App disappears from Windows - please advice

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Dennis R
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Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:55 am

App disappears from Windows - please advice

Post by Dennis R » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:57 am

Hi! We made some changes to the installation and updating process of our Windows app recently, and some users are now complaining that Windows sometimes automatically deletes the main application .exe file. It usually occurs after users update app using built-in web update feature. The feature is implemented using .msi built in Advanced Installer tool.

We are struggling to figure out what is causing this, and haven't found a way to consistently reproduce the issue (though we've seen it happen as well). Here's what changed with our installation and web updating process:

a) The main installer for our application is now a standard .msi, which becomes a part of the Windows installation system and is natively manageable by Group Policy and other system features, such as rollback or versions. In previous versions that did not have this problem, our installer was a .exe built with the SetupBuilder tool.

b) We introduced the redesigned web updater feature inside the app (to update to new versions within the app). It uses the same .msi as the main deliverable as for installation. .msi is downloaded from our server in a form of .exe which is then extracts MSI and starts it. MSI then updates file in our installation. These .exe and .msi is built with Advanced Installer tool which provides such a web update feature to developers. In previous versions that did not have this problem, our web update feature was developed with SetupBuilder tool which provided a custom web update files - .exe web updater that downloads a number of web update files containing a patch to our app.

The goal of a transition to the standard .msi installer was to make it easy for our clients to deploy the app in organizations - say, mass deploy using group policies and other similar tools.

Has anyone else experienced a problem like this? Any ideas on how to troubleshoot and try to reproduce?

Posts: 7866
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: App disappears from Windows - please advice

Post by Daniel » Thu May 09, 2019 12:20 pm

Hello and welcome to our forums,

We apologize for the delayed reply.

This issue could occur if your app file has a lower file version in the new setup package than the file version it has in the old the setup. More details you can find in our "DLL file disappears during an upgrade" thread.

To avoid this behavior you could enable in the new version of the setup project the "Always overwrite existing file" option on your app file in "Files and Folders" page. Or even better you could rebuild your app file and set for it a higher file version than the one used by earlier tenant of the file.

If this is still of no help, then please generate a verbose log of the updates installation and send it us by email to support at advancedinstaller dot com so we can investigate it? Also mention the exact file name which is not installed during updates install.

All the best,
Daniel Radu - Advanced Installer Team
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