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CAD Panacea

AutoCAD 1603 Install Error

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CAD Panacea

The 1603 MSI install error is pretty common, and the solutions are widespread. The following are some of the technical articles from Autodesk on 1603:

AutoCAD Mechanical 2018 installation failure on CheckForRunningTasks

AutoCAD 2018 Core installation failure on CheckForRunningTasks

Error: “Install error 1603: Fatal error during installation.” during installation of Autodesk software

In the particular case I’m writing about today, the specific error in the log file was this:

MSI (s) (74:4C) [06:27:26:728]: Transforming table CustomAction.

MSI (s) (74:08) [06:27:26:729]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:\WINDOWS\Installer\MSI561F.tmp, Entrypoint: CheckForRunningTasks
Action start 6:27:26: CheckForRunningTasks.
CustomAction CheckForRunningTasks returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)
MSI (s) (74:4C) [06:27:26:764]: Transforming table InstallExecuteSequence.

Action ended 6:27:26: CheckForRunningTasks. Return value 3.
Action ended 6:27:26: INSTALL. Return value 3.

Interestingly enough, the install in question (Civil 3D 2020) was generating the following dialog box. I had the silent install mode disabled for debugging purposes.


I clicked OK to allow it to end the “explorer.exe” task, which it did, but then after 20 seconds or so later, this same dialog appeared. I click OK again, despite the fact that the first dialog killed “explorer.exe”. It was at this point that the install failed.

If you read the first link above, it suggests editing the MSI file. Seriously Autodesk? You want your customers editing your MSI install files? Why should we have to do this?

Anyway, whenever there are Autodesk install problems that can’t be solved by normal means, I turn to TravisNave from the Autodesk forums, who once again provided the real solution, which is to start the installer, then use a CMD window to kill “explorer.exe” yourself and not wait on the installer to try and do it. I suspect although it was killing the Windows UI, there may have been another copy of it running somewhere.

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