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Windows Installer Logging

 

TOPIC

This article explains how to enable Windows Installer logging and email a log file for technical support purposes.

 

DISCUSSION

In order to troubleshoot an installation problem it is often helpful to evaluate the installation log file. The installers for the products which reference this page use Microsoft's Windows Installer (MSI) installer service, where logging can be enabled by setting a registry key.

If you are not familiar with editing the registry please read the following article before proceeding:

The key to set to enable logging is:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer]
"Logging"="voicewarmup"

(set "Logging" to "" to disable again)

If you prefer not to do this manually, you can download an archive containing two .reg files (one for enabling, the other to disable logging again:

Just double-click on one of the two .reg files to either enable or disable logging. If you leave it on, future installations will continue to be logged in the system temporary directory.

At the end of the installation (even if failed) you will find a log file named msi*.log in %temp% (just enter %temp% in the Explorer address bar, and it will expand to the current Temp directory). It should be among the most recent files, if sorted by date.

If you do not find a log file, a reboot may be required before the MSI logging activation takes effect.

Please note that installation log files may contain private information, although they generally do not. For example, installation log files list the installation directories. Because Windows names data directories after user names, the Windows username of the current user may be included in the log. Any data entered in the installer dialogs may also be included. If you are concerned, or simply interested, you can open the log file with Notepad and view it.

Before emailing the log file for technical support purposes you may want to compress it to reduce the attachment size: right-click the file and select Send to/Compressed (zipped) folder.

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Article Information
Article ID:14-135
Platform:Windows
Products:All
Additional Keywords:InstallShield
Last Update:2009-05-30
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