Locating cause of MSI error code 1603

Locating cause of MSI error code 1603

If you’ve worked with an MSI based installation and passing parameters to automate the installation for software packaging, you may have seen an error code “1603”. This error code basically means there was a “Fatal error during installation”, which is very generic and it doesn’t tell you anything specific about the failure.

Found a very useful post from Aaron Stebner’s WebLog regarding this. You can find more details in the post from above link, but here’s the gist of this trick:

  1. Enable verbose logging for your MSI installation
  2. Open the log file of your failed installation
  3. Look/Search for “return value 3″
  4. The cause of the failure should be logged immediately or few lines above the line where you found “return value 3″

You may also find this post about understanding error code 1603 useful, which is posted on Symantec.

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