MAKEMSI quickly and reliably creates MSI files in a non-programmatic way
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Build Performance

See the "Size" section for tips related to the size of MSIs, here are some "speed" related tips (generally for MAKEMSI):

  1. CPU - The Faster the Better!
    In almost all situations other than too little RAM you will probably find that MAKEMSI is CPU bound. What this means is that if you double the speed of the CPU MAKEMSI will actually halve its processing time (or to put it another way - get the fastest CPU you can)!

    A dual CPU will not directly improve performance but the fact that other processing you may have running can use the other CPUs will have some (small or large) performance gain.

  2. RAM - How Much?
    I wouldn't expect any development machine to have less that 512 Meg of RAM on WINXP, this should be more than enough for small to medium scripts. For larger scripts you may want to have more (see Task Manager's "commit limit" to see the max ram needed at any stage since boot). With RAM being so cheap why not get 1 GIG?

  3. Other Programs Running?
    I have "seti@home" running at idle priority but I have found that Windows (WIN2000 and WINXP at least) don't seem to honour this very well (they obviously interpret "idle" differently than most people or operating systems would!). I have also tried increasing the priority of regina (reg4mm.exe) without any obvious benefit (even for "real time"!).

    If I stop the "seti" program then MAKEMSI runs about 30% faster! Have a look at the "PsSuspend.EXE" tool for my automated solution which still allows me to use "seti".

    If you have multiple CPUs then you may be able to set CPU affinity such that these programs run on CPUs that MAKEMSI doesn't use.

  4. System Responsiveness
    If you have a very long running script or you feel that your build could run at a lower (or higher) priority then have a read of the "Make an MSI" section and the "MAKEMSI_MM_PRIORITY" environment variable.

  5. Large Numbers of Files
    MAKEMSI will get very slow on large numbers of files, some approaches are:

  6. MAKEMSI Logging
    Depending on a lot of factors MAKEMSI logging make take varying proportions of the overall build time. For example the "DBG_ALL" option if set to "Y" will cause a lot more information to go into the console file, if there are huge numbers of items this could also generate a huge amount of extra logging...

  7. Compression Step Slow (MAKECAB.EXE)
    If the compile step is slow the cause is likely to be the compression options. You may be able to adjust the compression options (including turning compression off) to speed things up.

  8. Using Network Drives?
    Obviously Network drives may influence how long it takes to build, normally this won't be significant, but could be for large numbers of files or if you are having network issues or on a 10 meg or wireless link etc.

  9. Any Folders Compressed?
    Windows Folder and file compression is good when you need it but it will slow down access. Probably work checking that "temp" directories are not compressed.

  10. Everything Slow?
    I have seen ZoneAlarm Pro's anti-spyware checking slow down a build by an amazing amount...

  11. See PPWIZARD manual for more
    MAKEMSI is a PPWIZARD application and it's documentation has its own extensive "Performance" section.

  12. Any other tips?
    Let me know if you have one! Thanks.


Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.Please email me any feedback, additional information or corrections.
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MAKEMSI© is (C)opyright Dennis Bareis 2003-2008 (All rights reserved).
Sunday February 28 2016 at 3:45pm
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Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.