Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Error reading setup initialization file: InstallShield Problem

Yesterday I had a support mail from a user who was unable to install on Windows Vista Home Premium. I was rather worried about the report since we'd just release SliQ 1.5.1 the evening before and I always get a bit nervous when we make a new software release.

The error the user was getting was "Error reading setup initialization file". Googling for info I found information saying that the error was sometimes reported if the InstallShield package had been corrupted. I tried downloading the lastest installer from SliQTools and tested it successfully on Vista and XP machines here in the office so I knew the live release wasn't corrupt. More research on Google indicated that the problem sometimes occurred if the installer took a long time to download -it was taking over 20 minutes on the user's Vista machine. Luckily the user was very technically aware and was very helpful in trying out different things.

I asked the user to download the installer to a Windows XP machine. This time the download took only 5 minutes over the same office broadband connection as with the Vista machine. The installation ran perfectly. The user then copied the installer on a flash drive and installed correctly on the original Vista machine. That evening the user download and installed correctly on his home Vista machine.

I find it hard to believe but the finger is pointing at the installer package being corrupted during the download process. There's not a lot I can do about people's broadband connection but I may have to think up some strategies for reducing the size of the download.

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