[wix-users] Bundle uninstaller quits silently (Uninstalling a MSI package directly v.s uninstalling from a bundle)

Shuai Lin linshuai2012 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 25 08:11:57 PDT 2019

Hi all,

We have a wix bootstrapper bundle, which includes a chain of a MsiPackage
and some other helper ExePackage. Recently I have observed a weird behavior.

Some background:

0. Burn v3.11.1.2318, Windows v10.0 (Build 17763: Service Pack 0)
1. The bundle wxs:

      <MsiPackage Id="MyAppPrograms"
      <ExePackage SourceFile="myhelper.exe"
                  .... >

2. The MSI package has a custom action (type is ExeCommand). The action
 would fail - exit with code 1 rather than 0 due to a bug of the
application code, but it should't matter since we have Return="ignore", as
you can see below.

    <CustomAction Id="StopMyApp" FileKey="myapp.exe"
                  Return="ignore" />

    <Custom Action="StopMyApp" Before="InstallValidate">

The thing that has been puzzling me for the last few days is:
* If I uninstall the bundle from the control panel, the uninstaller would
fail silently: the bundle uninstaller UI just exits in the half way,
without any prompts. (But if I uninstall the bundle again it would complete
the uninstall successfully).
* In contrast, if I uninstall the MSI directly from command line with
"msiexec /x{guid-of-msi}", then the MSI could be uninstalled successfully.

I collected the logs for both methods:

- Logs when uninstalling the MSI directly with "msiexec /x" (which could

    Action ended 3:35:10: MigrateFeatureStates. Return value 0.
    MSI (s) (10:80) [03:35:10:067]: Doing action: StopMyApp
    Action start 3:35:10: StopMyApp.
    CustomAction StopMyApp returned actual error code 1 but will be
translated to success due to continue marking
    Action ended 3:35:11: StopMyApp. Return value 1.
    MSI (s) (10:80) [03:35:12:005]: Doing action: InstallValidate
    Action start 3:35:12: InstallValidate.

- Logs when uninstalling the bundle (which would fail):

    Action ended 3:26:20: MigrateFeatureStates. Return value 0.
    MSI (s) (E4:80) [03:26:20:091]: Doing action: StopMyApp
    MSI (s) (E4:80) [03:26:22:623]: Doing action: InstallValidate
    [As you can see, in this case there is no logs of "Action start"
"Action stop" ever after the StopMyApp action is reached]

My questions is:
1. From the perspective of the MSI, is there any difference between
uninstalling it directly v.s uninstalling it as part of a bundle?
2. How could the bundle uninstaller just quit silently without any prompt /
dialog? Could it be a bug of wix?

Any thoughts?


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