WiX TFS heat file access denied

TFS heat file access denied problem occurs usually on TFS server. When you try to set up WiX project to build automatically in TFS build, there’s a good chance you will get error, saying something like this:

heat.exe: Access to the path '..\WixSetupProject\adminfiles.wxs' is denied.

This means that as TFS build gets the latest files from source control, files will be automatically marked as “read-only”. This is default behavior with TFS. However, heat needs to modify the files, because it is harvesting. One of the solutions to this problem can be found here:


There is another solution that I use. Namely: don’t include the heated files in TFS. This functionality is supported from VS2012 onward. In VS solution explorer, select the files you want to exclude. Then go to File->Source Control->Advanced->Exclude files from source control.

And that’s it!

Well, almost. To my surprise, it was actually not enough, as “check-in” kept checking these files in, accidentally. This might have been Visual Studio bug, but I solved it with one extra-step.

Add new file called “.tfignore” to root of the Wix installer, and include it in the project. This file will hold path/pattern to files that it should never check-in.

#ignore all automatically generated heat files.

By the way, to actually create that tricky file, you need to use something like “Notepad++”. I don’t think Notepad can create those files.

1 comment
  • Alon Amsalem

    You can also add this to the BeforeBuild target in the .wixproj file:

    It will remove the read-only attribute from the file.


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