Our attempt to install Ansys via SCCM required collections fails in the majority of cases.
According to the ANSYS install.log the installation always hangs at one of the following steps (ANSYS 2021 R1 and R2):
Extraction: ...\nexus\WINX64.7z ...
Extraction: ...\addprint\WINX64.7z ...
Extraction: ...\spaceclm\WINX64.7z ...
In the task manager there is no child process 7z.exe to be seen any more, only the parent process setup.exe, which however does not seem to continue working.
This issue seems to have been recurring with others for years as well, i.e. Software Deployment : Ansys 13 (itninja.com)
The problem occurs only via automated SCCM required collections. With available colletions and manually installations (always in the LocalSystem account / NT-Authority\System) the installations ends without similar errors in most of the cases.
The 7z.exe and 7z.dll used by the ANSYS installer are located in the "util\7zip" subfolder. Although it has the same version 19.00 (x64), the ANSYS 7-Zip seem to be different from the Igor Pavlov original. And indeed, in the 2021 R2 7zip subfolder there is a README.txt which says: "For source code for 7zip, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and the source code will be supplied as long as the request is made within 3 years of product release."
As soon as the ANSYS 7zip.exe and 7zip.dll are replaced by the original ones of Igor Pavlov, the errors do not occur anymore and the deployment via required collections is successful.
Different compression levels
The four WINX64.7z files mentioned are all packed in the compression level 5 (= normal).
If the four WINX64.7z files in question are compressed to a different compression level (0 = store, 1 = fastest, 3 = fast), then the installation also runs through a SCCM required collection without any problems.
So, if someone has similar problems deploying via Microsoft SCCM required collections, then this two workarounds will help:
- Replace ANSYS 7zip.exe and 7zip.dll with the original ones from Igor Pavlov in the subfolder "util\7zip".
Download and extract the 64-bit MSI: https://www.7-zip.org/download.html
or take the two files from the program directory of an original 7-Zip installation.
Recompress the identified WINX64.7z files to a lower compression level (0 to 3).
The 1st workaround is of course the easier one, because the affected WINX64.7z files may probably change with another Ansys version. However, I don't know why ANSYS has rebuilt its own 7zip.exe/dll - is it for technical or legal reasons?