Error message when you try to install a MSI package on a Windows Server 2003-based computer by using RDP connection: "Windows Installer does not permit installation from a Remote Desktop Connection"


Consider the following scenario:
  • You try to install a Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) package on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003. You do this from another computer by using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection.
  • The computer that is running Windows Server 2003 has Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0.3790, or a later version of installed.
In this scenario, you receive an error message on the computer that is running Windows Server 2003. This error message resembles the following:
Windows Installer does not permit installation from a Remote Desktop Connection.
When you view the verbose log file that was taken during the installation, you see an error message that resembles the following:
MainEngineThread is returning 1645


This problem occurs if the installation source is specified by using the TSClient share through Universal Naming Convention (UNC) notation. For example, you receive the error when you use the following command:
msiexec /i \\TSClient\Drive\package_name.msi


To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Do not use the TSClient share as an installation source. Use standard UNC notation to specify a specific server and share name. For example, use the following standard UNC notation:
msiexec /i \\server_name\share_name\package_name.msi

Method 2

Map a drive to the network location where the installation source exists. Specify the mapped drive in the installation command. For example, use the following installation command:
msiexec /i Drive:\package_name.msi
Note In this command, the Drive placeholder represents the drive that is mapped to the \\server_name\share_name location.

More Information

You can use the TSClient share when the RDP connection is established and the local computer disk drives are added to the local resources for sharing. Letting the MSI package installation to continue is a security risk. This is because the TSClient share may point to different physical locations, depending on the user who logs on remotely.

Error 1645 was first included in Windows Installer version 2.0 for Windows Server 2003.

For more information about Windows Installer error codes, visit the following Microsoft Web site: