StartupIndicator.exe exited with Error code 1603 When installing XenApp 6.5

StartupIndicator.exe exited with Error code 1603 When installing XenApp 6.5

Fatal error during Citrix XenApp 6.5 installation: Startupindicator.exe exited with error code 1603 OR Installation <package>.msi failed with error code 1603. Fatal error during installation



Well, Citrix has done it again.
That’s my conclusion after trying the new Citrix Server Role manager. And no, it isn’t meant in a positive way.
One of the hardest things for a Citrix consultant is basically the installation of this product out-of-the-box.  Since the Metaframe days installing Citrix has been a headache for everyone who is not from the Citrix developer division.

Although Citrix has severely improved the installation process by creating the Citrix Server Role manager who deals with the installations, and the clear separation of the-installation-of-the-product and the-configuration-of-the-product, Citrix has some improvements to make. (No, we are not talking about a new marketing name for the AppCenter Console – How about Citrix Control Center Console – CCCC?)

Too many Citrix administrators have run into installation problems with XenApp 6.5 and I hope this article summarizes most issues and prevents those hard working Citrix admins to get the product installed. 
I decided to dig a little deeper and explain the causes, and give some tips and solutions.


You are installing XenApp 6.5 on a freshly installed Windows 2008R2 server and one of receive these errors:

A.     XenApp Server Role Manager halts installation with code 1603

<DVDdriveletter>:\\XenApp Server Role Manager\Startup\StartupIndicator.exe exited with error code 1603.
Startupindicator.exe exited with error code 1603.png

The famous error code 1603 – this error just means “some error” has occurred with any of the components being installed.


Or errors from the log files:

B.     Error code 1603 Fatal error during installation


[date – time][2316][Error] Installation of ‘D:\\XenApp Server\w2k8x64\mps.msi’ failed with error code 1603. Fatal error during installation

Message : Installation of ‘D:\\XenApp Server\w2k8x64\mps.msi’ failed with error code 1603. Fatal error during installation


C.     Service ‘Citrix MFCOM Service’ (MFCom) could not be stopped

[date – time][2524][Information] Windows Installer Message Box [None]: Error 1921. Service ‘Citrix MFCOM Service’ (MFCom) could not be stopped.  Verify that you have sufficient privileges to stop system services.

Message : Installation of ‘..\..\XenApp Server\w2k8x64\mps.msi’ failed with error code 1603. Fatal error during installation



The first time you see the message, you are sure the 1603 just means the whole thing needs a reboot.

Error code 1603 is thrown when for example a Microsoft Hotfix installation has completed and requires a reboot to complete.
In this case the 1603 is an error code thrown by the MSI installer, and it just means: “Fatal during installation” or translated: “Something went wrong” 

What’s going wrong?


The error "StartupIndicator.exe exited with error code 1603" is a very generic error only telling us that one of the components (Microsoft components or Citrix MSI packages) that were scheduled failed to install.
The error message gives you the link to the installation log files, where the admin can start digging for errors, searching for words as “error”,and “failed”.


What are the causes and how to prevent them from happening?


1.      The ISO image is corrupted
Might happen more than you expect, and any corrupted or missing file will simply stop the installation process.

So quickly verify if the 4.5 GB ISO image is not corrupted. 

Generally this would not be the first step for an experienced admin, BUT it takes only 2 mins to check this, and any troubleshooting steps without knowing your DVD is 100% could be a waste of time.

Download the MF5 hash check standalone tool here: MD5 Hash Tool

XA6.5_2008R2_ML_1.iso:  MD5 hash: iso hash c1812e24ca567184c28a6e0b69a31c08


2.      The files are not being read properly from the (extracted/mounted) ISO file.
Make sure the files are being read well from the ISO file.

a.      ISO is connected through a bad or unstable network.

If you connect the ISO via the VMware console from a location which has no 100% network stability or with TCP offload engine enabled, you might have disconnects while reading big files.

b.     ISO mounter and long file names.

Well-known ISO file mounters like Daemon Tools might not be able to handle the file structure on the DVD well.

The Citrix developers were in a good mood and decided to create a beautiful directory structure on DVD: They however forgot that even in 2013 Windows and its apps still doesn’t handle long filenames like this very well:

“D:\XenApp Server Role Manager\Setup\Citrix\XenApp\XenAppServerRoleManager\Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.Logging.Configuration.Design.dll"

That’s 144 characters with spaces and without quotation marks.

c.      WinRar extract and long file names.

Unfortunately even extracting with the latest WinRar does not seem able to handle the long file names well, which will result in a file not found, and thus a 1603 error. Try WinImage instead, a rock solid piece of software.



May become this extracted


3.      Make sure you run as a FULL administrator, without UAC and DEP.

Disable UAC (User Acess Control)
Via the control panel or via command line 

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f


Disable DEP

The server needs to be rebooted after this.

bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff


4.      Remove all Microsoft Visual C++ redistributables.

These would be installed by default when you have a virtual machine and VMware Tools are present on the machine. You can uninstall them without problems. 

5.      Install as a local administrator, not a domain admin account.

Use the local server admin account. The server does not need to be in the domain to install XenApp. XenApp configuration is done later after the installation process, so nowadays this can be done without hesitation. Add the server to the domain after XenApp installation was succesful.

6.      Troubleshoot the Citrix Logfiles (citrix*.log, in your appdata folder)

You might notice you will not easily find a solution right away from these messages.


7.      Invoke Citrix Support, if your company is paying for support.

Unfortunately, no free Citrix support for installing their software. Kind of annoying to pay for a software that doesn’t even install at once. 

8.     Last option: install XenApp 6.5 M on a fresh newly installed Windows 2008 R2 server.
This ensures no policies, settings, restrictions get in the way of the installation process.
In larger companies this will not be a valid solution, since they all are using Windows Customized templates. 


I would recommend Citrix to do the following when releasing new products:

·        Create a Citrix Install Advisor utility (CIA Utility) which scans new system for readiness warns for problems and suggest solutions. This tool should be updated weekly by the support people dealing with the problems reported on the forums. 

·        New FULL support for installation issues for any admin worldwide. A software company not supporting the installation of the product for free? Seriously?