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Archived: Why Do I Get A "Missing Distribution" or "Distributions Needed" Error When Trying to Build an Installer?

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by National Instruments

Hardware: PXI/CompactPCI>>Controllers

I try to create a LabVIEW 8.x installer that includes additional installers, such as the NI-DAQmx 8.0 driver. However, I get an error saying that LabVIEW was unable to locate some software distribution, such as Measurement Studio, and is therefore unable to build the installer. My application has nothing to do with the "missing distribution" the dialog mentions. Why am I being prompted for it?

When you're building an installer for an application that you have developed, you have the option to include additional installers necessary to run your application, such as the LabVIEW Run Time engine or NI-DAQmx. If you choose to add additional installers (by going to the Additional Installers of the Installer Properties, see the picture below) to the installer you are building, all components that those additional installers rely upon are needed. For example, including DAQmx 8.0 requires the Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).

LabVIEW knows the dependencies of the Additional Installers and will automatically include them with the additional installers (MAX will automatically be included with DAQmx). When the build is begun, LabVIEW will look for the ORIGINAL source of the installers (usually on the CDs that were shipped to you, and will therefore reference your CD-ROM) each time you try to build the installer. If you copied the contents of the distribution CD to your hard drive or downloaded the installer to your hard drive, this location will be referenced. As long as these files were not removed, LabVIEW should be able to find them. There is also an option to Cache Installation Files during installation from a CD. This will copy the files to a LabVIEW folder on your hard drive for future use.

If LabVIEW cannot find the installation files in the specified location, you will be prompted to point to the installer files during the build process (as in the last picture of this document). The picture above is a screenshot of the process in LabVIEW 8.6; below is all previous versions of 8.x.

Note that in LabVIEW 8.6, you are not able to edit the Installer Source Location field. In order to update this property, you must uninstall the associated software and reinstall with the installers in the desired location. For LabVIEW versions 8.0 through 8.5: To avoid being prompted for the location of an installer source each time an installer is built, you can copy the contents of the CDs to your hard drive. Then in the Additional Installers page of the build properties, modify the Installer Source Location to point to the copy of the CD contents on your hard drive. However, even though you specify the new location, you may be prompted for other installation CDs.

New in LabVIEW 8.6, the window below pops up if there are dependency errors during your build.

Check this window when it pops up to make sure that the stated software is installed. If it is, then click the Yes button and continue with the prompts. The National Instruments Software will write these file paths to the local cache so that next time the build process won't bring up these dependency errors. If you no longer have this software on your local system, then click the No button and follow the prompts. If you are unsure as to whether you have the software or not or want more information, click the Help button.

Some of these shared installer dependencies may have had a new version installed by another NI product and that product will be required in order to build the installer.

For example, say you install NI-DAQmx 8.0 which also installs Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) 4.0. As a result, MAX 4.0 will be installed on your computer.

But two months later you decide to install Measurement Studio 8.0 which installs an newer version of MAX (4.1) and overwrites the previous version of MAX (4.0) (note: the version numbers of MAX are just an example and don't reflect real revisions shipped with various products). Now, NI-DAQmx 8.0 depends on Measurement Studio and when you build an installer that includes NI-DAQmx 8.0 it will need to copy the Measurement Studio installer from the distribution that installed it. So while you aren’t directly including Measurement Studio you are including a shared dependency that it updated, and the Application Builder needs to copy the installer of that dependency.

Again, it is important to note that the "distribution" software is referring to the software found on the installation CDs, NOT the software that has already been installed on your computer (see message below).

In other words, when you are prompted for the "DAQmx 8.0 distribution", pointing the installer to C:\Program Files\National Instruments\NI-DAQ won't work. You'll either need to insert the Driver CDs into your CD-ROM and point the builder to it, or copy the entire contents of the driver CDs to your hard drive and point the installer there.

Related Links:
KnowledgeBase 3TCBS9MY: How Do I Stop the "Missing Distribution" Notification Each Time I Build An Installer?
KnowledgeBase 2A6ECP6G4: How Can I Include Additional Installers with My LabVIEW Applications' Installer?
Product Manuals: LabVIEW 8.6 Upgrade Notes
KnowledgeBase 4G4ASCXU:  Distribution Not Found Error When Building Distribution in LabWindowsTM/CVI
Product Manuals:  LabVIEW 2009 Upgrade Notes


installer source.bmp - installer source.bmp
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Stage1.bmp - Stage1.bmp
installer location.bmp - installer location.bmp
additional Installers.bmp - additional Installers.bmpdaqmx_to_max.PNG - daqmx_to_max.PNG
daqmx_and_ms.PNG - daqmx_and_ms.PNG
daqmx_and_ms.JPG - daqmx_and_ms.JPG

Report Date: 12/09/2005
Last Updated: 08/27/2014
Document ID: 3S88PJMY

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