While nobody likes getting error messages when installing software, getting one that isn’t that descriptive makes things far worse. Luckily we can rely on installation logs to fill in the missing pieces, though, truth be told, sometimes a little sleuthing is required as well. At the end of the day people are generally happy when a problem is fixed, but often are curious as to why the issue happened to begin with. So while this blog post has an easy answer, the steps to arrive at the answer are worth knowing.
Such is the story for a recent case where a client reached out to us asking for support with an installation that kept failing. The solution proved to be quite easy, disabling anti-virus, but the client was curious as to why the problem occurred. To gain an appreciation for the situation let me fill you in on a few details.
First, the client was running a deployment of just AutoCAD 2016 from an Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2016 installation. Second the client had successfully used deployments made from the same files to roll out 3ds Max 2016 and Revit 2016. Lastly, the workstations where the other deployments were successfully installed were configured identically to the one that was failing with the AutoCAD installation. This error message popped up during the installation causing it to fail.
Digging deeper, we collected the log files and started looking for the culprit(s). It wasn’t long before we came across a log entry that identified where the installation was failing.
DEBUG: Error 2203: Database: \serverdeploymentsAutodeskAutoCAD2016Imgx64en-usToolssnapContentServiceLP.msi. Cannot open database file. System error -2147287008
While that told us what was failing it didn’t really tell us why, so to gain a bit more clarity, I did some more research on the MSI that was failing. The ContentServiceLP.msi installs the Autodesk Content Service Language Pack. The Autodesk Content Service is “an indexing service that monitors the activity in watched folders on the computer where it is installed”. By looking at a deployment INI file from one of our own deployments of the Autodesk Building Design Suite, I noticed that the Autodesk Content Service is a prerequisite of all AutoCAD based installations, in this case AutoCAD 2016, AutoCAD Architecture 2016, and AutoCAD MEP 2016.
It’s quite clear then that the reason that this particular deployment, the one for AutoCAD, failed and that the other two, for 3ds Max and Revit, did not is due to the fact that only AutoCAD has the prerequisite for the Content Service. The error itself, error 2203, is documented by Microsoft as occurring when a setup cannot access the default temporary folder in Windows (%temp%). Usually as a result of a third-party program restricting access or insufficient permissions being assigned to it.
Speaking with the client, it was determined that Trend Micro was enabled during the installation, so we disabled the anti-virus software and on attempting the installation again we were successful. While Autodesk usually makes it quite clear that anti-virus should be disabled before installation along with the Windows User Account Control, the fact that the entire installation failed due to a relatively inconsequential MSI being blocked was odd, especially considering that prior installations had worked with Trend Micro being enabled. Doing some more research after the fact showed other instances of MSI files being blocked by Trend Micro.
Lesson learned: when it comes to failed installations disable anti-virus and try again!