Installing Microsoft IntelliType Keyboard and IntelliPoint Mouse -- Error 1603

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Problem: Error 1603 During Installation

While attempting to install the software for both the Microsoft MultiMedia Keyboard (1.0A) and the Mobile Mouse 3500, I received the “Error 1603 Fatal Error During Installation” message and the software failed to install.

In English, the 1603 error means:

“We don’t know WTF is wrong. Later”.

The Solution

You will find lots of advice on getting to the root of this error, from futzing with registry keys to changing permissions on folders. It’s possible you’ll need to do that. But before you go down that route, try this:

  • If you have any pending Windows updates, install them and reboot
  • Clean your Temp directories

You most likely have two of these directories:

  1. c:\Windows\Temp
  2. c:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Temp

How to do it

 

Install pending updates

You’ll know if you have pending updates if you have a little yellow shield in your “Shut Down” button:

winupdate

Simply click “Shut Down” and let it do its thing. If you don’t have that icon, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Clean your Temp directories

To find your local user directory:

  1. open a command prompt (win key, then type “cmd”)
  2. type echo %temp% at the prompt

It’ll show you the full path to your user temp directory:

tempdir

Now, open each of those locations in Windows Explorer, select all the files in the directory (ctrl-A), and hit the Delete key. If you’re prompted with dialogs indicating that certain files can’t be deleted because they’re in use, hit “Skip” as those files are not your problem.

Do this for both directories, then try the installation again.

Again, this might not be your problem, but it’s an easy first step before attempting more involved solutions.

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