View Full Version : InstallShield KB: True or False?

Cary R
10-10-2014, 03:26 PM

I recently got into a discussion with a coworker about whether Modified files should be left behind on uninstall just by the virtue of their Modified date being newer than their Create date.

I was of the opinion that this was not how things functioned generally, but I did have a faint recollection of having been told this by someone once. Some searching turns up:

Files Are Left Behind After An Uninstall Or Major Upgrade

Largely an informative KB, except for this part:

"An unversioned file (i.e. TXT, HTM, etc.) has been modified since installation and an upgrade is being performed."

"If a file has been modified since installation, then Windows Installer assumes that it is user data and will not remove it during an upgrade. During an uninstall, this file will be removed if the containing component is uninstalled. In order to forcefully remove these files the RemoveFile table can be utilized."

In the second paragraph, I think it's missing the word, "Not", otherwise the reference to RemoveFile table makes no sense. That aside, what scenario is it describing?

Between my Coworker and I, we came up with the following scenario described by Aaron Stebner:


But this still doesn't result in the file being left behind after an uninstall just based off of Modified date. As far as I am aware, reference counts, the permanent flag, component/feature breakage are what causes files to be left behind, and Modified date only comes into play with File Overwrite behavior (not file removal).

So what scenario is being described here? Any information is appreciated.