SQL SERVER – Installation Error – Unable to Open Windows Installer File – 2147286960

SQL installation and parching are the processes which every DBA has to do. Some smart DBAs do this via script and some go with a manual approach. When it fails, it is fun to debug it because you have to take help from internet to find possible causes and solution. In this blog, we would learn about how to fix error Unable to open Windows Installer file -2147286960.

One day I was trying to install a standalone instance of SQL Server 2016, on the setup wizard I encountered the below error

Here is the text of the error message.

The following error has occurred:
Unable to open Windows Installer file ‘C:\SQL2016\SQLServer2016SP1-FullSlipstream-x64-ENU\x64\setup\sql_as.msi’.
Windows Installer error message: 1: 2203 2: C:\SQL2016\SQLServer2016SP1-FullSlipstream-x64-ENU\x64\setup\sql_as.msi 3: -2147286960.
Click ‘Retry’ to retry the failed action, or click ‘Cancel’ to cancel this action and continue setup.

I directly went to the location mentioned above and saw that the file in question was already present.

Let me make it more interesting. I saw something strange. See below,

As we could see the subject description for all other MSI files, but it was blank for this MSI file. Then I decided to view the info present in all the columns of this MSI file. And I saw the below:

The size of this file was 0KB. This was very bizarre and interesting. This could have happened when I was extracting the ISO image. This was a new image I had downloaded.


I re-extracted the ISO image after which I got the file in the correct state:

You can also copy only this file from a different image and replace here.  After doing above steps, I was able to fix the error and setup completed without any issues.

I generally prefer mounting ISO to the OS and then install rather than using tools to unzip the files. Have you ever seen issues with the extraction of ISO?

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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