PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit Troubleshooting

If the installation (or the uninstallation) didn’t work as expected, it’s time to look at the log files. By default, these are saved at C:\Windows\Logs\Software, but this path can be changed in the config XML file located within the AppDeployToolkit folder.

The name of the log file generated is based on the application variables we declared at the very beginning. In this case, we’re looking for either Mozilla_Firefox_37.0.1_x86_EN_01_PSAppDeployToolkit_Install.log or Mozilla_Firefox_37.0.1_x86_EN_01_PSAppDeployToolkit_Uninstall.log, depending on whether we’re troubleshooting an install or an uninstall.

By default, the toolkit writes its log files in a similar format to logs from SCCM. To make sense of these log files, download and install the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit. There are several utilities in here useful for troubleshooting SCCM, but the utility we’re interested in right now is a small file called CMTrace. This is a SCCM log file viewer that can parse logs in that format much more easily. Even if you do not use SCCM in your environment, CMTrace will make it much easier to read the log files from this toolkit.

After installing, launch CMTrace.exe (there should be a shortcut in your Start menu), and it will offer to become your default viewer for .log files. After saying yes, re-open the log file left from the toolkit, and you’ll see a much happier sight.

In CMTrace, any log entries which contain keywords such as “error” or “failed” will be highlighted in red. Keywords like “warning” will cause a yellow highlight. Here’s an example of a case when the main Firefox setup file failed with error code 1:

CMTrace, when combined with the extensive logging left by the toolkit, makes it a snap to find out where the installation failed. You can also write additional log entries to these log files using the Write-Log function of the toolkit, in case you want to extend the logging with your own information.

Download: System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit

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