Error installing Office Online (Office Web Apps) Server

Here’s the situation – you want to install Office Web Apps Server or its latest version, Office Online Server. You download the installer and run it on a fresh VM, only to get greeted by the following error message few seconds later:

Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013 encountered an error during setup.

or

Microsoft Office Online Server encountered an error during setup.

No matter how many times you restart the setup, the issue continues to appear. In event viewer, you will notice an event ID 1000. Here are the relevant bits:

Log Name: Application
Source: Application Error

Event ID: 1000
Task Category: (100)
Level: Error

Faulting application name: MsiExec.exe, version: XXXXX
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: XXXXX
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\System32\MsiExec.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\KERNELBASE.dll

If you bother to look at the Windows Installer logs, you will also notice an Error Code 1603. If you dig a little deeper, you will find the faulting action in the Installer logic responsible for this. As it turns out, the issue is caused by some missing registry keys, which the aforementioned action is looking for, and failing the install if they are not present.

Anyway, here’s the solution that has worked for me and some other people. You simply need to add the missing reg keys, and the following PowerShell script will do it for you:

if(!(Test-Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer)){
New-Item -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer | Out-Null
}
$regProps = Get-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
if(! $regProps.logging){
New-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer -Name logging -Value voicewarmup -PropertyType String | Out-Null
}
if(! $regProps.debug){
New-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer -Name debug -Value 3 -PropertyType DWord | Out-Null
}

It’s not a solution I’ve come up with, so here’s credit to the original author. My contribution is simply connecting the dots, after navigating through a gazillion of articles out there mentioning similar issues. And hopefully making the solution a bit easier to discover.

As apparent from the above link, the same issue affects other Microsoft products as well, so keep this solution in mind if you happen to run into EventID 100/Error code 1603 situation.

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