Error 1635 from Microsoft Office Installer when installing from a SMB File Source

System Requirements:

  • Office 2007
  • Office 2010
  • Office 2013 (Enterprise)
  • Office 2016 (Enterprise)

The Problem:

You’re one of the lucky people who has access to a version of Office that doesn’t need to use the awful “Click to Run” to perform the install. You are trying to use SCCM, Group Policy, a BAT file or some other remote invocation method to deploy Office from a source repository on a SMB file share.

Office starts to install, the installation looks like it is working and even one or two app’s appear on the start menu… before it unexplainably performs a roll back and uninstalls itself leaving your machine with no Office installation.

If you check the log files (in %temp% or c:\users\<user>\AppData\Local\Temp by default) you will find a Windows Installer Error 1635 entry listed before it commenced the rollback.

More Info

Windows Installer Error 1635 is “This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and is accessible, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package”.

If you are using SCCM, then you are probably attempting to execute this through the NT System account or via local admin.

Obviously you’ve checked the share permissions, perhaps even enabled a Null Session Share to allow anonymous access to the share… and it still doesn’t work. The client script is obviously executing successfully because the setup programme loads and runs for 10 minutes or more quite happily before erroring out.

The Fix

Quite simply, save yourself a headache and script the process to call the Office setup.exe from the local machine rather than directly against the SMB Share. This will solve the problem. Something in line with the following will download the installer and files from the repository to the OS Temp directory, execute the installer process and then clean-up

mkdir C:\Windows\Temp\OfficeSetup

xcopy "\\server\share" "C:\Windows\Temp\OfficeSetup" /Y /E /V /C /Q /H /R

:: Pre-Install actions here

call "C:\Windows\Temp\OfficeSetup\setup.exe" <switches go here>

:: Post-Install actions here

rmdir "C:\Windows\Temp\OfficeSetup" /S /Q