This is a follow up to my post titled 64bit on Windows 2k3 Web Edition. In that post I did a play by play of an issue trying to install 64 bit ColdFusion 8 Enterprise on a Windows 2003 "Web Edition" platform. I have just finished a troubleshooting session with a nearly similar issue on Windows 2003 "Data Center" edition. If you have this problem you will know it because the install will silently fail after the files are extracted. Check in your temp directory and you will see a cryptic folder beginning with "I" containing two folders "windows" and "installdata". These 2 folders contain the extracted install files. Inside the "windows" folder you will also see an hotspot error log. It looks like "hs_err_pidXXX.log". You may have seen such files in your ColdFusion8/runtime/bin directory. They occur when the hot spot compiler has an unhandled exception.
Under the hood the ColdFusion install is firing off the "adobe_cf.exe" from that same windows folder. This exe file uses the adobe_cf.lax file as a launch settings file. Taking a closer look at the lax file and you will see some Java settings including two important settings. One is lax.nl.current.vm and the is lax.installer.win32.internal.property.0. Both of these settings point to a Java.exe file. By default the Java.exe file it points to is contained in that other temp folder called 'installerdata'. My guess is that the reason that the ColdFusion fails because the 64 bit JVM in the /installerdata folder is not compatible with something in the windows installation. In particular I think that there is a missing 64bit class or object.
The fix is as follows.