I have a setup project created by Visual Studio 2005, and consists of both a C# .NET 2.0 project and C++ MFC project, and the C++ run time. It works properly when run from the main console, but when run over a Terminal Server session on a Windows XP target, the install fails in the following way - When the Setup.exe is invoked, it immediately crashes before the first welcome screen is displayed. When invoked over a physical console, the setup runs normally.

I figured I could go back to a lab machine to debug, but it runs fine on a lab machine over Terminal Server.

I see other descriptions of setup problems over Terminal Server sessions, but I don't see a definite solution. Both machines have a nearly identical configuration except that the one that is failing also has the GoToMyPC Host installed.

Has anyone else seen these problems, and how can I troubleshoot this?


+2  A: 

I had LOTS of issues with developing installers (and software in general) for terminal server. I hate that damn thing.

Anyway, VS Setup Projects are just .msi files, and run using the Windows installer framework.

This will drop a log file when it errors out, they're called MSIc183.LOG (swap the c183 for some random numbers and letters), and they go in your logged-in-user account's temp directory.

The easiest way to find that is to type %TEMP% into the windows explorer address bar - once you're there have a look for these log files, they might give you a clue.

  • Note - Under terminal server, sometimes the logs don't go directly into %TEMP%, but under numbered subdirectories. If you can't find any MSIXYZ.LOG files in there, look for directories called 1, 2, and so on, and look in those.

If you find a log file, but can't get any clues from it, post it here. I've looked at more than I care to thing about, so I may be able to help

Orion Edwards

Before installing, drop to a command prompt and type


Then install your software. Once the install has completed, drop back to the command prompt and type:


Alternatively, don't start the installation by a double click but instead go to Add/Remove Programs and select "install software" from there.

Good luck!