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  1. #1
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    Can't install software due to "Error 2502/03"

    LANGALIST PLUS

    Can't install software due to "Error 2502/03"


    By Fred Langa

    When a software installation fails, and the Windows Installer yields only obscure error messages, the solution might lie with various permission settings. Plus: Why image backups might fail on non-NTFS drives and how to delete the pernicious SafeSearch malware. Also, is Microsoft lying about Windows 10?


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/cant-install-software-due-to-error-250203/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    One common problem I have found with .msi files and installations in general is that they will only run from a local disk. Typically I download all my software to a NAS. Some programs will install from there, but increasingly many will not. I find that copying to a local drive, and if the software is in a zip file, copying not the zip, but the first level in the zip so it decompresses it during the copy will usually fix the problem.

    I don't know why many programs will not install from a network drive, but I suspect it is an issue with how the installer handles paths. Probably mapping the network drive to a drive letter will help for some. I suspect that the same problem exists if you try to run an installer from cloud storage for some programs.

  3. #3
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    There's a third "most common cause" for these errors, and in my experience it's the most common cause on personal computers: deleting or overwriting the original .MSI file (or any associated .cab files).

    Depending on how the .MSI installer is written, it might require access to its original .msi file to repair itself or to uninstall itself. And what is required in these cases is the original .msi file in its original location--no substitute or alternate location or renamed copy will do.

    Therefore, here's what I tell my friends to do on their personal Windows computers: Make a permanent directory somewhere on the local hard disk from which all .MSI installers will be run. (For example, C:\Users\username\Documents\Nstallrs ). Copy all .msi files (and any associated files) to that location and run the installations from there, always.

    Why? Because .MSI installers always remember where they were installed from, and have some way of recognizing their original .msi file by its contents, not just its name. And you cannot easily edit that information after the installation. (Unless you're prepared to write a VBscript to alter the installer database, which can be done, by modifying the SourcePath property.)

    Never overwrite an .MSI file with one of the same name; instead, copy or rename the original one so you could get it back if you need to, then put the new one in that same location so you can run it. (Note to developers: stop doing this--never create a new .msi with the exact same name as a previous one.)

    Never cleanup that directory. In other words, do not delete any of those .msi files until you confirm that the associated software is already uninstalled and the computer rebooted since.

    If this is too cumbersome, then only install software that has written its .MSI installers to work around these restrictions, like Microsoft Office does. Usually (but not always), .MSI installers that cache all their installation files to another directory will not have these problems. Sande
    Last edited by snissen0; 2015-02-05 at 13:07.

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