Log files are the primary tool used to diagnose installation issues. Often a verbose log file is necessary to root cause of an installation issue so it is recommended to always capture a verbose log file.
Windows Installer verbose log file
There are two ways to get a log file from the Windows Installer:
/l*v log.txtwhen interacting with the Windows Installer from the command line. For example, the command line:
C:\Users\FireGiant> msiexec.exe /i path\to\your.msi /l*v log.txt
instructs the Windows Installer to install
"your.msi"found in the
"path\to"folder and create a verbose
"log.txt"file in the current directory.
Using the command line to get is a great way to ensure a verbose log file is available when testing interactively.
Set the Windows Installer logging policy. The Windows Installer policy is found at
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer". Set a registry value named
"Logging"to the string
"v"in the string instructs the Windows Installer to generate a verbose log file and the rest of the value lists the operations to log. The string
"oicewarmup"specifies all the operations and is identical to
"/l*"passed on the command line. However, the Windows Installer will not expand the logging policy value so be sure to use
You may notice that there is no indication where the log file should be created. When logging policy is enabled the log file is created in your temporary folder (pointed to by
%TEMP%) with the name
"MSI????.log". Sort the
%TEMP%folder by file creation date to find the correct log after attempting an installation operation.
Using the logging policy is a great way to get a verbose log file when the installation is triggered automatically. Setting logging policy on test machines can also be a good idea to help diagnose an installation failure without needing to reproduce the issue.
Burn log file
Burn is the engine that drives the installation of
Bundles. By default, Burn will always create a log file in the
%TEMP% folder. The naming scheme for the log file is:
Where the date and time is when the installation started. For each chained MSI package, Burn automatically enables verbose logging. The chained package log file naming scheme is:
# is the order that the package was applied. The same package may show up multiple times with
#s if the installation failed and the package was removed during rollback.
You can override the default name and location for the log file by specifying the
"/l" switch to a bundle executable. For example:
setup.exe /l log.txt
Will create a
"log.txt" in the current directory and
"log_#_PackageId.txt" for all applied packages.