[gptalk] Re: Lost MSI

  • From: "Jonathan Finkbiner" <JFinkbiner@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 13:06:41 -0500

I think MSI's are packages that extracted first, then the Windows
Installer service does it's thing. Once the files are extracted, I
believe the MSI goes away and the Windows Installer service writes
information to the registry about the extracted files which then can
tell the Windows Installer service how to rebuild the package in the
event something happens. The original source is probably kept on the
computer somewhere and you maybe able find it by tracing from the
registry. Once you find the source you would have to use Visual Studio
or something to rebuild the MSI file.


Someone may know more then me about this so there may be other options.
For now, I would say search through the registry to find the package
information, but from what I have observed once you run an MSI it no
longer exists on the physical machine as that archived content. 


Steps I would take:

1)      search through the registry for a key word or a specific file
from the application

2)      when you find something of interest, note the registry
structure. If it is the uninstaller information it should have a unique
id that looks something like {0DDE947E-27D5-44A6-83E2-98B7F2B620E7} and
it should be in a child directory of "installer," "Microsoft Installer
Service," or "Windows Installer Service" (something to that affect).

3)      Once you find the unique id search through some folders and see
if you can find a folder with that unique id on it and maybe you can
track down the source files in there and reconstruct an MSI if the app
isn't too complex.


Was this installed via gpsi?


Jonathan Finkbiner <mailto:jfinkbiner@xxxxxxx> 

Information Services

Support Analyst

Lifestyle Family Fitness <http://www.lff.com/> 




From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Minesh Pandya
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 11:58 AM
To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gptalk] Lost MSI


One of our servers has died, one MSI which came from that server was
never backed up, and so i dont have a copy of it. 

The msi is still installed on a machine and I am able to change/repair
the application. 

I have searched for the msi by name and generally *.msi on the machine
and cant find it. 

If the msi can repair itself then it must be stored locally - does
anyone know where? 
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