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\->Windows Installer FAQ (the basics)->Return Codes and Error Codes or Text->Error Codes

Windows Installer Error Codes

These codes are not return codes from "MSIEXEC.EXE", but codes you may see in logs or dialogs produced during the installation of an msi. Its also possible that you may see some of these during a MAKEMSI build (typically with descriptive text).

The error number will most probably be displayed in any dialog displayed to a user but the text of the message with parameters substituted may be incomplete or missing, for more information see:

Note that where error text is unavailable or not defined you won't see a description but the parameters will simply be listed.

See the links below for some sites that document some of the codes you may see. Here are my comments on some of the possible codes:

  1. 1309 - Error reading from file: [3]. {{ System error [2].}} Verify that the file exists and that you can access it.
  2. 1327 - Invalid Drive: [2]
  3. 1335 - The cabinet file '[2]' required for this installation is corrupt and cannot be used. This could indicate a network error, an error reading from the CD-ROM, or a problem with this package
  4. 1606 - Could not access network location [2]
  5. 1704 - An installation for [2] is currently suspended. You must undo the changes made by that installation to continue. Do you want to undo those changes?
  6. 1719 - The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed...
  7. 1720 - There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A script required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor. Custom action [2] script error [3], [4]: [5] Line [6], Column [7], [8]
  8. 1904 - Module [2] failed to register. HRESULT [3].
  9. 1909 - Could not create Shortcut [2]. Verify that the destination folder exists and that you can access it.
  10. 2203 - Note: 1: 2203 2: [[MSI]] 3: [[RC]]
  11. 2205 - Database: [2]. Table does not exist: [3]
  12. 2213 - Database: [2]. Error saving database tables
  13. 2228 - Database: [2]. Unknown table '[3]' in SQL query: [4]
  14. 2262 - Stream does not exist: [2]. System error: [3]
  15. 2705 - Invalid table: [2]; Could not be linked as tree
  16. 2716 - Could not create a random subcomponent name for component '[2]'
  17. 2728 - Table definition error: Component
  18. 2731 - Selection Manager not initialized
  19. 2756 - The property '[2]' was used as a directory property in one or more tables, but no value was ever assigned
  20. 2762 - Cannot write script record. Transaction not started
  21. 2826 - Control [3] on dialog [2] extends beyond the boundaries of the dialog [4] by [5] pixels

Note that I am in no way trying to suggest that the only reason the above error codes get generated are for the reasons I document. The problem will frequently be exactly what it sounds like, I am simply documenting some reasons I have found which are not obvious.

Adding or Changing Message Descriptions

If you don't like the descriptive text being displayed for MAKEMSI build issues you should check out the build error templates configuration section.

The "COMPANY.MMH" header file alters some typically existing message and adds some other install time issues I have encountered. You can add any message you wish or alter existing ones to perhaps meet the needs of a specific MSI, see the "Z: Available?" launch condition section for an example of this.

Other Links to Error Related Information


Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.Please email me any feedback, additional information or corrections.
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Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.