SharePoint 2013 Prerequisites fails with MSI Installer error code 1603 while installing AppFabric 1.1

When installing SharePoint 2013 prerequisites on Windows Server 2008 R2, the prerequisite installer fails with the following error

Appfabric installation failed because installer MSI returned with error code:1603

This is a generic MSI error message and does not give any indication about how to get the issue fixed. Uninstall or reinstalling only makes it worse.

The issue can be caused due to the following:

  1. The path to the PowerShell executable that is needed for the AppFabric installation is incorrect.

  2. In some scenarios, repeated uninstallation and re-installation does not fix the issue. This is because the installer does not remove the PSModulePath entry in Environment Variables during un-installation and the installation fails because the entry already exists.

  3. If you are trying to install all the prerequisites manually as the server does not have a connection to internet.

    Note: Appfabric installation and configuration has to be done by the prerequisite installer ONLY and not in a stand-alone manner.

You can implement any one of the two solutions listed below

  1. Solution 1

    Append the following path to PSModulePath entry in the environment variables -

    • Go to My Computer, right-click Properties
    • On the System' page, click Advanced System Settings on the left-side pane.
    • If you receive a UAC prompt, click on Yes to launch the System Properties dialog box
    • From the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables
    • Within the System Variables section in the lower half, select PSModulePath and click on Edit (or double-click PSModulePath')
    • Append the following path to PSModulePath entry in the environment variables


    • Ensure that the PSModulePath entry looks like this:

      C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\;c:\Program Files\AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server\PowershellModules

  2. Solution 2

    • There are chances that other applications might be referencing the same variable and may fail if it is deleted. This is what we can do if solution 1 does not help.
    • Remove the PSModulePath entry from the 'Environment Variables' and re-run the installer. Once it completes successfully, ensure that the PSModulePath entry looks the same as mentioned in solution 1.
  3. Solution 3

You can download the list of prerequisites from Links to applicable software

Links to the individual prerequisites:

The steps listed below are for AppFabric for Windows Server only

Follow these steps for installing AppFabric for Windows Server correctly

  • Uninstall the Appfabric for Windows Server from Control Panel -> Programs and Features page

  • Download the individual requirements to a network location or a local folder

  • Install prerequisites for SharePoint 2013 manually

  • From the Start menu, open the Command Prompt window using the Run as administrator option.

    - Navigate to the root of the SharePoint 2013 installation media or folder location
    - Type the prerequisite program switch and corresponding argument for the program that you want to install, and then press ENTER.
    For example:

    If we have to install AppFabric for Windows Server from a local source, we can run the following command:

    PrerequisiteInstaller.exe /AppFabric:<location Of the Appfabric installation file>

    This will kick off the prerequisite installer wizard which will then use the installation file stored locally on the machine as specified in the command-line to install Windows Server AppFabric. We can also install more than one prerequisite by using different switches with the PrerequisiteInstaller.exe command to install multiple components and specifying the installation path in the command line window. For example:

    PrerequisiteInstaller.exe /AppFabric:<location Of the Appfabric installation file> /IDFX11:<Install Windows Identity Foundation v1.1 from file>

    This command will install Appfabric and Windows Identity Foundation

    For a complete list of prerequisite installer operations and command-line options, see Prerequisite installer operations and command-line options

  • The SharePoint 2013 prerequisite installer (prerequisiteinstaller.exe) installs the following software, if it has not already been installed on the server, in this order (provided you have downloaded the prerequisites locally):

    /SQLNCli:file - Install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client from file
    /PowerShell:file - Install Windows Management Framework 3.0 from file
    /NETFX:file - Install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 from file
    /IDFX:file - Install Windows Identity Foundation (KB974405) from file
    /Sync:file - Install Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64) from file

    /AppFabric:<location Of the Appfabric installation file>
    /IDFX11:"<path>\Microsoft Identity Extensions.msi"

    where "<file>" signifies the file location from where you want to install. If you do not specify the <file> option, the installer downloads the file from the Internet and installs it.

The prerequisite installer creates log files at %TEMP%\prerequisiteinstaller.<date>.<time>.log. You can check these log files for specific details about all changes the installer makes to the server.

See Install prerequisites for SharePoint 2013 from a network share for information about how to install the SharePoint 2013 prerequisites at the command prompt from a network share or local system. This approach is typically used when the server does not have a connection to internet.