Diving through the logs….

I’ve tried to create an automation task with RES ONE Automationmanager to deploy Office 2016. To deploy Office 2016 silently should be a very simple task. 😎

  • Extract the ISO File to a folder on a netshare
  • run the setup.exe with the parameter /admin
  • Configure all the settings with the microsft OCT
  • Saving your settings (you’ll get a .msp file)

The most important part is to set the licensing model, check the display level to none and activate the checkbox suppress modal.

If we save the msp file in the foder updates, we can execute the setup.exe directly without any further parameter and the setup will deploy Office 2016 without any further interaction.

After that I did create a module in RES ONE Workspace to deploy Office.

I’ve used the task „unattended Installation“, set the location of the setup.exe file and used a variable for the Security context that contains the credentials.

After setting up this module, I’ve tried to deploy Office on a Win10 Test Client. The logfile says everything went well, but with a duration of only 02:30min I couldn’t believe that Office 2016 was successfully deployed.

Office wasn’t installed on the client and I had this strange 1603 error in the Event log.

After a few more testings I did open a support ticket by the RES Support, because I had no explanation for that strange behaviour. If I execute the setup directly in a interactive session, everything went through fine. Later I got a phone call that they coudn’t reproduce that error and they told me that in their test environment the automated installation of Office 2016 works fine. They did provide me their Office ISO File and asked me to test it if it works with their Version.

I’ve tried it with the ISO file they have provided to me, but I went in the same issue. Beside the virutal machines I’ve tried it with a physical machine and again the setup did initiate a rollback! 😈

Deeper diving! To get more informations I had to activate some deeper logging level for MSI based setups. It’s possible to activate that feature in the registry.

The key you need to create: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer

The new String (REG_SZ) value to create: Logging

Here’s where your choices come into play. The values of the newly created Logging string can be summed up using the following word: voicewarmupx

After setting this Key in the registry, I did check the log files in the C:\Windows\Temp location. Well there are a lot of more log files there now 😉

I’ve discovered the name of the MSI file which produced the error and in which logfile I could find further informations.

Then in the much more detailed logfile I could find a hint that the Installations crashes with a HResult:0x800703fa error which let’s me assume that there is somewhere a permisson error!

I did some further tests and tried a deployment test with other credentials. The only thing I’ve changed that I did work this time not with a variable in the Security context field:

To my surprise, the deployment of Office 2016 did work now! I’ve told my findings to the RES support and they were able to reproduce the error!

It seems that I’ve found a bug in their software 🙂



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