MAKEMSI quickly and reliably creates MSI files in a non-programmatic way
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Have your say! Join the MAKEMSI discussion list or view archive! Suggest improvements. No question too simple or too complex.
\->Tips and Tricks->Performance->Installation Performance

Installation Performance

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

  1. Lengthy Prepare Installation Dialog - MSI Contains Large CAB files
    For complex or large MSIs, or if loading from slow media, Windows Installer can display a small preparation dialog for an extended period of time.

    If files make up the bulk of your MSI you can speed up this step by asking MAKEMSI to generate external cab files.

    Of course at the end of the day the files need to be read so your progress dialog will likely display for longer.

  2. Lengthy Prepare Installation Dialog - Administrative Installations
    You can convert the output MAKEMSI creates to an administrative format which extracts files from cab files and resulting in a smaller MSI and faster loading time.

    These are often used for network installs to speed to initial loading and hopefully reduce the network traffic in cases where an installation only installs some of the available features (however you'd need to do a lot of testing to prove network improvement).

  3. Large Numbers of Files/Components
    Windows installer can be very (and I mean very very) slow to install or uninstall large numbers of files (or components). For this reason you may wish to create archive files (zip, cab etc) containing large numbers of data files so that Windows installer only handles a relatively few files and you use custom actions to install and uninstall the many files (this also speeds up MAKEMSI a lot as well). You should consider the need for commit and rollback actions if you use this approach.

  4. The "MSIFASTINSTALL" Property [5.0+]
    This can can be used to avoid the creation of system restore points, skip costing tasks or send less progress messages.

  5. 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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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.