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Windows Installer does not uninstall\replace the text files if its modified.

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You have created a setup which installs some text files on the client machine. If you edit the file and then do a repair or if you install a newer version of the setup, you will find that the text file will not get replaced with the original file you have inside the installer.

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This is by design. The reason for this behavior is the Windows Installer\MSI engine, will not replace data files that have differing modify and creation dates. Its assumed that they've been modified by the user and shouldn't be replaced

"Nonversioned Files are User Data�If the Modified date is later than the Create date for the file on the computer, do not install the file because user customizations would be deleted. If the Modified and Create dates are the same, install the file. If the Create date is later than the Modified date, the file is considered unmodified, install the file."

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      To work around this issue, you can do either of the following:

  1. Download ORCA tool from this link:
    1. Orca install package

      Use ORCA to open the target MSI file and add following name and value pair into Property table at the end


      Value = amus

      This value will force all files to be reinstalled, regardless of checksum or version. 

      For more information on the REINSTALLMODE Property, see this link:

      REINSTALLMODE Property

  2. You may want to use the command line to install the setup like
    msiexec /i xxx.msi REINSTALLMODE=amus
  3.  Write your own installer class (custom action).

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      Keywords: kbnomt, kbrapidpub, KB2001178

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      Article Info
      Article ID : 2001178
      Revision : 3
      Created on : 8/19/2009
      Published on : 8/19/2009
      Exists online : False
      Views : 364