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 whawewong | Tue 6:01 PM

so what?

by jezBo | March 08 2015

Good if you want only to target Windows 8 (& presumably 7 is supported too), but the lack of compatibility with target XP OS meant I had to revert to VS2010.

by Robert te Kaat - Docati | February 11 2015

My first installer immediately fails. The log shows WEBCA_SetTARGETSITE. Some googling tells me I need to enable IIS6 compatibility feature. Why is that?

by JakeTanz | January 24 2015

Is there a tutorial on how to use this extension? It is my first time trying to use an installer.


by Chin Peng | January 22 2015

This was awesome! However, I found the setup file created from this installer will have problem running in Windows XP.

by behzad_garossiyan | January 22 2015

It was very excellent

by Farhad Khalaj | January 21 2015

by Sean986 | January 12 2015

So glad this came back. The only problem I found is that my msi wouldn't run on POSReady 2009 and Windows XP but I resolved this by following the advice from

by JayP337 | December 17 2014

by Stefan Cuypers | December 17 2014

Great to have this back. I finally could upgrade to VS2013 (we use setup projects a lot and are using it to create .msm files which is not supported by the Installshield included).
We found one problem with it though: if we add the Project Output from an SQL CLR project Visual Studio seems to crash when building the setup.

by macaiver | December 15 2014

by Rocker1984 | November 16 2014

For the people who are complaining that VS 2013 is crashing, do you by any chance have "Web Essentials" add on installed? I found out that these two extensions don't play well together. Disabling the "Web Essentials" add on fixes the crash on open issue for me.

by Keith Culpepper | November 13 2014

We were unhappy with the limited capabilities of InstallShield LE, so we discovered this extension and couldn't be happier! Thank you Microsoft team!

by Hans Putman | November 05 2014

Thanks for re-introducing the old-fashioned installer. The "free" InstallShield is terrible and the price of the paid version is so outrageous that I didn't even consider trying it.

by wbsutphin | November 05 2014

I have the same problem as Nick below opening an old installer (web installer actually). VS crashes hard. Had to uninstall to get at the solution to remove the install project.


by Brad Pendley | November 03 2014

Great Work!!!

by csionurb | October 29 2014

Great !

All is ok, old VS2010 projects are compatibles

Thanks a lot


by Atmeitsatme | October 27 2014

I thought simply upgrade to VS2013 with this add in, but packages does not work on Windows 2003 SP2.
I have to redo everything with InstallShield !!!

This extension does not provides the same functionality that currently exists in Visual Studio 2010 for Visual Studio Installer projects !!!

by Nick Foster | October 15 2014

Installed this in VS2013 so I could open a VS2010 Windows Service project that had an installer.

Extension installed ok. Every time I try to open the project Visual Studio crashed.

Uninstalling the extension allowed me to open the solution (minus the setup project).

by John-Peter | October 02 2014

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.

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  • Subfolders not created
    1 Posts | Last post Tue 1:46 PM
    • Hi,
      I've created a very simple installer project.
      It contains 2 text files. One text file in the Application folder, one in a subfolder.
      When I install, I adjust the path to "C:\test setup". This works fine.
      The subfolder isn't created when I:
      1. Start the .msi installer + click Next
      2. Click Browse and choose "C:\" and hit OK
      3. Now adjust the path to "C:\test setup" (textually, without using the browse button) and continue the installation.
      4. Observe how the subfolder isn't created.
      Tested on Windows 7 and 8.1 (both 64 bit).
  • Error executing Installer from CMD Line
    11 Posts | Last post March 19, 2015
    • Hello,
      We were so happy to see a REAL installer back in VS2013, InstallSheild LE is terrible and so crippled its near useless. 
      I have a simple website to deploy thats built using our build server from the command line - we constantly get the following error. 
      ------ Starting pre-build validation for project 'HelpDeskVSInstaller'  
      ------ ERROR: An error occurred while validating.  HRESULT = '8000000A'
      ------ Pre-build validation for project 'HelpDeskVSInstaller' completed 
      I have been able to replicate this on my local box by running the installer from the command line:
      C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /s /c ""C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv" "Payzone.Web.sln" /Rebuild Release /Project VSInstaller"
      The installer is able to be built from inside VS2013 IDE. Can you let me know how I can fix this issue? 
    • We have the same error while building from command line. The installer builds OK from GUI.
    has an explanation for older Visual Studio versions. I wonder if the problem was addressed in VS 2013 and this extension.
    • It seems that there is more than 1 person with this issue - Is anyone from Microsoft care to comment on this on how to get around it.
      We need to build from the command line and the gui is not an option for us. The installer should work from the command line.
      I have removed all the extra lines in the build as per the question / answer on stack overflow referenced by Aurimas above.
      This is still not working from the command line. 
      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get back to us on a how to fix or if its not going to be fixed so we can start using an installer that does what it says on the tin!!
    • Same problem here, it's very frustrating and now we can't script Builds from our Build server and therefore will still need to find another way to Build the product. Works fantastically from the UI though, but not really practical to deliver it this way and to be honest it should work the same as in the UI
    • You van add my name to the list. We have two vdproj's in our makefile - one works correctly the other fails with 8000000A
      Please fix or describe a workaround.
    • BUMP BUMP -
      Cmon guys someone must be aware of this and have a fix or workaround? I cannot believe that there hasnt even been a response to this from VS Team...... 
      We are basically not going to use Microsoft installers for any future projects because of the current shambles of the recent releases.....
    • Any update to this issue? We rely on the command line ability of VDPROJ since MSBUILD does not support installer projects. Hopefully a fix is in the works.
    • As an update - I did try the workaround posted on the main page with v1.0.0.0 release - and this fixes issues when executing from the command line for the current logged in account - but invoking the same command line parameters from our build process still fails with the HRESULT = '8000000A' error on the same server. Does the registry key have to be added elsewhere when running as a TFS service account?
    • Did this ever get resolved!!?!?  We have the same problem and it really sucks we have to build these in the GUI every time. Makes our build process take a lot longer!
    • Ping! Does anyone read this thread? Is there going to be any kind of resolution of this issue?
    • StlDev: I know your post is old but other people might find this useful.
      When your account doesn't experience the problem but the build process does, it is probably because the build process runs under a different windows account. Solution: Log on with the account that your build process uses and apply the registry fix again. Each user has their own HKEY_CURRENT_USER so to speak.
  • HRESULT = '8000000A' when validating
    4 Posts | Last post March 16, 2015
    • I'm still getting the error "An error occurred while validating.  HRESULT = '8000000A'" when running from command line. I have set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0_Config\MSBuild\EnableOutOfProcBuild to 0.
      Using version with VS 2013 update 4.
      Any new version coming soon?
    • +1 I'm still getting this as well.
    • Hi All,
      I've indeed the same problem with my TFS automated builds.
      I try to launch the msi generation by using all the steps described in the following post ( but it doesn't work.
      My build server currently runs with TFS 2013 and a VS 2013 version having this plugin but it doesn't work.
      I have set the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0_Config\MSBuild\EnableOutOfProcBuild registry value to 0 but it works only if i launch the msi generation through Visual Studio 2013...
      It is really a shame that Microsoft doesn't fix this issue when i see that we are a lot to wait for a VALUABLE fix !!!
    • Also having this issue. Tried everything. Using VS 2013 latest
  • ERROR: An error occurred while validating. HRESULT = '8000000A'
    1 Posts | Last post March 11, 2015
    • Hi,
      I have started migration process of our solution from Visual Studio 2010 to 2013 and now I have the "ERROR: An error occurred while validating.  HRESULT = '8000000A'" problem building setup project in command line mode (we have an autobuild script we use to publish our software).
      I tried adding EnableOutOfProcBuild registry value, even in CURRENT_USER and DEFAULT_USER, with no luck.
      There is something else I can try? Can I turn off the validation check (in Visual Studio i'm able to build with no issue, so I cannot think there is a real validation problem)? There is a newer beta version I can test?
      Unluckly this issue is blocking in the migration process, if i cannot resolve I have to rollback to Visual Studio 2010...
      Thanks in advance
      Daniele Buffa.
  • C++ project dependency detection?
    4 Posts | Last post March 10, 2015
    • 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.
    • I found the same problem on VS2013. My C++ (Windows Form App) project depend on Mix C++ (.Net+Native library). 
    • I'm having this same issue. Adding the merge modules didn't fix it, either. Any new insights on this, anybody?
  • Use IS 2012
    2 Posts | Last post March 10, 2015
    • I have our installation project as InstallScript MSI using InstallShield 2012.
      How can I include this as a project within Visual Studio 2013 ?
      I can't open my .ism file, it says:
      Microsoft Visual Studio
      The selected file cannot be opened as a solution or project. Please select a solution file or a project file.
      It was working just fine with VS2010.
    • .... same result with the existing .isproj file -- "... cannot be opened ..."
  • Compatibility with XP & older
    1 Posts | Last post March 07, 2015
    • I assume it's not compatible - since all attempted installations on an XP box of a setup project built in VS2013 on Windows 8 comes up with a message that the installer was interrupted. Can I have confirmation what target platforms are supported?
  • Compatibility with XP & older
    1 Posts | Last post March 07, 2015
    • I assume it's not compatible - since all attempted installations on an XP box of a setup project built in VS2013 on Windows 8 comes up with a message that the installer was interrupted. Can I have confirmation what target platforms are supported?
  • setup blocked
    1 Posts | Last post March 02, 2015
    • i tried to install this extension to VS ultimate 2015 but it fails?
      is there any solution ?
  • VS2013 installer does not do upgrade installation correctly
    2 Posts | Last post March 02, 2015
    • 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.
    • This is also happening with our software. RemocvePreviousVersions=true installation executes OK with no errors.
      1. the uninstall of the older product’s files runs OK
      2. COM deregister of older product fails
      3. Deployment of all files from the new setup package fails
      4. COM registration of new product is OK (although points to a non-existent file and is a duplicate)
      Setting RemoveProviousVersions=false completes the install OK - old files are overwritten and our software runs OK. Both old and new versions are displayed in "Programs and Features" list - as you'd expect I suppose.
      Has anybody come up with a workaround?
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