We've got a new Windows 2008 R2 Web Server. I've got a couple of old, but vital, ASP.NET apps that I'm trying to migrate off of an older 2003 R2 server, onto this new 2008 R2 server. The ASP.NET apps were written using VS 2005. We created a .MSI setup, because we needed to include a Crystal Reports module, which required an installation on the server.

I've copied the .MSI files to the new server, and started to run them, but they fail immediately with a "Installation success or error status: 1603." error (which I got out of the event log, as there wasn't much from the installer, except that it failed).

I've tried looking up this generic error and this is what I can tell you. The SYSTEM account has full control to the drive, folder and .MSI files involved. The drive, folder and file are not encrypted. This is not a substitution drive.

  • Have you tried running them elevated by right-clicking and choosing 'Run as Administrator'? May 2 '12 at 20:28
  • I have tried right-clicking to see if I could get to the "Run as Administrator". That option wasn't available in the popup menu.
    – Rod
    May 2 '12 at 21:12
  • To run an msi with elevated permissions you would need to open an elevated command prompt and launch the msi from there.
    – SonoIT
    May 3 '12 at 13:33

As you wrote, 1603 is probably as generic as it gets.
Use msiexec to set a verbose logging level during installation, this would be the easiest way to troubleshoot it:

msiexec /i myAppInstaller.msi /L*v output.log
  • Thank you, that gives me something to work with! Using Aaron Stebner's blog, I know to search for "return value 3", which I found. 18 lines before that I find the following: "Could not Find File 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\ole db\msolap.dll'" If it cannot find a DLL, will that cause it to fail, or will it continue? BTW, this "could not find file" message only appears once in the log.
    – Rod
    May 2 '12 at 21:09
  • Well, if the application depends on the MSOLAP provider during installation, it only needs to fail once, trying to find the assembly ;-) May 3 '12 at 0:52
  • As far as I know, the app doesn't depend upon MSOLAP. I will review it thouroughly today, to see if it does.
    – Rod
    May 3 '12 at 15:01
  • I've checked the code. As far as I can determine, none of our code requires OLAP. I suspect something else does. Both ASP.NET apps require Crystal Reports 11 Release 2, so I'm thinking that requires OLAP.
    – Rod
    May 3 '12 at 17:22

With regards to .MSI files downloaded over the internet, you may need to "Unblock" them first (a "Blocked" file will do nothing when you double click it). You can check whether a file is being "Blocked" by windows, by right clicking and going into the properties. If the Unblock button is visible, click it to release the file.

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