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Friday, November 10, 2006

InstallScript CA Performance Issue Revisited

In a previous post I wrote about the run time initialization cost associated with the new InstallScript 12 design. There was also a thread over at InstallShield Community discussing exceptional slowness ( and occasional termination )on Windows Vista. This has been resolved with a hotfix as documented in this KB article. I strongly encourage all InstallShield 12 users to download the hotfix and rebuild their setups against the newer embedded engine in order to prevent problems down the roads when your setup packages are eventually used by customers running Windows Vista. Fortunatly for InstallScript developers it's this easy. C++ developers will have to rebuilt their CA's with the /NXCOMPAT setting.

As an aside, InstallShield goes on to say the problem manifested itself when Data Execution Protection is enabled on a dual-core processor on Vista. At about the same time a new post also appeared on the Windows Installer Team Blog. It seems the root cause of this problem actually stemmed from security changes in Windows Vista.

A future KB article is summarized as:

KB Title:

Custom Action code that is not NX compliant will not run on
Windows Vista.


Software developers should be aware that starting
with Vista, msiexec.exe is NXCOMPAT. (i.e., it is compiled with the /NXCOMPAT
switch.) This ensures that non-executable code is not run by msiexec.exe.
Msiexec.exe is the image for Windows Installer service, a Windows Installer
client and any custom action sand-box processes. What this means is that any
custom code that is not NX compliant would not be run and would result in a
forceful shutdown by the Vista NX sub-system.

More Information:

If your Windows Installer (MSI) package use libraries that are not NX compatible, then they might not work on your Vista systems. It is recommended that you recompile your setups using the new NX compatible libraries. Older versions of ATL
(pre-Visual C++ 8.0) are known to be not NX-Compatible. Using ATL shipped with
Visual C++ 8.0 is NX compliant.

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