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Posted 18 Jul 2013

Convert VS2008 .msi to WiX project

, 18 Jul 2013
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A simple utility to convert VS2008 .msi to WiX project


If you have a setup file (.msi) built with Visual Studio 2008 and you want to create a WiX project to build a Visual Studio 2012 .msi, this article is for you.

Note that this utility is best suited for setup files which are fairly simple and do not have too much customizations involved. 


In the below blog, there are steps to extract information from a VS2008 .msi. These manual steps are cumbersome if you have many .msis to be converted. These simple steps are combined into a UI based utility.

Using the code

The UI is self explanatory. The utility does the following:  

  1. Use dark.exe to decompile the .msi to create the .wxs file.
  2. Use dark.exe to extract and rename the binaries (limited set). More customization might be needed depending on the contents of your .msi.
  3. Copy a simple Config.wxi which has relative paths set for the files to be packaged
  4. Copy a sample .wixproj to get started.
  5. Replace '~' in ShortName attributes to '-' to remove warnings  

Now open the .wixproj and fix the additional errors.    


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Amol Kakhandki
Software Developer (Senior)
Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionProblem when subfolder or msi name contains space Pin
Johan Karlsson6-Nov-13 2:30
memberJohan Karlsson6-Nov-13 2:30 

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