SQL Server 2012 SP1 Reporting Services Add-In for SharePoint installation fails with error 1603 – SOLVED!

Oh, the depths of the nuances found in SharePoint.

While setting up a new SharePoint 2013 farm that included the Business Intelligence components, we were not able to get the Reporting Services Add-In to successfully install.  The installer would run all the way through, then roll back the entire thing and show this:

Failed Install

Looking to the log of the installer, here’s what we found:

2014-01-08 11:27:54: User: svc_sp2013farmadmin
2014-01-08 11:27:54: Installing Report Server feature.
2014-01-08 11:27:58: Beginning uninstall of cab files.
2014-01-08 11:27:58: Cab files uninstalled successfully.
2014-01-08 11:27:58: Calling copyappbincontents command.
2014-01-08 11:28:52: SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard version 15.0.4420.1017. Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2012. All rights reserved.

Performing configuration task 1 of 3
Initializing SharePoint Products configuration...

Successfully initialized the SharePoint Products configuration.

Performing configuration task 2 of 3
Installing the application content files...

Installing the SharePoint Central Administration Web Application content files...

Installing the SharePoint Web Application content files...

Failed to install the application content files.

An exception of type System.NullReferenceException was thrown. Additional exception information: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Total number of configuration settings run: 2
Total number of successful configuration settings: 1
Total number of unsuccessful configuration settings: 1
Successfully stopped the configuration of SharePoint Products.
Configuration of SharePoint Products failed. Configuration must be performed before you use SharePoint Products. For further details, see the diagnostic log located at D:\SharePointLogs\PSCDiagnostics_1_8_2014_11_27_58_106_1169585150.log and the application event log.

I swear Object reference not set to an instance of an object is the most infuriating error message ever created.

We also were getting an event log entry.

Failed to install the application content files.
An exception of type System.NullReferenceException was thrown. Additional exception information: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPAspConfigurationFile.ApplyActionToXmlDocument(XmlDocument xdAction, XmlDocument xd, String sourceFileName, SupportedXmlDocutmentActions supportedActions)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPAspConfigurationFile.MergeWebConfig(XmlDocument xdWebConfig, String fileMask)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService.ApplyApplicationContentToLocalServer()
at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.ApplicationContentTask.Run()
at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.TaskThread.ExecuteTask()

After a bit of searching I finally came across this thread on MSDN, which suggested (of all things) to remove any Comments from the web.config files for my web applications.  Odd, but worth a try.

I found the following in the web.config for my MySites web application.  I don’t remember commenting that line out, but I went ahead and removed the comments and saved the file.

<modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true">
<remove name="AnonymousIdentification" />
<remove name="FileAuthorization" />
<remove name="Profile" />
<remove name="WebDAVModule" />
<!--<remove name="Session" />-->
...
</modules>

I then re-ran the Installer for Reporting Services, and sure enough, it finished successfully.

Given that the comment is legitimate XML markup it seems odd that the SharePoint Configuration Wizard would choke on it.  But nevertheless, I’m past this issue an on to the next one.

About the author

derek Derek Smith is a software developer with 20 years of history developing on the Microsoft platform. He is the founder of HomeSpot HQ, and is the Director for Microsoft SharePoint Professional Services at rmsource, inc. in Raleigh, NC. Derek is on Twitter, , and Linked In

2 comments for “SQL Server 2012 SP1 Reporting Services Add-In for SharePoint installation fails with error 1603 – SOLVED!

  1. Arek
    January 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Ridiculous. I spent 2 days on this, only to find it’s because I wanted to add some comments to my customized web.config??? WTF Microsoft. Get your act together. Thanks for post this dude!

  2. Shirish
    March 18, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Derek,

    Nice post. I was getting exact error and I was scratching my head & looking(goggling) for 2-3 hours and finally I land up on your post. It’s really helpful and save lot of my time. Who could ever expect such small thing in web.config can freeze the installation and error out eventually. But much thanks.

    Regards
    Shirish Bhavthankar

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