The System Administrator Has Set Policies To Prevent This Installation

I saw this error message while trying to install Adobe Reader this week and was sure I’d written about it before.

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I clearly hadn’t as I found it in my “to blog” section in OneNote.

First thing that sprang to mind was that it might be related to a Software Restriction Policy but I couldn’t find anything in the event log that pointed to that.

The error I did find in the event log wasn’t particularly useful

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I went through the log it referenced and that also didn’t help all that much either

“This installation is forbidden by system policy. Contact your system administrator”

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So my next step was to try and make the windows installer log give me some more information

This involves changing a value in the registry as follows

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
Type: Reg_SZ
Value: Logging
Data: voicewarmupx

That is maximum logging. The letters in that that key can be in any order but “voicewarmupx” makes it pretty easy to remember.

There is more information on this in the official Microsoft support article. You could also do this with Group Policy which it mentions at the end

After I ran the installer again I got a lot more detail but this was the bit that was helpful

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That line for “DisablePatch” wasn’t in the original log

Windows Installer has a “don’t patch” option

“If this per-machine system policy is set to “1”, the installer does not apply patches. This policy can be used to provide security in environments where patching must be restricted.”

from: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/desktop/Msi/disablepatch

So back to the registry to change that value from a 1 to 0

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
Type: Reg_DWORD
Value: DisablePatch
Data: 0

Once I’d done that I was able to complete the install.

If you come across this it’s probably worth checking to see if that was enabled for a reason.

The final thing I did was to delete the key I’d created for setting installer logs to maximum.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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