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Applying the Adobe Reader 8.1 to 8.1.1 Patch to Administrative Install Points

Another in the series of "hope some other poor sod else finds this helpful" posts:

I was putting together Adobe Reader 8.1.1 for installation via Active Directory Group Policy Software Installation, and ran into a minor fun issue. After a diagnosis and resolution, I thought it'd be helpful to document it here.

I'd already obtained the full Adobe Reader 8.1 download from Adobe's site some time ago. Rather than download a full version of 8.1.1 (heck-- I don't even know if there is a full version of 8.1.1), I downloaded the 8.1.1 patch. I'd already created a transform with the Adobe Customization Wizard for Adobe Reader 8.1, and I was going to gamble that this transform would still work with 8.1.1.

I extracted the MSI and CAB from the Adobe Reader 8.1 setup program, and from there, performed an administrative install of the MSI using MSIEXEC /a AcroRead.msi. I stuck the administrative install point onto a server computer and used MSIEXEC /p ReaderUpd811_all_incr.msp /a \\path\to\MSI\AcroRead.msi /qb SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE to apply the patch to the administrative install point.

I setup an installation in an existing GPO to target the upgrade to my test deployment machine only and fired up the test machine. To my displeasure, however, a quick inspection of the event log after logon on the test machine showed the following:

  • Event Log: Application
  • Source: MsiInstaller
  • Type: Error
  • Event Id: 1139
  • Description:Product: Adobe Reader 8.1.1 -- Error 1309.Error reading from file: \\path\to\install\point\program files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Update\Patchw32.dll. System error 3. Verify that the file exists and that you can access it.

An examination of the program files\Adobe\Reader 8.0 directory confirmed that there was no Update subdirectory. An examination of the program Files\Adobe directory, however, revealed a READER~1 directory. Ah ha!

I moved my faulty administrative install point aside, re-extracted an administrative install point from AcroRead.MSI, and re-applied the patch without using the SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE argument to MSIEXEC. I bounced my test machine and watched it properly install Adobe Reader 8.1.1 over Adobe Reader 8.0. Success!

My "conventional wisdom" in applying patches has been to blindly provide the SHORTFILENAMES=1 argument to patch installations. Obviously, this isn't always the correct thing to do.

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