Software Installation/Uninstallation Testing
August 30th, 2007 — Automation Testing, Installation Testing, Types of testing
Have you performed software installation testing? How was the experience?
Well, Installation testing (Implementation Testing) is quite interesting part of
software testing life cycle.
Installation testing is like introducing a guest in your home. The new guest
shouldbe properly introduced to all the family members in order to feel him
comfortable. Installation of new software is also quite like above example.
If your installation is successful on the new system then customer will
be definitely happy but what if things are completely opposite. If
installation fails then our program will not work on that system not only this
but can leave user’s systembadly damaged. User might require to reinstall the
full operating system.
In above case will you make any impression on user? Definitely not! Your first
impression to make a loyal customer is ruined due to incomplete installation
testing. What you need to do for a good first impression? Test the
installer appropriately with combination of both manual and
automated processes on different machineswith different configuration.
Major concerned of installation testing is Time! It requires lot of time to even
execute a single test case. If you are going to test a big application installer
then think about time required to perform such a many test cases on different
We will see different methods to perform manual installer testing and
some basic guideline for automatingthe installation process.
To start installation testing first decide on how many different system
configurations you want to test the installation. Prepare one basic hard disk
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drive. Format this HDD with most common or default file system, install most
common operatingsystem (Windows) on this HDD. Install some basic required
components on this HDD. Each time create images of this base HDD and you
can create other configurations on this base drive. Make one set of each
configuration like Operating system and file format to be used for further
How we can use automation in this process? Well make some systems dedicated
for creating basic images (usesoftware’s like Norton Ghost for creating exact
images of operating system quickly) of base configuration. This will save your
tremendous time in each test case. For example if time to install one OS with
basic configuration is say 1 hour then for each test case on fresh OS you will
require 1+ hour. But creating image of OS will hardly require 5 to 10 minutes
and you will save approximately40 to 50 minutes!
You can use one operating system with multiple attempts of installation of
installer. Each time uninstalling the application and preparing the base state
for next test case. Be careful here that your uninstallation program should be
tested before and should be working fine.
Installation testing tips with some broad test cases:
1) Use flow diagrams to perform installationtesting. Flow diagrams simplify
our task. See example flow diagram for basic installation testing test case.
Add some more test cases on this basic flow
chart Such as if our application is not the first
release then try to add different logical
2) If you have previously installed compact
basic version of application then in next test
case install the full applicationversion on
the same path as used for compact version.
3) If you are using flow diagram to test
different files to be written on disk while
installation then use the same flow diagram in
reverse order to test uninstallation of all the
installed files on disk.
4) Use flow diagrams to automate the
testing efforts. It will be very easy to convert
diagrams into automated scripts.
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