Problems Installing v and Uninstalling w Solution

May 30, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Edited May 30, 2011 at 12:31 AM

Hi All,

This is just FYI.

Just tried to update to v1.0.1.169 and has endless problems.

1) Installer failed when trying to install VSTO 3.0 SP1. (Cryptic message that I can't remember) Solution was to install VSTO 3.0 first. (I can't remember uninstalling it by must have at some point)

2) Installer failed when trying to access Dnrd.msi on a network or folder that was not availible (blah blah insert more cryptic error message here). This seems to be to do with trying to uninstall the previous version. I tried manually uninstalling the previous version via control panel and it failed as well with a similar message. After trying both install and uninstall a few times, manually deleting everything I could find and starting fresh, manually cleaning the registry of everything with the word NodeXL in it, re-installing the older version ( failed with the same error), I finally pulled out Revo Uninstaller and did a though uninstall. This worked and the NodeXL installer ran flawlessly.

Just for completeness, I am running WinXP sp3 with Office 2007 installed in the default locations. I'm a software engineer and data analyst so I have a massive pile of other things installed that may have tangled the situation up.


May 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

It sounds like multiple problems occurred.  I've heard of the first one, the one involving VSTO 3.0 SP1.  I think it arises when there is a network glitch while the NodeXL installer tries to download VSTO from the Microsoft site.  The solution is the one you used.

However, I don't know why the installer was trying to install VSTO in the first place, because if there was a previous version of NodeXL installed then VSTO would have already been installed.  That's a mystery.

If the problem involving Dnrd.msi happens to you again, please send me the error message if you can.  I might be able to figure out the exact cause.

When I've messed up NodeXL on one of my development machines (usually while dealing with multiple versions), I've found that the Repair option, rather than the Uninstall option, fixes it.  That's another thing to try if this happens to you again, which I hope it doesn't.

Thanks for letting us know about your unhappy experience, and for having the patience to work through it.

-- Tony


May 30, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Edited May 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the followup. 

On the VSTO issue: I think it was because I had uninstalled VSTO 3.0 during one of my recent cleanouts.  My guess would be that the installer could not download it and install it correctly either because Microsoft had changed something ( required genuine advantage check, un-required genuine advantage check, moved the msi, etc), the installer has a dependancy on the VSTO 3.0 SP1 but not on VSTO 3.0 itself or the installer/uninstaller for VSTO 3.0 had partially failed and it was neither installed nor uninstalled cleanly and fooled the NodeXL installer enough to mangle the process. The most irritating part of this problem was just that it was not clearly mentioned in the install notes anywhere.  It would be useful to clarify what the system dependancies are for the installer to give users some hints when it goes wrong.

The problem with Dnrd.msi was much more troublesome due to the cryptic error messages that the install packages generate. I realize that these are out of your control.  The problem seemed to be to do with the uninstaller for the old version was looking for the original source path that it was installed from ( This being the temporary directory where I had unzipped the files originally.) As this was a temporary directory on my desktop which I had cleaned up long since, this was always going to fail.  Even after I re-created the directory and re-unzipped the original files into it, it would not work.   The problem was that by this stage I had tried a few things and there is no way to really know what state anything was in so I figure it was becoming an increasing mess.

The one observation I would make is the strangeness of the installer package that NodeXL uses.  I am used to building installers using VisualStudio installer projects (VS08) where all the resources and files are packed inside the MSI rather than having resources loose in the zip file.  Can I ask what is used to compile the installer for NodeXL?  My point being that the uninstaller script that is written seemed to contain links back to the source from which NodeXL was installed rather than to files that had actually been installed (or in addition to).  I have not picked this apart yet but that would be my first guess. 

Thanks again.

May 31, 2011 at 7:15 PM
Edited May 31, 2011 at 7:16 PM

The dependencies installed by the setup program are listed under step 4 of the Installation Steps on the download page at, in case you need them.

The original setup files do not need to be present to uninstall or repair NodeXL.  Windows Installer stores what it needs in its internal database.  I think the ugly situation you encountered had some other cause.

NodeXL's installer package is indeed strange, for reasons far beyond what you've mentioned.  (I use stronger language for it myself.)  The loose resources are the Office 2007 PIA, which Visual Studio 2008 included in the package for me.  They're external to the MSI because the Setup.exe bootstrapper (which Visual Studio 2008 also provided) doesn't even run the MSI until the prerequisites are installed, and the Office 2007 PIA is a prerequisite.  The .NET Framework 3.5 and VSTO runtime are the other prerequisites, but the bootstrapper downloads those from Microsoft instead of from the installer package.

New Visual Studio 2010 projects eliminate the need to package the Office PIA, but NodeXL doesn't use Visual Studio 2010.

-- Tony

Jun 1, 2011 at 4:20 AM

Thanks Tony,

I feel I have used enough of your time on this topic.  My sympathy for having to use VSTO.  I have developed solutions using earlier VSTO versions that failed due to the mess with deployment of the PIA's and all the hidden dependencies.

I have immense respect for this project simply for the fact that the installer works most of the time, (the NodeXL software features are nice too :) 

Thanks for the discussion.

Jun 1, 2011 at 6:02 AM

And thank you, too.

-- Tony