Update Rollup 2 setup failure when installing KB903157 (also known as KB895572)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard from a few customers who have run into an issue installing Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 that is related to Windows Media Player 11. Since I have seen the same issue multiple times recently, I wanted to post it here in case anyone else runs into the same issue in the future.

The customers who saw this issue visited Windows Update and attempted to install Update Rollup 2, but it failed and reported a generic "setup failed" message. When I looked at their log files, they showed that one of the prerequisite packages for Update Rollup 2 (a Windows Media Player 10 hotfix described by KB895572 and KB903157) failed to install because a later version of Windows Media Player was already installed on the system.

The interesting thing about this scenario is that Windows Media Player 11 setup checks for Update Rollup 2 as a prerequisite, so it is strange to see a scenario where Update Rollup 2 installation happens after Windows Media Player 11 has already been installed. This could happen if you install Update Rollup 2, install Windows Media Player 11, uninstall Update Rollup 2 and attempt to reinstall Update Rollup 2. It could also happen if you try to re-run Update Rollup 2 setup to attempt to repair it on a system that has Windows Media Player 11 installed.

How can I workaround this issue?

In the cases I have seen so far, uninstalling Windows Media Player 11 and then attempting to reinstall Update Rollup 2 has proven successful. The following steps can be used to accomplish this:

  1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type appwiz.cpl and click OK to go to the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel
  2. Check the box labeled Show updates in the top middle of the Add or Remove Programs window
    Locate the item named Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 and choose to uninstall it
  3. Attempt to install Update Rollup 2 again by returning to Windows Update or running the setup package located here
  4. After successfully installing Update Rollup 2, re-install Windows Media Player 11

How can I tell if this issue is the one affecting my system?

You can diagnose this issue by looking at a couple of the log files that Update Rollup 2 setup creates. First, you can open %windir%\mcsetup.log in a text editor such as Notepad. If KB903157 (also known as KB895572) is the package that has failed on your system, you will see the following entry at the end of mcsetup.log:

Generic Package: 07/26/06. 10:46:40
Looking for existing install of the generic package
Creating Process: WindowsMedia10-KB895572-x86.exe /quiet /norestart
Process returned 0x00000643

The 0x00000643 return code (which translates to 1603 in decimal) represents the return code for a generic error in a Windows hotfix package.

Now, you can look at %windir%\kb903157.log to determine the exact reason why this hotfix failed to install. In the cases I have seen so far, the error in kb903157.log looks like the following:

0.312: KB903157 Setup encountered an error: This software update can only be applied to Windows Media Player 10. If you have Windows Media Player 10 installed but still see this message, your version already includes this software update.

<update date="1/15/2007"> Removed references to the Windows Media Player 11 beta. This issue can affect systems that have the Windows Media Player final release in addition to any beta releases. </update>