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How to capture detailed MSI installer logging during SCM product installation on Windows


Article ID: 49853


Updated On:


CA Harvest Software Change Manager - OpenMake Meister



If you encounter a problem while running setup.exe to install the CA SCM server, client, or agent on a Windows platform, you may be asked by Support to collect an MSI installer log. This is easily accomplished by adding two registry keys and knowing where to look for the resulting output log.


IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to create back up of the registry and ensure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem may occur. For more information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, please review the relevant Microsoft Knowledge Base articles on

Steps to collect an MSI installer log to help you get more information about an error like this:

<Please see attached file for image>

Figure 1

CA SCM setup.exe is a wrapper which calls the Microsoft MSI installer to install the CA SCM Server, Client, and Agent. You can add two registry keys to Windows to enable verbose logging of all actions taken by the MSI installer. This information will help CA Support diagnose an installation problem.

Microsoft MSI installer logs are written to %TEMP%\MSI*.log.

How To configure Windows to generate a verbose MSI installer log file in %TEMP% that will be named msi*.log.

  1. If you are running Windows XP or older: Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK.

  2. If you are running Windows Vista or newer: Click on the Start menu, choose All Programs, then Accessories, then right-click on the item named "command prompt" and choose "Run as Administrator".

  3. Copy this command into the cmd prompt and press enter to run it:

    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer" /v Debug /t REG_DWORD /d 7 /f

  4. Copy this command into the cmd prompt and press enter to run it:

    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer" /v Logging /t REG_SZ /d voicewarmupx! /f

  5. Re-run the setup and let it fail one more time.

  6. Go to your temporary folder (go to the Start menu, choose Run, and type %temp%).

  7. Locate the file named msi*.log (where * is a randomly generated set of letters and numbers). If you have done several software installs, there will be multiple "msi*.log" files. If this is the case, select the most recent one.

  8. Zip the msi*.log file and upload it as an attachment to your CA Support issue.

  9. To turn off MSI installer logging run the following two commands at the command prompt:

    reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer" /v Debug /f
    reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer" /v Logging /f

How to analyze the msi*.log file:

  1. Open the verbose log in a text editor such as notepad and search for the string "return value 3". In nearly all cases, this takes you to the section in the verbose log that lists the action that failed and caused setup to rollback.

  2. Review the contents of the log file immediately above the "return value 3" string to determine which custom action or standard action failed.


Release: SCMNCR99000-12.1-Harvest-Software Change Manager-Named User-Competitive Replacem


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