MotionBuilder error reading registry key during uninstall

This case illustrates a common troubleshooting technique for some install/uninstall problems: deleting the Installer registry key.
Way back when I started support Softimage, this was how we fixed problems like “Uninstall says Softimage already uninstalled”, even though that was not true.

In a recent MotionBuilder case, the customer got this error when he tried to uninstall MotionBuilder 2011:

There was an error reading the registry key SOFTWARE\autodesk\motionbuilder\2011//defaultproductkey.

The solution:

  1. In the Registry Editor, find this key:
  2. Search for MotionBuilder in the Data.
  3. You should find a DisplayName value under an InstallProperties key.

    The full key name will be something like:

  4. Export the key (as a backup) and then delete it. For example, on machine, I would delete this key:
    On your machine, the key name may be different than “83E7ADBE34330A442ACF348F731E5F87”
  5. Try again to uninstall MotionBuilder.

Hacking the name of the Softimage install folder

Not everyone likes folder names like “Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack” 😉 For example, if you’re creating a deployment, it’s pretty common to exceed the Windows path length limit and hit an error.

The setup doesn’t allow you to change the name of the install folder (you can change the location from the default C:\Program Files\Autodesk, but you can’t change the root folder of the Softimage install).

However, you can use any MSI editor (such as InstEd) to change the install folder. All you have to do is edit the ADSK_INSTALL_PATH property. I thought it would be INSTALLDIR, but after a few tries, I figured out that it was ADSK_INSTALL_PATH.

Use at your own risk.

Command line for installing VCREDIST

If you need to run the Visual C++ Redistributable from the command line and create a log file, use this command line:

cd C:\Autodesk\Softimage_2011_Subscription_Advantage_Pack_English_Japanese_64bit\Support\VCRedist\2005
vcredist_x64.exe /q:a /T:%windir%\temp /c:"VCREDI~2.EXE /q:a
 /c:""msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x64_2005.log"" "

You can find the command line used by the Softimage Setup in the setup.ini file
(in the C:\Autodesk\Softimage_2011_Subscription_Advantage_Pack_English_Japanese_64bit folder):

PRODUCT_NAME=Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable (x64)
EXE_PARAM=/q:a /T:%windir%\temp /c:"VCREDI~2.EXE /q:a /c:""msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn /l*v %temp%\vcredist_x64_2005.log"" "

Installation aborted, Result=1603

As I’ve mentioned before, Error 1603 during an installation can be almost anything. It’s a generic error and you have to dig into the logs to find out what really happened.

For example, a customer reported getting 1603 during an install. So we looked into the %TEMP%\Autodesk_Softimage_x64_Install.log file, and found this:

2010/12/13:15:46:24	Administrator	DEADBEEF	Install	Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable (x86)	Failed	Installation aborted, Result=1603

Now that we knew it was the VCREDIST, we looked into %TEMP%\vcredist_x86_2005.log and found out that problem was that the Softimage install was blocked because installer could not remove an old version of VC++ 2005 Redistributable:

MSI (s) (98:3C) [18:28:15:187]: Product: Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable -- Error 1714.The older version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable cannot be removed.  Contact your technical support group.  System Error 1612.

Error 1714.The older version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable cannot be removed.  Contact your technical support group.  System Error 1612.

Error 1714 and google led me to the solution: rename the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components\F942F94A19C0F79468FD2B85E5E8677B.

After that, we were able to remove Visual C++ 2005 redistributable from the Control Panel, and then Softimage installed ok.

Setting XSI_USERROOT in a network deployment

I found a way to create a deployment that will override the default XSI_USERROOT. The trick is to add a set_spmhost.bat file to the deployment image.

The Softimage setenv.bat file is already set up to call set_spmhost.bat:

if EXIST "%XSI_BINDIR%\set_spmhost.bat" call "%XSI_BINDIR%\set_spmhost.bat"

so you just need to put something like this in a set_spmhost.bat file:

rem set_spmhost.bat
rem Override XSI_USERHOME from setenv.bat

set_spmhost.bat is unused in Softimage 2011 and later.
It was used back in 7.5 for Linux customers who also wanted to run on Windows (back then, Linux licenses were still SPM).

In the next release, we’ve set up setenv.bat to call a SiteDeploy.bat file:

rem Verify the existence of the SiteDeploy.bat file
if exist "%XSI_BINDIR%\SiteDeploy.bat" call "%XSI_BINDIR%\SiteDeploy.bat"

Installing the Autodesk Network License Manager (aka LMTOOLS)

You can use the Softimage Setup program to install the Autodesk Network License Manager (video). Just click Install Tools and Utilities.

Alternatively, if you don’t have the full Softimage Setup on your license server computer, then you can download a standalone installer for ADLM from

Troubleshooting installation failures

When a Softimage (or any other Autodesk product) installation fails, you’ll have to check the install logs to see what went wrong. Typically the only error message you’ll see during the actual install will be too generic to be helpful (for example, Error 1603, which could mean almost anything).

The installation log files are found in your %TEMP% folder.

The main log file is Autodesk_Softimage_IF.log.
If the installation works, you’ll see something like this:

2010/5/4:16:41:15	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	=== Setup started on MTL-EXAMPLE by blairs ===
2010/5/4:16:42:17	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	Install	Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable (x64)	Succeeded	
2010/5/4:16:42:23	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	Install	Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable (x86)	Succeeded	
2010/5/4:16:42:30	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	Install	Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable (x64)	Succeeded	
2010/5/4:16:44:10	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	Install	Autodesk Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack 64-bit	Succeeded	
2010/5/4:16:58:36	blairs	MTL-EXAMPLE	=== Setup ended ===

If the install failed, Autodesk_Softimage_IF.log tells you which component failed to install.
For each component, there will be a [much] more detailed log.

Depending on whether you installed 64-bit (x64) or 32-bit (x86) Softimage, you’ll see these log files for Softimage:

  • Autodesk_Softimage_x64_Install.log
  • Autodesk_Softimage_x86_Install.log

For the Visual C++ Redistributable, these are the log files to look for:

  • vcredist_x64.log
  • vcredist_x86.log
  • vcredist_x64_2005.log
  • vcredist_x86_2005.log

In these files, I generally look for the point where the install rollback started, and the look back up the file from there. Or I search for things like “error” or “result”.

Once you find the error, it’s off to google to see what you can find.

Learning movies play in the wrong language

A customer in Germany reported that he couldn’t play the Softimage learning movies (aka Essential Skills movies) from NetView, and that when he used Windows Explorer to open the movies, they were playing in Japanese. I had a similar problem on my own machine, where the Maya learning movies played in Japanese instead of English.

First, the links in the NetView learning movies page just “run” the files using the default program for .mov files. If nothing happens when you click a link, check the default program registered for the .mov file type. If you cannot get the links to work, you can find the movies in the folder %XSI_HOME%\Data\NetView_Database\Movies.

The movie files contain multiple audio tracks. Here’s a video that shows how to change to the English audio track: