MSI Interview Questions

  1. Explain the difference between Property and PROPERTY
  2. Describe the process flow of an installation in terms of the User Interface, Immediate and Deferred sequences
  3. What are the ADDLOCAL and ADDSOURCE properties?
  4. What is the difference between installations using ALLUSERS=””, ALLUSERS=1 and ALLUSERS=2 option?
  5. Advertised vs non-advertised shortcuts, what’s the difference?
  6. Maximum how many files you can add in msi?
  7. ProductCode, PackageCode, UpgradeCode, Explain them
  8. Explain Self healing process in details.
  9. Suppose you’re in an environment where you can’t use advertisement, explain how you would go about setting user specific settings
  10. What is the impact of leaving COM information in a generic registry component as apposed to in each relevant component
  11. How many sequences are there in an MSI
  12. Please sketch the entire process of creating a package, from the software request up to package delivery
  13. How many different sequence tables are there in an MSI
  14. How we can make two applications with same GUID to install on the same machine?
  15. How we create the small,minor and major upgrade?
  16. what is the disadvantage of using lock permissions table
  17. What are secure custom properties
  18. What is the difference between Repair and Self healing?
  19. What is entry point for MSI?
  20. What should be the condition of a custom action if we want to run it during install and uninstall ?
  21. Difference between Run, Run Once, Active Setup
  22. Use of INSTALLLEVEL Property
  23. Self-Heal (advertised shortcut) Vs Install on Demand (product Advertising)
  24. Self-Heal Vs Repair
  25. Per-user installation Vs Per-machine installation
  26. The reason why during a repair, bringing back missing files to System Folders is possible for a standard user who actually does not have a write permission to these folders.
  27. What are your thoughts and experiences for patching .msi files? What approaches have worked the best? What hasn’t worked? Why?
  28. Describe a methodology for populating the user’s profile with Windows Installer functionality. That one was funny because the interviewer was looking for Active Setup which I didn’t consider to be specific to Windows Installer.
  29. How do you configure an installation for an application that requires administrative privileges to work if the end user is not a local machine administrator?
  30. Have you ever had to modify a .msi directly without a graphic interface? Which tables did you modify and why?
  31. Describe the most difficult project you have worked on. What was the problem? How did you solve it? What did you learn?
  32. What tools are in your “packaging toolkit?”
  33. Have you had to edit permissions?
  34. How would you change permissions on files and registry entries?
  35. What are the differences between the lock permissions table and external tools for editing?
  36. How would you populate components from a machine-based installation to a user profile?
  37. What tools do you regularly use asides from your primary tool (WPS or IS or etc…) in the process of creating a package?
  38. An example of a condition you would use, and what it would be useful for.
  39. If you were to receive a vendor MSI, how would you repackage it to comply with company standards?
  40. Do you recommend modifying vendor MSIs? Why/why not?
  41. What are the advantages of using MSIs?
  42. Explain to me what self healing is and how you can leverage it for user specific files/registries
  43. Besides self-healing, what other options do you have for creating user specific files/registries and under what scenarios would you use those?
  44. How would you troubleshoot an application that does not run on a locked down environment but does run as administrator?
  45. When would you use Setup Capture and what kind of clean up would you performed on a captured MSI?
  46. Have you created merge modules? Why?
  47. What is the purpose of Validation and how do you handle ICE errors on vendor MSIs?
  48. Walk me through the entire packaging process from request to deployment you’ve been exposed to in previous roles.

More Questions can be downloaded from Just select the latest PDF file.

8 thoughts on “MSI Interview Questions

    • I have started doing it and I will publish answers to all the questions. If you have answers to few then you can send them to me using the comment section.

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