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WebSphere Application Server V7.0 installation completes with a "success" message, but no "bin" directory or other critical files are installed on Windows



After installing WebSphere Application Server V7.0 on Windows, you find that many critical files (such as files in the "bin" directory) are not installed. No profiles are created, even if you instruct the installer to do so. Despite this, the installer ends with a "success" message. This occurs when you install the product using a UNC path.


Upon installing WebSphere Application Server V7.0 on Windows, the installation completes with a "success" message. However, upon closer examination, the installation instance does not appear to be intact. No profiles are created during the installation, even if the installer was instructed to do so. Also, there are no utilities or scripts available to run to actually use the product, because the "bin" directory in the installed product is entirely missing.

When this issue occurs, the product installation directory contains only these subdirectories:

  • java
  • lafiles
  • logs
  • properties
  • uninstall

All other product files are missing. The install is incomplete and unusable in this state.


This occurs when WebSphere Application Server V7.0 is installed from a networked filesystem which is accessed using a UNC path. The WebSphere Application Server V7.0 installer is incompatible with UNC paths.

A "UNC path" is a path which uses this convention:


This is different than the standard Windows file path convention:


Windows automatically uses UNC paths when browsing files located on a network, such as using the "Network Neighborhood" or simply "Network" resource in the Windows File Explorer. The Windows operating system may also automatically substitute UNC paths in place of a Mapped Network Drive if a program is run with elevated privileges (such as when using the "Run As Administrator" option to run a program).

The WebSphere Application Server installer's incompatibility with UNC paths prevents it from accessing several critical files in the installation image. Those critical files are also responsible for verifying that the installation is "whole", which prevents the installer from detecting that the resulting installation is missing data.

Resolving The Problem

Remove the incomplete install from the system
Before attempting to reinstall the product, you will need to manually uninstall the previous, bad product installation instance. To do so, use the installRegistryUtils command located in the product installation image. Refer to the Information Center article on installRegistryUtils for an example of how to do this. For example, you might use the command like this:

installRegistryUtils.bat -cleanProduct -offering ND -installLocation C:\WAS

Using this command is necessary to clean the "nifregistry", which will allow you to re-install the product properly later.

Once you have successfully used that command, you may delete the incomplete installation instance's directory from the system.

Use a mapped network drive or copy the data locally
Avoid using UNC paths when accessing the WebSphere Application Server V7.0 installation image. Also avoid browsing to the installation image using the "Network" resource in Windows File Explorer.

Instead, use the Windows "Map Network Drive" feature to map a drive to the network resource that contains the install image. Install the product from the mapped network drive.

Alternatively, you can copy the product to a local hard drive and run the installer from there.

Important note about "Running as Administrator": If you do choose to use the Map Network Drive feature, you must not run the install program with escalated privileges. In other words, do not right-click the install.exe and use the "Run As Administrator" option to start the installer. This will cause the Windows operating system to revert to using UNC paths instead of the mapped network drive. If you must use the "Run As Administrator" option to run the product installer, then you must copy the installation image to a local (not networked) drive and run it from that drive.

Do not use mapped network drives once the product is installed
Once you have installed the product, do not configure the product to make use of data on mapped network drives. If the application servers are run as Windows Services, data on mapped network drives will be inaccessible to the application server processes.

Instead, if the product needs to be configured to access data on network resources, use UNC paths to access those resources.

In summary, using mapped network drives is permitted while installing the product. Using UNC paths is prohibited while installing the product. Once the product is installed, then using mapped network drives in enterprise applications is not recommended, and may not work at all. Using UNC paths in enterprise applications is permitted.

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Document Information

Modified date:
15 June 2018