mornig All,

I am trying to edit an MSI package using ORCA, this is quite a good tool, but does any one know of any more good MSI editing tools?


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  • I'm not sure this is what you want, but it is quite simple to write a VBS or JS script that instantiates the respective COM classes to deal with MSI packages. I've been using that for example to edit .pcp (patch creation properties) and .msi files to automate some final steps in package creation. But I'm not sure whether this is a deployment question or whether you are authoring the MSIs ... (thus my answer in a comment ;)) – 0xC0000022L Mar 3 '11 at 3:15

ORCA is "offical" but quite lacking in features. We use a collection of tools for our packaging needs. Some of these tool go far beyond just editing an MSI.

  1. Super ORCA
  2. WiX
  3. Advanced Installer
  4. Universal Extractor
  • Brillaint thanks for that. will gives these tools a try – Cyper Jun 22 '10 at 11:56

I just found InstEd, a free MSI editor. Looks OK.

  • +1, indeed this is one of the more convenient ones. – 0xC0000022L Mar 3 '11 at 3:13
  • InstEdit is phenomenal. Being able to update an MSI or create a transform, leaving the original intact, is incredibly handy when building packages for SCCM deployment. – peelman Mar 3 '11 at 3:55

UPDATE: check this summary from stackoverflow.com for the pros and cons of different deployment tools.

If you need to make any substantial changes to an MSI file the best tools are Installshield, Advanced Installer and Wise (officially retired), hands down. An MSI file is a database, and it is full of tables with referential integrity. A change in one table quickly cascades to a number of other table, and it is quite hairy to decode this yourself, and not very time efficient. In Orca you need to implement all cascading table changes manually.

UPDATE: Regrettably Wise appears to be off market due to some legal issue. It was my preferred tool since it was rock solid and targeted at repackaging and administrators rather than developers. Wise used to have a free tool called InstallTailor that allowed capture of changes into a transform in a wizard like fashion. I can not find this tool available at this time.

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