Saturday, September 26, 2009

Installing iTunes on Windows Server 2003

iTunes windows_server_2003

Instructions Part 1

  • Download and save iTunesSetup.exe from here to a folder
  • Download and install WinRAR from here. This is required to dissect the .exe file into the component .msi files
  • After installing WinRAR, locate the iTunesSetup.exe file, right-click on it, hover over WinRAR, and click Extract to iTunesSetup\
  • You should then see a folder called iTunesSetup
  • Inside this you should see a number of .msi files perhaps including: AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi, AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi, Bonjour.msi, iTunes.msi, MobileMe.msi, QuickTime.msi, SetupAdmin.exe

You have now downloaded the iTunes software. The problem we have now is that if we now try and install any one of these packages (.msi’s), we get operating system incompatibility warnings. This is because Apple have coded into their installer programs that their software is only to be installed on certain operating systems to prevent possible incompatibilities.

Therefore we need to remove these operating system options from the .msi files using a Microsoft SDK application.

Instructions Part 2

  • Download the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 from here
  • In the installation do not download and install every option (1.5GB +). Only select the W32 Components (15MB ish).
  • Once this has downloaded and installed successfully, we then need to browse into the SDK’s bin folder in a directory similar to this: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.1\Bin
  • In there you will see a file called Orca.msi. Install this.

Instructions Final Part

  • Run Orca from the Start Menu
  • Now open each one of the Apple .msi files from Orca in turn
  • In the left hand section, scroll down to the LaunchCondition table.
  • On the right hand side, you will notice information relating to the operating system. E.g. for the AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi file I see (VersionNT=501 And ServicePackLevel>=2) Or VersionNT>=600 and its description: [ProductName] requires that your computer is running Windows XP SP2 or newer.
    For iTunes.msi I see: ((VersionNT=501 AND ServicePackLevel>=2) OR VersionNT>501
    Basically delete any row under the LaunchCondition table that contains “VersionNT”, “ServicePackLevel” etc…
  • This is the information that needs removing, so click on the row, and press delete on your keyboard.
  • Once deleted, click save from the top menu.
  • Now, open each .msi file, browser to the LaunchCondition table on the left, and delete any information relating to the operating system, then click save, untill all .msi files have been modified.

Once you have modified each .msi file, you can then begin the installation of which every program you want installing. For instance, if this was iTunes, then double-click and install iTunes.msi.

Hopefully this has worked for you. If not, or you want further help, please contact me using the comments form below. Good luck!


Fix error

  1. Before installing iTunes 9, and whilst you are still using iTunes 8, shut down iTunes, and all iTunes related services. The easiest way of doing this is to open the Windows Task Manager and ending the processes of every iTunes program/ service. iTunes.exe, iTunesHelper.exe, iPodService.exe.
  2. Navigate to C:\Program Files\iPod\. In here COPY all files to a temporary directory called v8. You will need to copy iPodService.exe file and iPodService.Resources folder.
  3. Following my previous Installing iTunes on Windows Server 2003 post, modify the .msi files to allow the installer to run on a Windows Server.
  4. Run the installer for iTunes 9.
  5. When the installer fails, relating to the iPodService problem, navigate to C:\Program Files\iPod\, CUT the iPodService.exe and iPodService.Resources items and paste them in a folder called v9.
  6. Now open the v8 folder, COPY all the files, iPodService.exe and iPodService.Resources into the root of the C:\Program Files\iPod folder. (Replace the v9 files if you didn’t CUT them.)
  7. Now click retry in the installer.
  8. Installer finishes.
  9. iTunes 9 is installed!


Known potential problems

  1. As far as I am aware this fix does not allow iPod/ iPhone connectivity to this computer. This is because the v8 version is incompatible with the v9. I could be wrong though?

More Help

If you encounter any sort of problems with this fix, please use the comment system below, and I will try to reply and help you. I cannot make any promises. Please give a valid email address so that I can reply to you.

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