MSI Installer Error: What Advertised Application?

I ran into an interesting error message while reinstalling a custom piece of software on my Windows XP machine recently. The software processes small text files with a custom file extension and uses them to locate a particular document in our document management application. Users can also use the software to generate these custom files to share with others via email, etc.

The program is deployed using a Group Policy software assignment. My computer was handling the files properly from my desktop, but was not working as expected when accessing the same file if it was stored in SharePoint. I had tested the SharePoint functionality previously on another computer and it worked as expected. The MSI Installer includes the option to repair the application, so I attempted to run it again in order to see if that solved my problem. Instead of a successful run, I got the following error message:

“This advertised application will not be installed because it might be unsafe. Contact your administrator to change the installation user interface option of the package to basic.”

First, the application is “assigned” not “advertised” with the GPO. Second, I’m a local administrator on my machine, so I thought it was strange I was unable to run it. I pulled our DBA over (who wrote the program) and he confirmed that I should be seeing a “repair” option when the software is run after being installed once before.

A little searching brought us to this post, which recommending running the MSI installer from the command line using the /qb switch. We didn’t bother looking for the “product state value” as Soumitra Mondal suggests in his post, but it appears my PC was a bit confused about the install state of the application and reinstalling with that switch did the trick.

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