How to fix/remove fatal error during software installation


You are unable to deploy a software and you get an error - Fatal error during installation process.

Why is this error caused?

You will encounter this error due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Prior existence of the software.
  2. If processes, files or browsers related to the software on the client machine are active during deployment.
  3. User name mentioned in the 'Run As' option under Define Configuration does not have the privilege to install the software.
  4. Generic machine-specific issues:
    • Not enough disk space for installation.
    • The temp directory is not clean.
    • A certain file on the machine is locked.
  5. Common Windows Installer problems:
    • The Windows Installer service could not be accessed
    • Windows Installer service couldn’t be started
    • Could not start the Windows Installer service on local computer
  6. Application specific errors

To resolve fatal error during software installation, follow the steps given below:

Remove files of earlier installations

Use Microsoft’s Windows Installer Cleanup utility to remove traces of previous installations. This utility does not remove files installed by the installation, which may need to be removed manually. For more information, refer to Microsoft’s knowledge base article, Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility.

Ensure the user account has administrative privileges to install software

If you are running your installation on a Windows machine, you are more likely the administrator of your computer. Follow these steps to confirm administrative rights on your computer:

  1. Select Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.
  2. In the Computer Management dialog, click on System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users.
  3. Right-click on your user name and select Properties.
  4. In the properties dialog, select the Member Of tab and make sure it states "Administrator".

If you are installing the application on to a Windows 7 or Windows Vista computer, the user name specified in the Run As option should be the default Administrator (username should be Administrator) and not any other member of the Administrator group.

Resolve machine-specific issues

To check your hard disk space, follow the instructions given below:

  • Double-click My Computer.
  • Select the drive on which the software is being installed.
  • Right-click the drive on which the software is being installed (usually, this is C: drive) and select Properties.
  • On the general tab, note the amount of free space.

If you are certain of having enough space to install the software on your computer, something else is causing the error.

To clean the temp directory, follow the instructions given below:

To clean your Temp directory, you first need to determine its location on your hard drive. Delete the contents of the directory either using a MS-DOS command or using Windows Explorer. To determine the location of the Temp directory:

For User Temp files:

  • Select Start > Run.
  • Type %temp% and press Enter. This will list the contents of the User temp folder.

For System Temp files:

  • Select Start > Run.
  • Type temp and press Enter. This will list the contents of the System temp folder.

To delete the contents of the Temp directory:

Choose one of the following methods to delete the contents of the Temp directory.
Note: Do not delete the Temp directory itself. Delete only the files and folders in the directory as follows:

Using a MS-DOS command

  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type deltree /y temp_directory_location\\*.*.

    For example: deltree /y C:\\Windows\\Temp\\*.*
    temp_directory_location is the location of the Temp directory.

Using Windows Explorer

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop or select Start > Explore.
  2. Navigate to the location of the Temp directory, for example, C:\\Windows\Temp.
  3. Select Edit > Select All. Select File > Delete.
  4. Click Yes or Yes to All in the dialog that appears.

To unlock a certain file on the machine:

  1. Close all applications running in the background.
  2. Reboot your computer.
  3. Run the installation again.

Resolve Common Windows Installer issues

Refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base to resolve issues related to Windows Installer.

Make sure to kill the related processes.

The processes, files or browsers associated to the software can interrupt deployment if they are active. so, it is recommended to kill them manually before deployment or perform the deployment during system startup.

Resolve application-specific errors

These are MSI application specific errors. For example, some applications require a user profile to install. If you have not specified any user in Run As option, try installing the application as a different user.

If you still cannot resolve, try enhancing the logging to identify the problem. Select the "Enable Logging for troubleshooting" option while adding the package and check the logs for any msi based application specific errors. Steps to "Enable Logging for troubleshooting" would include:

  1. Select the Software Deployment tab.
  2. Select the package to be modified.
  3. Click on Edit Package icon under Action field.
  4. Enable Installer/Uninstaller settings under Advanced options.
  5. Enable Logging for troubleshooting checkbox.
  6. Click on Modify Package.

Then modify the defined configuration.

For accessing the logs, go to the following location in the client machine:

Log name will be in the format <some number_packageName.log>

Read the logs to understand the error type and follow the appropriate resolution explained in the earlier sections.

Learn more about software installation.

In case you are not able to troubleshoot the error, then contact support team with the following details:

  1. Endpoint Central server logs.
  2. Log files from Endpoint Central agent pertaining to the computer where installation has failed.
  3. The software package that you were trying to install.

Applies to: Software Installation, Software Installation failure, Remote Software Distribution, Deployment Status

Keywords: Software Installation Failure, Deploy Software, Fatal Error, Deployment Status

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