS2008. There the upgrade installation worked.
  • VS2013 installer NOT working for Windows XP, Windows 8
    1 Posts | Last post September 18, 2014
    • Build with Visual Studio 2013 on a Windows 8 machine. The installer doesn't work for Windows XP, Windows 8 with error message: "the setup requires internet explorer version 5.1 or higher and Windows XP or higher....".
      I tried Diego's solution replacing the dpca.dll, but after rebuilt, I got the same error.
      Please help/suggest!!
  • Error 2835
    10 Posts | Last post September 14, 2014
    • When build a project that works fine in Visual Studio 2010 and invoke custom actions occurs an error:
      DEBUG: Error 2835:  The control ErrorIcon was not found on dialog ErrorDialog
      El instalador encontró un error inesperado al instalar este paquete. Esto puede indicar un problema con este paquete. El código de error es 2835. Los argumentos son: ErrorIcon, ErrorDialog, 
      Error 1001. Error 1001. InstallUtilLib.dll: Unknown error.
      MSI (s) (8C!08) [13:17:12:426]: 
      DEBUG: Error 2769:  Custom Action _E8C2335F_8251_4C1A_8B0C_AEF0D1161778.install did not close 1 MSIHANDLEs.
      El instalador encontró un error inesperado al instalar este paquete. Esto puede indicar un problema con este paquete. El código de error es 2769. Los argumentos son: _E8C2335F_8251_4C1A_8B0C_AEF0D1161778.install, 1, 
      CustomAction _E8C2335F_8251_4C1A_8B0C_AEF0D1161778.install returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)
      La acción terminó a las 13:17:12: InstallExecute. Valor devuelto 3.
      Acción 13:17:12: Rollback. Revertir la acción:
    • After compare the msi generated in VS 2010 and 2013 I found two differences:
      1.) In the binary table: MSVBDPCADLL file 
      2.) In the file table: dll that contains custom action has wrong file size
      After many test the only way that the setup works correctly is when replace the file "MSVBDPCADLL" in the msi with a VS2010 version. It also works when replace the file dpca.dll from directory "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\Tools\Deployment" to directory "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\VSI\bin"
      For this test create a basic setup project that invokes a custom action dll that contains installer class. I work in Windows 8.1 Update x64 with Visual Studio 2013 Premium.
    • Thanks Diego for the work on reporting this - We're looking into it.
      Tony Goodhew, Program Manager, VS Pro.
    • Amazing Diego! I was in need of a fast solution and the workaround to replace the old dll saved my day, Thanks!
    • Very thanks.
    • Great Diego, many thanks!
    • Hi,
       I have replaced the dpca.dll from directory "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\Tools\Deployment" to directory "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\VSI\bin" , but still i get the same error Error 1001. InstallUtilLib.dll: Unknown error.
    • Hi Diego,
       When i replace the dll, as suggested, then if i click on the setup project and click on install , then there is message saying that you need .Net 4.5 to run this setup. But when i dont replace the dll it shows the message Error 1001. InstallUtilLib.dll . Can you please let me know how to resolve this
    • I believe that once you replace the file, you need to rebuild the setup project.
    • The solution is to replace the dpca.dll as Diego suggests.  The key is to find the right dpca.dll file.  Here are the details of the file that I used and works...
      Prod Version: 10.0.40219.311
      Size: 231 KB
      Date: 4/22/2011 2:57 PM
  • Custom actions hang on Web setup project
    1 Posts | Last post September 10, 2014
    • Web setup projects built using this new extension (v. hang when custom actions are defined.
      According to the install log file, the last action executed is:
      Executing op: CustomActionSchedule(Action=_99929182_20CB_41DB_B548_48572713E9E6.install,ActionType=3073,Source=BinaryData,Target=ManagedInstall,CustomActionData=/installtype=notransaction /action=install /LogFile= ...)
      And then I have to kill msiexec.exe process because it hangs forever.
      Anyone is experiencing this?
      By the way, regular setup projects are calling my custom actions withou issues.
  • Build output doubled?
    4 Posts | Last post September 04, 2014
    • Is anyone else seeing doubled (and sometimes tripled) build output?
      It appeared the installer project was getting built multiple times during a solution build (F6).  However I have a post build event that generates a new guid for the Product code each build and it appears the same for each build.  So the problem appears to just be the output...
      I'm running version
    • Yes, I have seen it.
    • Yes, I've seen it too.
    • Still there in 1.0
  • updated version
    1 Posts | Last post August 29, 2014
    • Hi, will there be newer version of this that will not require the registry hack? 
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