App-V 4.6: So your Client Installation or Upgrade has failed: How do you break down the Logging?

App-V 4.6 is still very prevalent out there and will be for a while. With the releases of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 brought additional service packs for the App-V 4.6 client which means upgrades and/new installs for newer operating systems. Several weeks back on this blog, I went over how to enable advanced MSI logging for troubleshooting MSI installs and upgrades (Remember VOICEWARMUP – ) but I would like to now address some follow up emails I received. Admins would like more specific information on how to go through and read that potentially enormous log in order to find out what is failing where and when.

I would never advising reading a verbose MSI installation log from start to finish especially when dealing with potentially asynchronous actions. MSI logs also have an excessive amount of rollback information incorporated into the log upon failed installations. The seasoned IT Pro often looks for specific keywords such as “error” and “failed” and that can be misleading as not all logs generate these types of messages. In addition, searching on the string “error” can also yield false positives as well.

When I am looking at Verbose MSI logs of App-V 4.6 client installs, I usually analyze the log by doing the following:

  • Searching for the error string generated in the App-V Installer User Interface with quotations.
  • Searching using the string “1603.” See if it indicates that a custom action has failed.
  • Searching using the string “Value 3.” This will indicate an install error. This can also help to identify the custom action failure.
  • Searching for string “IsInBadState()” can also be helpful if there is an issue with a failed driver install. This is especially useful in troubleshooting an upgrade. Usually when this occurs, you usually need to delete the driver configuration and state of the specific App-V file system driver specified in order to reattempt the upgrade.

Finally if you need to walk through the App-V custom actions, you can do so by searching by the strings ‘SWI” or “SGC” as all of the App-V custom actions begin with these prefixes.

CustomAction SWI41sp1UpgradeFix returned actual error code 1603

You can walk through the logging of each key App-V custom action. Once you’ve identified what custom action failed, you can then use the following reference to find out specifically what was being attempted with the custom action here: Even though it specifies SP1, it is still valid and helpful for SP2 and SP3. For example the action reference above would be:

Installer :             Client

CA:                       SWI41sp1UpgradeFix

Method name:     SWI41sp1UpgradeFix

Description:         Modifies an installed instance of the Softgrid 4.1SP1/4.2 client application to correctly support upgrading to a later version.

You can then dive deeper into the timeline of the action and align it with a more deep logging utility such as Process Monitor.

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