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Adobe Updates fail with Exit Code 1603


Article ID: 161682


Updated On:


Patch Management Solution for Windows Patch Management Solution for Mac


Software Update Cycle runs to install APSB Bulletins from Adobe; found they fail and continue to reschedule. 

Found the Software Update fails to run manually as well with Exit Code 1603, and has also found to request the .msi version of the Software Update.


Patch Management install throws: Exit Code 1603

Manual install throws popup: The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable.

Additional popup: Requesting .msi executible be utilized for updating.


Patch Management 7.5.x, 7.6.x & 8.0.x


Confirmed the targeting Rule Logic was in order.

Cause 1: Found that Adobe being installed with 'Disable Updates' & 'Disable Services' being configured can cause the issue.

Cause 2: Found the issue was not caused by any processes owned by Patch Management, for the environment utilized network installation, or alternative installation methodology for Adobe Acrobat Software as included in the deployed Client image, and the Software Update Cycle was unable to execute locally due to the installer being unable to find the initial install path. The .msi appears to be requested to lay down the software in the current location.

Moreover, regarding the Adobe Reader updates; the .msi is generally a full installer. Depending on the version of the .msp, most .msp installers are incremental updates and are used for updates. Patch Management Solution would only offer the .msi for normal patch updates when the .msp is not available.

Unfortunately, there is no current plans on changing this functionality.

Adobe details the failure code: Fatal error during installation


Resolution 1:

Confirmed the image for Clients no longer holds this install method as it is unable to be updated or managed moving forward.

Next, ensured the following items were disabled in the Acrobat Customization Wizard as this resolved for :


Resolution 2: Worked through the following steps when the manual execution failed to install outside Patch Management with the popup:

  1. Uninstall the affected Adobe Software via Add/Remove.
  2. Open Windows Explorer: Drill down to the install path; delete the Adobe Directory
    1. Caution: Ensure the files being deleted are only associated with the clean-up of the affected Adobe Software
  3. Open Regedit: Drill down HKLM > Software; delete the unwanted Adobe Software registry keys
    1. Caution: Ensure the registry keys being deleted are only associated with the clean-up of the affected Adobe Software
  4. Run a Windows System Assessment Scan from the Client's Altiris Agent GUI > Software Updates Tab > Application Task link:
  5. Download the Software Installer and install locally.
  6. Allow for the Windows System Assessment Scan to complete, the SMP to process the data, and the 'NS.Windows Patch Remediation Settings' scheduled task to run and update the Patch Filter.
  7. This will ensure the .msp file will be able to update the product moving forward as provided by Patch Management Solution.

Advisory: There are multiple other resolutions provided for this Error 1603; however, these have not been reviewed by Symantec Support Team and will need to be reviewed per the individual environment.