How to Fix Custom Action Issues in MSI Installation?


When an installation fails, it may be because of the Custom Action(s) it contains. Here’s how to examine the MSI logs to troubleshoot the problem. Generate the MSI log and search for RETURN VALUE 3. This will help you identify and solve the problem in some cases.

Further, the possible Return Values for CAs are:

Value Description
0 Action not invoked; most likely does not exist.
1 Completed actions successfully.
2 User terminated prematurely.
3 Unrecoverable error occurred.
4 Sequence suspended, to be resumed later.

Also note that there is an MSI verbose log parsing tool (wilogutl.exe) in the Windows Installer PSDK that is also very useful in locating errors inside verbose log files. This tool is more thorough in identifying errors — just browse to the log file, wait for it to parse the whole log and then read the output it produces.