This was killing me. SharePoint Designer is a useful tool for interacting with SharePoint sites, in particular to create new themes and check-in and -out template documents. I have been working through Packt’s SharePoint 2013 WCM Advanced Cookbook and this is one of the tools it mentions. But when I grabbed the free application, it wouldn’t install.
The reason it was so irritating was that I had downloaded and installed it with no problem on my personal laptop. I couldn’t figure out what was unusual about my work machine that would cause the install to fail. I finally figured it out, so here is how I did it.
First, you need to make sure you have the right version. If:
- you are running a 64 bit version of Windows and a 64 bit version of Microsoft Office, get the 64 bit version of SharePoint Designer;
- you are running a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows and a 32 bit version of Microsoft Office, get the 32 bit version of SharePoint Designer.
My experience was to download the file and then have it throw an error about 5 minutes into the installation. The first challenge was figuring out what the error meant. In the end, I found out it was a “generic” error and thus of not much help. But I did find that I could find the setup log file and that might have a clue. Click on your Start button and type %tmp%. This should open up a folder and there will be a setup log file. Open it with Notepad and you can head down near the bottom to where it throws the error.
In my case, it sounded liked it couldn’t find a file that should have been in C:\MSOCache, a folder that is auto-generated by the installation file. It creates a bunch of sub-folders for all of the files that are included with SharePoint Designer. I tried to run the individual setup files for Designer, because there were a number of folders that included elements of Office 2013 – shared components you’d find in other applications.
This generated a second error message – error 1317 – which means that you can’t install that application by itself, because it’s part of a larger package. Back to the drawing board. I revisited the log file and this time noticed that it had another error:
Error attaching to OSE
When I looked it up, many of the people discussing it found that, if they moved the Microsoft Help folder (C:\Windows\Microsoft Help), and then installed, it somehow fixed it. But like most questioners, I didn’t have that folder. But it twigged me to the solution: you need to customize the install so that it doesn’t incorporate all of those other Office 2013 components – proofing, etc. – which appear to cause some conflict with the ones you already have installed.
That was a difference between my two PCs as well. I have Office 2010 and SharePoint Designer on one machine – no problem – but it was when I tried to add it to the machine with Office 2013 that I ran into problems. This time, I chose the Customize option and eliminated everything that didn’t look specific to SharePoint or the Web. This is what I left (it’s actually two screens, so you’ll need to scroll up and down in your install):
As you can see, a lot of that isn’t necessary if you have Office 2013 – or if you only need SharePoint Designer 2013. I included just the Web themes, Foundation Support, and the core program. Once I clicked the Continue button, the installation completed without a problem and SharePoint Designer was installed. I may yet find that the installation is too bare bones but I can always re-run the installation and add in additional elements.