Archive for Tips

Windows Update breaks InstallShield command line build

February 23rd, 2015 by

Building a setup with InstallShield’s “Stand Alone Build” command line tool may fail with error -6003. The error message looks like this:

ISDEV : error -6003: An error occurred streaming ‘<path>\DiskImages\DISK1\<filename>.isc’ into setup.exe.

It only seems to affect setups that are being digitally signed.

The problem is caused by Windows Update KB3004394 which updates the way Windows checks for revoked root certificates.

According to Flexera Software support it only affects InstallShield version 2012 or older, which all are end of life and no longer supported. Therefore I don’t expect a fix from Flexera (although I don’t have any official information on this).

This leaves you with two potential workarounds: Uninstall the Windows Update, which will make your computer less secure, or don’t let InstallShield digitally sign your setup. Or take the chance and convince your boss to buy a new version of InstallShield.

This problem was reported and the workaround was posted in the InstallSite Forum – thanks guys for sharing your experience.

You can buy InstallShield in the InstallSite Shop at


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InstallShield crashes after installing this week’s Windows Updates

July 11th, 2014 by and tagged

Several users are reporting that their InstallShield authoring tool stops working immediately after starting it. Apparently this is caused by an incompatibilty with Microsoft update MS14-037 “Security update for Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11” (KB2962872) which was distributed on this week’s Patch Turesday. Flexera is aware of the problem. A possible workaround is to uninstall the Windows patch, however this puts your system in an insecure, vulnerable state.

To get the latest information about workarounds and to get notified when a fix is available, please subscribe to this thread in the Flexera Community forum and/or contact Flexera support:

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What’s New in Windows Installer on Windows 8

September 23rd, 2012 by and tagged ,

Here’s a quick summary what’s new in the MSI engine that comes with Windows 8.

What’s new in MSI 5 on Windows 8

According to the documentation:

  • nothing

My own findings so far:

  • Windows Installer runtime version – as indicated by the file version of msi.dll – is 5.0.9200.16384
  • VersionNT = 602 (so similar to Windows 7 Microsoft didn’t increment the major version for application compatibility reasons)
  • WindowsBuild = 9200

According to Darwin Sanoy, Windows Installer also processes Appx Packages when installing Windows Store Apps.

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Using Sysnative to Access the 64-bit System Folder from a 32 Bit Application

August 22nd, 2012 by

If you try to access the Windows\System32 folder on a 64 bit version of Windows from a 32 bit application, you get redirected to Windows\SysWOW64. (There are a few exceptions to this rule: if the program you are launching triggers a user account control dialog (UAC) it doesn’t get redirected, and some special subfolders also don’t get redirected. For details see

To access the real Windows\System32 folder (which – despite of its name – is reserved for 64 bit programs) a 32 bit application can use Windows\Sysnative instead. This functionality is included out of the box in Windows Vista and above. For XP and Server 2003 an update is available to add the sysnative functionality

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Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter (with screenshots)

November 25th, 2011 by and tagged , ,

Microsoft has published a new tool to help end users fix setup related issues such as programs that can’t be installed or uninstalled. It replaces the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (MSICUU) which had been withdrawn in June 2010. Unlike MSICUU, the new tool actually tries to fix issues with the Windows Installer registry. If that doesn’t help, the tool makes some efforts to remove the application, while MSICUU only deleted the entry from Windows Installer and left all the garbage behind.

In my test, the tool successfully deleted the installed file, but left behind the empty folder in the Program Files directory. It also failed to delete the registry entry my test setup had created and the start menu shortcut to the exe.

The new tool also takes precautions like creating a restore point before it starts its work, and making backup copies of the resources it deletes. It even creates an undo script.

You can find the tool at For more details about how the tool works, see Aaron Stebner’s blog post. Here are some screenshots from the tool:

The tool has an option to automatically fix problems, but I used the second option.
Troubleshooting Options

It helps with installation problems as well as uninstall issues.
Install or Uninstall

The “Not Listed” option opens a dialog where you can enter the ProductCode GUID of a package you want to uninstall. For testing purposes, I created a setup where uninstallation was intentionally broken (via a LaunchCondition of Not Installed).
Select Program

The summary shows that it created backups of the deleted files and registry entries. However the latter only include Windows Installer’s own entries like those under HKLM:\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INSTALLER\… and HKLM:\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\… They entry under HKLM\Software\… which I specified in the Registry table of my msi was left behind.

This is how the backup folder structure looks like:

Backup Folder

File Backup

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Workaround for InstallShield re-activation problem

November 15th, 2011 by and tagged ,

With InstallShield version 2010 Flexera Software introduced the requirement that activation of the software has to be repeated yearly. Typically this re-activation happens automatically without user interaction. However in some cases, the automatic re-activation fails and when trying to manually re-activate some users get an error message: “The license for this computer is in use on another computer. … Error 20653 – The number of activations allowed for this account has been exceeded.”


Flexera Software has documented a workaround for this problem in knowledge base article Q212463.

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