10 October 2012

Adobe CS6 Error 1603

You are trying to install the Adobe CS6 distribution package you created using Adobe Application Manager, and it fails due to an error 1603. There are several different issues I encountered that can cause this.

  • The most common cause I saw was due to creating the distribution package using the 32-bit setting and trying to install it on a 64-bit OS. You are probably thinking about Microsoft Office 2010 where you can do that, but with CS6, you have to create independent packages for each architecture.
  • Another cause I encountered was the installation of Adobe Air while trying to install CS6 Design Stadfandard. When I uninstall Air, Design Standard successfully installed.
  • I also found that the prerequisites do not always install correctly with the distribution package the Application  Manager creates. For that, I downloaded the packages and prereq packages and installed them before the Design Standard installation. The packages are Visual C++ 2005 x86, Visual C++ 2010, and Visual C++ 2008.
  • Two machines I installed CS6 on were caused by the users having adobe CS5.5 applications open. CS6 was being installed in conjunction with the CS5.5 apps. Their profiles were still logged in with the apps open. If you manually run the installation, you will see the message appear below. Reboot the machine and it should fix this.

  • Another cause was due to the need to specify the installation directory in the configuration window of the Adobe Application Manager. You can specify an environmental variable like I did and it will translate it during installation.



  1. The most recent cause of this is an update to several components that get baked in with the Enterprise Deployment tool.

    You need to run the installers via the command line using administrative privileges

    Run a new cmd window as administrator.
    Enter the following

    msiexec.exe /i “C:\pathto\CS6.msi”

    This worked for me after much hair pulling and rebuilding several test machines and recreating the deployable install more times than I will admit!