[wix-users] MSI File with Multiple Embedded Cabs totaling greater than 2 GB can't be installed

Hoover, Jacob Jacob.Hoover at greenheck.com
Fri Jan 5 13:34:13 PST 2018

I would heavily suggest to not embed the CABS in the MSI.  The issue is that windows installer will keep a copy of the MSI in the "installer cache" but it does not consider this a valid installation source.  (It keeps the copy of the MSI for uninstall capability, and it can't strip the CABS because that would invalidate the digital signature.)


I do see vague references to the 2GB limit, but I am not able to find any clearly stated info from an official site.

-----Original Message-----
From: wix-users [mailto:wix-users-bounces at lists.wixtoolset.org] On Behalf Of Grant Arnold via wix-users
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 11:42 AM
To: wix-users at lists.wixtoolset.org
Cc: Grant Arnold <grant.arnold at safe.com>
Subject: [wix-users] MSI File with Multiple Embedded Cabs totaling greater than 2 GB can't be installed

We have been using WiX for many years to create our installer. Over time, the size of our installer has grown and just yesterday the size creeped up past 2 GB.

The installer was generated with no errors, but when it is run, it shows the UI as normal but when the "Install" button is pressed it throws the error message "The system cannot open the device or file specified". The only options are to retry or cancel the installation.

After doing some poking around, it sounded like there are some limitations of cab files where a single cab can't be greater than 2 GB. I checked and we are already splitting the install over several cab files using the <MediaTemplate> element, and none of the cabs are over 200 MB.

I then tried building the installer with the "EmbedCab" attribute set to "no", and this fixed the installer. It was built successfully and was able to be installed. The problem though is this fundamentally changes how we deliver our installer to our customers as previously we just sent a single .msi installer with the cabs embedded. Now we will have to package up the .msi and .cab files into a bootstrapper or something.

My question is: Is this a fundamental limitation of Windows Installer? Or of WiX? Is it not possible to have an installer with embedded cabs totaling more than 2 GB compressed? Why? Is there any other way to workaround or fix this without having to pull the cabs out of the .msi file?



Grant Arnold | Software Developer

Safe Software Inc.

Suite 2017, 7445 - 132nd Street, Surrey, BC Canada V3W 1J8

T 604.501.9985 x 233 | F 604.501.9965

grant.arnold at safe.com  |  www.safe.com <http://www.safe.com/>


WiX Toolset Users Mailing List provided by FireGiant http://www.firegiant.com/

More information about the wix-users mailing list