A “False Negative” in this case denotes a status result of “Failed” when all indications are that the installation (or uninstallation) was completed successfully.  In most respects, this is “better” than the alternative (false positives), but can become annoying and even time-consuming to deal with, if you’re trying to maintain “clean” logs and status reports.

Symptoms ^

  1. Clients report “Failed” status on packages which are in fact installed properly.  Many times it involves a result code of "3010".
  2. Clients report “Failed” status on packages which uninstall a product, when it turns out the product was not installed to begin with.   This usually references result code "1605"

Causes ^

  1. Incorrect handling of exit code values within package script
  2. Incorrect exit codes produced by vendor installer packages
  3. Final step in installation process hangs, but after vital tasks have completed

Suggestions ^

  1. Test! Test! Test! Before going to the production environment.
  2. Run package (program) manually using the same account/context as used by the Configuration Manager Software Distribution agent.

The most common cause is inadequate testing.  Test! Test! Test! Before going to production.  Even when “some” testing has been performed, it can create problems when you test for fewer scenarios than exist in the production environment.  For example, you might test with Windows XP SP3, and Windows 7 SP1, 32-bit platforms only, and then you start seeing errors on Windows Vista or Windows 7 (RTM) or Windows 7 64-bit clients.  Test on every platform type that you have in the production environment!

Get familiar with Windows Installer Exit codes and what they mean.  The two most common codes that frustrate and confuse administrators (in my humble opinion) are 3010 and 1605.  3010 is close to the same meaning as zero (0), which is "succeeded", except that it requires a restart (reboot) to complete the job properly.  1605 is related to using the /u (uninstall) option, and indicates that the requested product was not installed so it couldn't be uninstalled.

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