Problem deploying the RGB Rasterizer MSI in the .NET Framework 3.0 via Active Directory

Recently, I've heard from a couple of customers who have been trying to use the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0 to their network using Active Directory.  They have run into problems deploying the RGB Rasterizer prerequisite component (officially known as the Software rasterizer for the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) in this deployment guide).

Description of the issue

One of the customers posted a description of this problem in this post on the MSDN forums.  To summarize, using the instructions in the deployment guide yields a fatal error during the deployed installation of the RGB Rasterizer MSI.  However, it doesn't appear that a verbose MSI log file is created during this deployment.

The RGB Rasterizer is a very simple MSI with the following characteristics:

  • It only installs on Windows XP
  • It installs a single file to the %windir%\system32 directory
  • The component that installs the file is marked as permanent so it cannot be uninstalled using standard MSI actions
  • The MSI itself is marked so it will not appear in Add/Remove Programs - this means that the user will not have an option to uninstall this package and will likely not even know it is installed on their system

Workaround for the issue

I have not yet been able to determine the exact root cause of this Active Directory deployment error for this MSI.  However, because of the simple nature of the MSI, it is possible to workaround this issue by creating an administrative install point for the RGB Rasterizer MSI using the instructions in the appendix at the end of the deployment guide, then directly deploy the one file included in the MSI to any Windows XP systems that are on your network.