One of my InstallShield Training course customers recently asked me several questions regarding a Standard Patch he was building. Since these were good questions, I thought I would pass the answers along to you.
Here are the questions:
Q: Can the patch remove a folder (and associated files) that was installed during the initial installation of a product?
A: Well, no. If you try to do this in a patch, you will get a build error as InstallShield will think you are trying to do a major upgrade. This is assuming you have set the Windows Installer codes correctly for the patch. In the end, deleting a folder of files in an upgrade is a large enough change to not be considered a patch anymore. Now, a major upgrade acts like a first time installation if no previous version of the product is installed. You can specify whether you want the previous installation to be uninstalled before the upgrade installation (the newer version) takes place. If you do, the folder will be wiped out during the uninstall of the previous product, and that would take care of your folder.
Another scenario is where you would want to add a new folder of files during the upgrade. That would also require the upgrade to be a Major Upgrade.
Q: Can user decide whether to delete the old folder or not?
A: In the last question, we determined that deleting a folder meant we would have to do a major upgrade. You might be able to write a custom action to display a dialog to the user before the upgrade takes place, they decide whether or not they want the folder, then you handle it in another custom action during the Execute sequence. This is an iffy situation. I have never done it, and I am actually not sure if it can be done. It’s probably getting into messy, dangerous territory. But again, I don’t know for sure.
Q: Can I rename Update.exe to something else that is more descriptive?
A: Yes, if you have InstallShield create the patch in an Update.exe file, you can rename it to anything you like after the patch has been built. Just find Update.exe and rename it. If you elect to not create an Update.exe file, you would have to go to the patch file and rename it. Remember a patch file has the .msp extension.
Hopefully, that clears up some confusion about Standard Patching.