WD Smartware software throws a "Error: 1603" and will not complete installation


Just bought a WD My Passport Essential 500GB portable hard drive to back up my Dell Dimension E310 desktop, Pentium 4, 2 GB RAM, running Win XP Pro, SP3; 2 .  Internal HD is original Maxtor SATA 80GB  with about 13GB free.  Clicked on ‘Install WD Smartware’, agreed to EULA, and installation starts.  At about the ‘3 minutes remaining’ mark, I get  an error box - “Installation was not successful (Error Code: 1603)  Please try again or contact WD support for assistance.”

Any help is appreciated.  Thx, Mike


Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support



Try to uninstall all NET Frameworks and install Microsoft .NET 3.5 Framework SP1

I would suggest to delete what is eventually left of Smartware and then reinstall Smartware.


Were you trying to install from the version on the drive or the “upgrader”?

1603 usually means that the installation MSI didn’t launch correctly.