Understanding Error 1603: Fatal Error During Installation
This error message is displayed by the Microsoft Windows Installer engine and is a general error code that indicates a problem occurred during the installation.
Read on to learn how to sidestep this speed bump.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of known causes for this error:
- Short file name creation is disabled on the target machine.
- An Install Script custom action is prototyped incorrectly.
- A file is locked and cannot be overwritten.
- The Microsoft Windows Installer Service is not installed correctly.
- The Windows Temp folders are full.
- The setup was corrupted after installation and, therefore, fails with this error during un-installation.
- An older version of Install Shield Developer is being used.
- A general error occurred during the installation.
- Print and File sharing is not installed or enabled when installing MSDE 2000.
How to Avoid this Error
The following solutions have resolved this error in the majority of cases:
- Make sure short file name creation is enabled on the target machine. You can check to ensure that the target machine does not have short file name creation disabled by navigating to the following registry entry:
Make sure the value "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation" is equal to 0. This indicates that short file name creation is enabled. A value of 1 indicates that this functionality is disabled. You should change the value to 0.
After modifying this value, the target machine should be rebooted before attempting to launch the setup again.Note: If the target machine should normally have short file name creation disabled, it can be disabled after the install completes by resetting "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation" to 1 and rebooting.
- To ensure that the Windows Installer Service is properly installed and configured, it is recommended that users install the file InstmsiA.exe on Windows 95/98/Me or InstmsiW.exe on Win NT systems. These files are shipped with your InstallShield product and are located in the following location:
<Product Path>\Redist\Language Independent\i386
- Empty all temporary folders. The specific temporary folders for a machine can be determined by accessing the DOS prompt and typing set. Note the values listed for TEMP and TMP, and delete all files in those locations.
- Make sure no other applications, including utilities such as virus scanners, are running in the background. Close all running applications and utilities, and launch the installation again.
- If this error occurs during un-installation, use the Microsoft Windows Installer CleanUp utility to uninstall the installation.
- Once the installation has been successfully un-installed, you can then debug the project to determine what caused the original error.
Thanks to Puneet for sharing this information with me.