We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


MSI Package Deployment Issue

cyrax asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
When attempting to deploy an MSI package using Altiris DS, an error occurs (1603). Have tried several different types of packes created using WISE SetupCapture.
Can't seem to get around this issue. Any help would be appreciated!
Watch Question

The MSI package might be the problem.  Microsoft has a great KB article on how to create a third party MSI.  The steps are a little lengthy but it might be what you need.


Can you run th MSI manualy?



Followed the MS KB article step-by-step and the same problem is occuring.



Some of the MSI's can be run manually without any problem.
I only work with Altiris a little currently and it is the NS seerver, but AppDeploy has some information on this error that should help.
Also, is this occuring on all packages to all PCs or is this just to a certain PC.  Can you install with the same MSI string locally on that PC if it is a PC dependent problem.  Anyways her is a link to appdeploy that has some good information :   http://www.appdeploy.com/msierrors/detail.asp?id=11

Highlight the job and click modify on the right.  put a pause at the end of the script and make sure to click windows radio button.  click next and select normal vs. hidden.  now run the script and go look at the system you are pushing to.  Look at the command prompt and see what the error is.

I found this on the Altiris website http://kb.altiris.com/display/2/kb/article.asp?aid=2566&n=7&s=1.  Are you using a mapped drive in your scrip?  Try using the UNC path.  To rule out permission, you can specifiy an admin user in the Client Run Environment.   Modify the script and click next.  In the Client Run Environment, click Specific user.  Enter a user that has rights to install.  Could you show us what you show us what your script looks like?  If there is a problem with your switches, the window installer help box will appear on the client computer.  


Not using a script at all. Am deploying the MSI by creating a "Deploy Software" job in Altiris DS, then just pointing to the location of the source msi file. Have also tried using an account with admin rights - but same problem occurs.

The problem is happenning on each PC being deployed to, not just one pc.

The strange thing is that I tried an msi package that comes with another program from a vendor and it worked fine. Only the ones that I create seem to come up with the 1603 error.

What are you deploying?


Tried deploying two things - Quicktime 7 and Acrobat Reader 7. Both failed with the same error.
what is the MSI string you are installing with.  You said they were MSI files and if yoiu are pushing with Altiris you have an unattended MSI string.  What is it?


Can't seem to find the unattended MSI string that you mention.
When pushing the MSI out to the workstation with Altiris, I am just creating a "Deploy Software" job, then selecting the MSI file and selecting the "run in quiet mode" option.

Is there a way to view the string?

First we need to establish if the problem is with the msi package itself or altiris

Run the msi file on a pc you are trying to deploy the install to using the required msi and switches using UNC.  If this fails then the switches are incorrect, the msi package is corrupt or the logged on user does not have sufficient permissions to install the msi.

If you don't mind everyone having the ability to install software then add "domain users" to the administrator group of the pc.
I don't use the wizard to deploy, this is how I do it.  create new job.  highlight new job add run script on right.  Here is the script.

MSIEXEC.EXE TRANSFORMS="\\%DSSERVER%\express\Applications\AdobeR708\Adobe Reader 7.0.8.mst" /i  "\\%DSSERVER%\express\applications\AdobeR708\Adobe Reader 7.0.8.msi" /qb /norestart

Modify paths as needs, make sure you select windows at the bottom then next.  Select user account and put in a domain admin or somthing that has rights to install accross the network.  Select normal window for trouble shooting, might want to go back and add a pause at the end of the script for trouble shooting.  Clcik finish and schedule the task.

The script is going to be very similar from application to application.  Let me know how it goes.  Once you do this a few time its easier than the wizard.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Thats what i was looking for.  Now do as yamunn sugested and take that cmd and run it on the remote box as the user if they have all ntfs permissions needed and if not slap it in a batch file on the users pc and perform a RUNAS and run as someone who does and then tell us what happens.
You must do this because the 1603 error is a general error that basically means "Something happened and it didnt install"


Ok, this seems to work.

I am now having issues deploying Office 2003 through DS...

Is it necessary to use the "Distribute Software" job at all for any software delpoyments?
if you distribute software then it caches the files localy first before it starts installing anything.  Therefor it is possible to run an install without the server being available which is usefull for reinstalling apps for remote users who are not always on the network.  With software deployment you can also control the bandwidth and install at a later time which reduces bandwidth usage when a new package is deployed toa  whole site as it downloads the package using only a certain percantage of total bandwidth and then once it has cached everything it then starts installing.  There are advantages to software deployment instead of just running a script.  Othertimes their are advantages to runing a scipt instead of software deployment such as when running a batch script which may change, any changes made to the script would be useless since it has the old cached version.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.