Error: Windows Installer Error 2203 or 2755.1632

Error Message

When installing ArcGIS 8.1 and above the installation fails with a message:

"Internal Error 2203: Cannot find file <path>\arcgis\arcGIS.msi"


"Internal Error 2755.1632: Cannot find file <path>\arcgis\arcGIS.msi"


The installer attempts to copy the file into a directory but fails due to a permissions problem. This occurs most commonly when the SYSTEM user does not have permissions to the install folder.

Solution or Workaround

This solution involves changing permissions settings for certain folders. You should be logged in as administrator throughout this process.

Change permissions for the C:\WINDOWS\Installer or C:\WINNT\Installer folder, the C:\TEMP or C:\WINDOWS\TEMP and TEMP\Installer directories to allow SYSTEM and the current user Full Control:

  1. Open Windows Explorer. Browse to your C:\Windows or C:\WINNT folder.
  2. Go to the Tools > Options menu, and select View. Select 'Show hidden files and folders' radio button, and uncheck the 'Hide protected operating system files' checkbox.
    If you are on Windows XP, you may also have to disable 'Simple file sharing (recommended)' to see the Security tab in the next step.

  3. Right-click on the Installer folder and choose Properties. Click the Security tab.
  4. Verify that the following permissions are set and that these user groups are listed:

    Full control (all boxes checked)
    EVERYONE group:
    Read & Execute
    List Folder Contents
    SYSTEM group:
    Full control (all boxes checked)

    If one of these user groups is not listed, you may have to ADD it by clicking the Add button in the upper-right corner of the Security Properties dialog box.

    Make sure the checkbox at the bottom of the Security Properties dialog box, marked 'Allow inheritable permissions from parent to propagate to this object' is checked.

  5. Follow the above steps for C:\TEMP, WINDOWS/TEMP or WINNT/TEMP, and the share/directory to which you are installing the product.
  6. If the file named in the error message does exist in the folder that is listed in the error message, make sure that it is not set as 'read-only'. To do this, right-click on the file, and choose Properties. Verify that the 'read-only' property is unchecked.
  7. If this still does not solve the problem, upgrading to a newer version of Windows Installer may rectify the situation:

    Windows Installer Upgrade

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