The case of the SIDeploy install that silently fails

In this case, a customer was trying to install Softimage 2013 using SIDeploy -i, but the install silently failed.

What’s SIDeploy you may ask?

It’s an [unsupported backdoor] way to install Softimage without running the full installer (the real installer does a lot of other stuff, plus it runs SIDeploy). People use it to do things like:

  • Set a custom install path by editing SIDeploy.ini
  • Work around the file path length limitation that can stop a network deployment.
  • Avoid using network deployments to install on many machines

To use SIDeploy, you’d download the setup, extract the contents, and then do something like this:

set SIDEPLOYPATH=C:\Autodesk\Autodesk_Softimage_2013_English_Japanese_Win_64bit\x64\Softimage
%SIDEPLOYPATH%\SIDeploy.exe -i -f %SIDEPLOYPATH%\SIDeploy.ini

So why did SIDeploy fail?

Because it’s unsupported 🙂 Seriously, the problem was that SIDeploy doesn’t install any prerequisites, like the Visual C++ 2010 runtimes.

Softimage 2013 switched up to Visual C++ 2010, so you need to have those prereqs installed already for SIDeploy to work.

You can find a list of prerequisites in C:\Autodesk\Autodesk_Softimage_2013_English_Japanese_Win_64bit\setup.ini.

(C:\Autodesk is where the installer extracts itself by default.)

The case of Error 1603 and the corrupt PIT file

In a recent case, a customer reported error 1603” during installation. As I’ve mentioned many times in various places, error 1603 is a generic error code that doesn’t tell us much. So, you can either apply some generic troubleshooting (reboot, check download, disable UAC, reinstall VC++ manually, …) or check the detailed installation logs for more specific information.

The problem is this specific case was that the installer wasn’t able to update ProductInformation.pit. Without looking at the logs, I don’t know whether you would ever figure this out.