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Level 5

File not uninstalled on Update

I have the problem that a file is not uninstalled on an update and I'm not sure what the reason is:

The affected component of the setup has four files (*.dll). No key file in the component.
In the newer version of the setup the content of the component changed:
one of those original four files was removed and a new one was added.

The result of the update is, that the new file is installed but the removed file is not uninstalled.

Why is it so?
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(4) Replies
Not applicable


If I understand you right, you have a file that you want to be removed in an update.

It is not enough just to remove the file from the installation. I think the reason is that when you remove the file there are no references to it from the installer. If there are no references how would the installer know that you want to remove that file.

The solution is the direct editor and the table called RemoveFile

You can find information about how to use this table in the pdf called "Designing an Update-Friendly MSI Installer". It can be found on the installshield site.

Hope this help you.

Best regards,
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Level 8

What type of upgrade did you configure?
Also, as you say there is no key file for the component, the folder itself becomes the keyfile or keypath to be precise.
Removal of non-key files from a component that has no keyfile will not be that straightforward.
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Level 5

it's a major upgrade with "install then remove unused files". The problem does not exist when using the style "complete uninstall and then reinstall".

I know that it is a bad usage of the component with no key file but I have no idea how I can change it now so that updates will run correctly. (the setup was made years ago...)

If I completely remove the actual component with the dll's and add new components for each dll with the dll as the key file, then all the dll's will be missing after the update and starting the app will then run a repair.

In the Log you can see: the dll's are installed or updated from the new component, but the removal of the origin component deletes these files at the end of the update...
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Level 8

The complete uninstall and subsequent install Major Upgrade will have no problems.

You have to use the RemoveFile table as jenskjensen mentions althugh not for the reasons he mentions.

That is the proper and the easiest way out of this trouble.

Go through this:

Post if you need more info.
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