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Thread: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

  1. #1

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    Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    I traced it back to a broken addin, the Package and Deployment Wizard. For some reason, as long as PDW is enabled, whenever VB6 starts up it starts running the Windows installer. It didn't give me a problem before though. The key as to what is causing the problem is what the Windows installer claims to be trying to install. It claims to be trying to install Visual C++ 2005. Recently I actually did install Visual C++ 2005, so I would be able to do some programming in C++ as well. Somehow, a file or registry entry for VB6's PDW must have been corrupted when I installed Visual C++ 2005, and corrupted in such a manner as to trigger Windows installer to try to install the last thing that was installed.

    I've fixed the problem temporarily, by disabling the PDW in VB6 for now, but I don't want to keep it disabled, as it is the only way for VB6 to generate an installer, and that is needed for any program that I want to make sure the end user is able to conveniently install (without having to manually copy the program's files, and manually register OCX and ActiveX DLL files). The average computer user doesn't even know about regsvr32, or what the phrase "register an activex dll" even means. So without an installer, most end users would have no way to even get most programs working, as most programs depend on at least some basic OCX files (for example, Common Dialog or Winsock).

    Is the problem I'm encountering with PDW, or other addins in VB6, triggering the Windows installer a common problem? If so, please tell me how to fix it. Is there some file or registry entry I could manually repair?
    Last edited by Ben321; Jan 12th, 2018 at 05:01 AM.

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    A poster had a similar problem several weeks ago, see my response below. Basically, there are one or more missing files/folders/registry entries that are likely being encountered that is triggering Windows Installer to launch. The details of what is missing should be getting logged to the Application Event log, and hopefully those details will lead you to the solution.

    http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.p...=1#post5235723

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    Also, it is worth noting that Microsoft created another installation packaging tool for Visual Studio 6.0, called Visual Studio Installer, that generates install packages that (ironically, due to your issue) install with Windows Installer. I first used it 16 years ago, and never used the PDW again.

    Microsoft doesn't seem to have it available to download from their website any longer, but thankfully the Wayback machine at archive.org captured the Download page along with the download files.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20081211.../aa718352.aspx

    The documentation on the product is still present on the MSDN site:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...(v=vs.60).aspx

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    A poster had a similar problem several weeks ago, see my response below. Basically, there are one or more missing files/folders/registry entries that are likely being encountered that is triggering Windows Installer to launch. The details of what is missing should be getting logged to the Application Event log, and hopefully those details will lead you to the solution.

    http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.p...=1#post5235723

    I got 2 Warnings and 1 Information events logged when this happened.

    Warning1
    Detection of product '{AB6F4AB9-AC85-4002-9829-B6EEA55AE3A5}', feature 'Graphical_IDE', component '{AC201436-00DE-4A1A-B23E-92761E38A94E}' failed. The resource 'C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml' does not exist.
    Warning2
    Detection of product '{AB6F4AB9-AC85-4002-9829-B6EEA55AE3A5}', feature 'Graphical_IDE' failed during request for component '{DD68FEE8-C369-11D1-A173-00A0C90AB50F}'
    Information
    Beginning a Windows Installer transaction: {AB6F4AB9-AC85-4002-9829-B6EEA55AE3A5}. Client Process Id: 5656.
    The Information part seems to just indicate the installer started. I'm more concerned about the 2 Warnings. Can you tell me what they mean?

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    It means this file is missing:

    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml'
    and Windows Installer is attempting to do a repair to try to put the file (back) there. It may not have been there before, but Windows Installer expects it to be there now.

    If you read this thread:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/...ation/42304573

    a user reports this identical issue, but you'll note that creating an empty placeholder file - for EACH file reported - with the proper name in the proper path was able to resolve the problem. I would recommend trying to track down a real copy of each missing file if possible, and falling back to creating an empty version of the file only if necessary, since I'm not sure what fallout there might be from the file being present but empty.

    Note that if you resolve the issue with the Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml' file, when you launch VB 6.0 it will likely kick off Windows Installer again and complain about another file missing, as you see in the thread I posted above. That poster was about ready to give up because there were numerous files that were an issue, but they trudged through it and finally got it working. Unfortunately only one missing file is logged at a time, so you have to keep at it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    It means this file is missing:



    and Windows Installer is attempting to do a repair to try to put the file (back) there. It may not have been there before, but Windows Installer expects it to be there now.

    If you read this thread:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/...ation/42304573

    a user reports this identical issue, but you'll note that creating an empty placeholder file - for EACH file reported - with the proper name in the proper path was able to resolve the problem. I would recommend trying to track down a real copy of each missing file if possible, and falling back to creating an empty version of the file only if necessary, since I'm not sure what fallout there might be from the file being present but empty.

    Note that if you resolve the issue with the Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml' file, when you launch VB 6.0 it will likely kick off Windows Installer again and complain about another file missing, as you see in the thread I posted above. That poster was about ready to give up because there were numerous files that were an issue, but they trudged through it and finally got it working. Unfortunately only one missing file is logged at a time, so you have to keep at it.
    What about the various GUIDs that appeared in the warnings? What do those GUIDs refer to? There were like 3different ones mentioned between the 2 warnings. Will I need to know what these GUIDs are references to, in order to fix the problem? Or will I just need to find the missing files?

    Also, why would trying to start the PDW loading glitch trigger an installer which claims it's attempting to install VC++ 2005, when PDW has nothing to do with VC++ 2005? And why would it need to install that, when it's already installed (it's the last thing I installed on my computer in fact)?

    Even stranger is the file it says is missing. It says "C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml" is missing, but when you look at the path it's in, it's in a .Net folder. VB6 never used .Net for any features, as VB6 was released long before Microsoft even invented the .Net framework. What's going on here?

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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    I've given you instructions on how to fix it, and pointed you to reports of other people fixing it with those same instructions. That's as much as I can offer. No one else has jumped in to this thread either. No one here has access to your machine, so we can't possibly know what specifically happened to cause this. Whether you want to pursue the fix is up to you, or you can put up with Windows Installer popping up on it's own, your call.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Re: Running VB6 now starts up Windows installer

    If you are curious what those GUID's are linked to, I would recommend searching your registry to see what you can find.

    If you want to see a full dump of what is going on behind the scenes:
    -Download a copy of Process Monitor from Microsoft
    -Launch Process Monitor and it will automatically start capturing all activity on your machine immediately
    -Launch VB or PDW or whatever triggers the Windows Installer
    -When Windows Installer kicks in, switch back to Process Monitor and have it stop capturing events (press Ctrl+E to stop)
    -In Process Monitor, make sure you have the top item in the list highlighted (there will be tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of events captured)
    -Search for Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSHelp80.xml
    -Take a look at the events above this entry to see what is happening that is causing something to think that that file needs to be present/interacted with

    That may help you answer the question "Why is this happening", but the fix for this is still going to be:

    -Doing something to make it so whatever is looking for this file (and any others that might be missing) doesn't actually continue to look for this file (and any others that might be missing) - which I have no suggestion for, other than perhaps a reinstall of Visual C++ 2005.
    -Getting a copy of the actual file(s) and putting it where it is being looked for (preferred, if possible)
    -or creating an empty file with the path\filename that is being looked for.
    Last edited by OptionBase1; Jan 14th, 2018 at 01:34 PM.

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