A registry key makes MSI fire Error 2908

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dot smolin @add-in-expressdot_com Andrei Smolin [Add-in Express]

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Nov 23, 2007, 10:33:59 AM11/23/07
to
Hello,

What follows below is a set of steps to reproduce and fix Error 2908 when
dealing with a bulky msi project.

I. Preparing a test setup package
1. Create a WindowsApplication project in VS 2005 SP1
2. Add a setup project to the solution
3. Add some 1200 files to the setup project (their content is not essential;
you can create them yourself)
4. Add a ConsoleApplication to the solution
5. Specify the ConsoleApplication as a custom action (Install, Uninstall,
Rollback) and set its InstallerClass property to false
6. Build the setup project
7. Verify the msi with Orca. You get the following warning message:
Feature 'DefaultFeature' has XXXX components. This could cause problems on
Win9X systems. You should try to have fewer than 817 components per feature.


II. Preparing a PC for testing
1. Windows XP SP2, .NET Framework 2.0, all updates.
2. Run Regedit.exe and open the following registry branch:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData
3. In this key, you have two subkeys with names like these:
S-1-5-18
S-1-5-21-1123561945-1935655697-1060284298-1003
4. Open the key with the longer name
(S-1-5-21-1123561945-1935655697-1060284298-1003)
5. Open or Create the Components key
6. In the Components key, create the following subkey:
AD95649F068525549B26938D7D18FEA7
7. In the key created in step 6, create a string value with the following
name:
B3414A45B4B628042B8446B35265C1BC
8. Assign the following string to the value created in step 7:
C?\WINDOWS\system32\rgb9rast_2.dll

III. Testing
0. Log in as administartor.
1. Install the test msi for the current user.
2. Uninstall the test msi
3. Try to install the test msi (or any other msi) to get Error 2908.
4. To cure the system, delete the AD95649F068525549B26938D7D18FEA7 key.

More info.
The test project reconstitutes the structure of a real setup project.
The offending key is taken from a test PC with VS 2008 Beta 2 installed for
all users.
On the test PC, there are some other Microsoft products also installed for
all users and no products installed for the current user.
We tried repairing _some_ of the products (but not VS 2008 Beta 2). None of
them restored the key.
A not-so-dull version of this stuff is located at
http://www.add-in-express.com/creating-addins-blog/2007/11/12/windows-installer-error-2908/.

HTH,

Regards from Belarus,

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
www.add-in-express.com

Emmanuel Stapf [ES]

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Dec 4, 2007, 1:05:41 PM12/4/07
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It took me a day to figure out why and when I found the problem doing a
search on the web yield this thread. I can confirm that I had the
problem and so did some of our customers. The issue was not with VS 2008
but with installing the .NET 3.0 runtime. Uninstalling it had no effect
the mentioned registry key was still present.

Can anyone shed some lights on this issue? I believe it is critical as
the solution, if any, to the problem is very disconnected.

For the time being I simply removed the Components key since it only had
one child, the offending key, and I could install our software fine.

Thanks,
Manu

dot smolin @add-in-expressdot_com Andrei Smolin [Add-in Express]

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Dec 18, 2007, 5:19:21 AM12/18/07
to
Hello,

I've got a reply to a blog-post on the Error 2908 fix. Here is the text:
===
I just wanted to heart-warmedly THANK YOU for your blog entry here:

http://www.add-in-express.com/creating-addins-blog/2007/11/12/windows-installer-error-2908/

I was on the verge of reinstalling my windows XP because office 2007 wasn't
working, AND I was having trouble installing packages, but the deletion of
that key saved me.

THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING YOUR RESEARCH! Thank you!

===

BTW, VS 2008 Release creates the key, too.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+2),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader

We are at www.add-in-express.com

"Andrei Smolin [Add-in Express]" <andrei dot smolin @ add-in-express
dot_com> wrote in message news:u4CwiYeL...@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...

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