Fixing MSI Windows Version Checks

All too often perfectly good plug-ins get left by the wayside with their original designers moving on to other projects and interests and these programs are simply left to rot.  Unfortunately this rot takes it’s toll over time with updates to the main program and even the under lying operating system.  Recently, with the release of the official Windows 7 Beta, a common problem is MSI installers coded to only work on older versions of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate.  Fortunately, there is an easy fix for most of these installers.

The first thing you’ll need is a program from Microsoft called Orca.  Orca allows you to edit variables inside MSI installer packages and will enable us to remove that pesky Windows version check.  Of course this will not guarantee that our particular plug-in will work in Windows 7 but it will give us the opportunity to at least give it a try.  So get yourself a copy of the Orca setup either through Microsoft’s SDK or by downloading just the Orca program here.

Once you have Orca installed, open up the program and locate the MSI file that you wish to edit. Then you should see a list of keys on the left hand side, locate “CustomAction” and select it.  Once selected an additional listing of values will appear on the right hand side.  Locate the variable named “CA_ErrWrongWindowsVersion” and rename this variable to something else such as “dummy”.


Once you’ve done that save your work and close Orca.  That should be all there is to it, your plug-in should now install correctly.  There is of course no guarantee it will work correctly on a newer version of Windows or Media Center than it was designed for however.  Good Luck!

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