Quick Hit – View Composer Install Exits with Code 1603

Recently I was tasked with migrating View Composer from one VM to another.  Typically, this is a fairly straightforward task, but on this day the installation of View Composer on the new server failed/rolled back almost as soon as I clicked the Install button.

When doing a quick Event Viewer search, I saw an event that coincided with the installation failure that read in part, “Installation success or error status: 1603“.  If you do a search on that, you may end up at VMware KB article 1026513.  But in my case, though the symptom was identical, the resolution did not work as I was NOT reinstalling View Composer or reusing an a previously generated certificate.  I was doing a clean install with a new certificate, so we kept digging.

The Resolution to My Problem

At this point, one of the techs I was working with offered up, “I don’t think this is it, but try disabling ‘Secure Boot‘ on the VM.”  Though all of us were at least a little skeptical, we did disable Secure Boot VM Option, and the installation of View Composer completed without error.

If the Firmware for a VM is set to EFI, the Secure Boot option is available.  When enabled, the Secure Boot option prevents unsigned drivers from being installed.  Naturally, View Composer attempts to install an unsigned driver, vstor2-ufa.sys.  Thus if Secure Boot is enabled on a VM, the installation of View Composer will fail.


To resolve the issue, follow these basic steps:

  1. Power down the VM on which you wish to install View Composer
  2. Edit its settings and disable Secure Boot
  3. Power on the VM and install View Composer

NOTE: Update 8-13-2019

At the time this was originally posted, I had steps stating that you could re-enabled Secure Boot after installing View Composer.  And though you can, I have since found that re-enabling Secure Boot will keep View Composer from working because Secure Boot keeps the vstor2-ufa driver from running.  What you’ll see is that desktops will begin the provisioning process and then, pretty quickly, they’ll “disappear” or error out.  .If you search the Composer log file for FATAL, you see references to UFA errors that indicate SysimageFaultVstor2 is not running.  Thus, if you want View Composer to work, don’t re-enable the Secure Boot VM option.  Please let me know if you are able to re-enable Secure Boot and View Composer works….I’d love to hear your experiences.

Additional Resources

Check out the following posts and KB articles for more information on this issue:

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