[wix-users] How to debug into cleanroom installation?

John Cooper JoCooper at jackhenry.com
Thu Sep 22 13:41:10 PDT 2016

There is an early post that has this method.

/// <summary>
        /// Private method to attach the debugger necessary after <c>WiX 3.10.2</c>
        /// </summary>
        /// <example>
        /// 1) Add a line of code early in the mba Run method to call this method.
        /// 2) Compiling the managed <see cref="BootstrapperApplication"/> and
        /// then the bundle.exe, (which is configured in the managed
        /// <see cref="BootstrapperApplication"/> project as the executable to
        /// load the managed <see cref="BootstrapperApplication"/> library), I
        /// then:
        /// 3) Open the Solution in another instance of Visual Studio IDE, only
        /// for 'launching' a debug session.  My practice is to close all
        /// documents in this second IDE instance.
        /// 4) In the second instance select the managed
        /// <see cref="BootstrapperApplication"/> project (or set it as the
        /// Startup Project) and hit F5.
        /// 5) When Attach to Process dialog is presented select the first
        /// instance of your VS IDE (where you are doing your work).
        /// </example>
        private static void AttachDebugger()
            string noDebug = Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("NODEBUG");

            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(noDebug) || !noDebug.Equals("1"))


This method works for me when debugging my MBA.  The NODEBUG was an internal requirement, the rest is pretty much as it was originally posted.

John Merryweather Cooper
Senior Software Engineer -- Integration Development Group -- Enterprise Notification Service
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® | Lenexa, KS  66214 | Office:  913-341-3434x431050
JoCooper at jackhenry.com

-----Original Message-----
From: wix-users [mailto:wix-users-bounces at lists.wixtoolset.org] On Behalf Of Jon Earle
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 3:35 PM
To: 'WiX Toolset Users Mailing List' <wix-users at lists.wixtoolset.org>
Subject: [wix-users] How to debug into cleanroom installation?

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Following the advice here: http://windows-installer-xml-wix-toolset.687559.n2.nabble.com/How-to-debug-Managed-BA-Burn-td6630791.html

How to debug Managed BA + Burn - Windows Installer XML ...<http://windows-installer-xml-wix-toolset.687559.n2.nabble.com/How-to-debug-Managed-BA-Burn-td6630791.html>
How to debug Managed BA + Burn. Here's one way to debug a managed WiX Bootstrapper Application (BA) and the Burn engine if you are interested in seeing how it works ...

I am trying to debug into the burn engine to see why it is not detecting my previously installed package properly (always says it's absent).

>From engine.cpp, line 460:

if (!::CreateProcessW(wzCleanRoomBundlePath, sczFullCommandLine, NULL, NULL, TRUE, 0, 0, NULL, &si, &pi))

It launches the installer again, and I lose my debugging ability after that.

How can I tell burn to not re-launch the installer into this "clean room", or, how can I continue the debug session?

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