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Why WiX?
How can I figure out why my package fails to install?

There are three good troubleshooting methods for tracking down package installation problems. The first method is to ensure that your package is valid by running validation. Validation helps catch common installation authoring problems by identifying errors and warnings. Two tools can be used for validating an installation package, both are available in the Windows Installer SDK: MsiVal2 and Orca. MsiVal2 is a command line utility for validating a package. Orca provides a graphical user interface for validation and will also highlight invalid entries in the package.

The second method is to use the application event log. Windows Installer will record successful and failed installation information in the application event log.

The final method is to generate a verbose log file, and then analyze the verbose log file looking for the source of the error. A helpful utility for analyzing verbose log files is the WILogUtl.exe tool provided in the Windows Installer SDK. Logging can be enabled via Windows Installer logging policy or by appending "/L*v path to logfile" to your MSIExec command line.

To generate a detailed verbose log file through policy, use the following registry key:

    HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer

      Set: Logging = REG_SZ voicewarmup

        Set: Debug = REG_DWORD 0x7

        Log files generated through the policy key will be of the form msiXXXXX.log in the user's %temp% folder.

        Note: Logging through the command line overrides any logging policy settings.