I've decided to replace my current MiKTeX installation with TeX Live 2012, and (like previous times) it isn't going too well. Instead of giving up however, I figured I'd ask here this time :)

I downloaded the TeX Live 2012 image file (ISO) and mounted it on my machine.

Double-clicking the batch file simply doesn't work (my guess is it needs admin privileges), but running it from the command line (Windows+R cmd RET will start it with admin privileges) at least gets the process started. (Tkinter pops up, bunch of options, etc.).

I set my options such that it will install for all users. All other options are left as default.

The installation proceeds as one would expect until the following package is installed, throwing the following error:

Installing [0244/2479, time/total: 01:08/09:42]: boxhandler [343k]
Partial download of E:/archive/boxhandler.source.tar.xz found, removing it.
untar: untarring C:\texlive\2012\temp\boxhandler.source.tar failed (in C:\texlive\2012\texmf-dist)
untarring C:\texlive\2012\temp\boxhandler.source.tar failed, stopping install.
Installation failed.
Rerunning the installer will try to restart the installation.
Or you can restart by running the installer with:
  install-tl.bat --profile installation.profile [EXTRA-ARGS]

It consistently fails upon this, and perl.exe crashed shortly thereafter, apparently inhibiting the write of installation.profile.

The exact same thing happens with a text-based interface.

Thought: TeX Live comes with tar, right?

  • I'm not 100% sure if tar is included or not, so that could definitely be your problem - but if it works up to that, you probably have unpacked other tar archives before it fails, right? Have you tried net installing? Apr 13, 2013 at 15:22
  • it did fail pretty early on - I'm trying the net installer (and researching if tar is included) ...and I'm the third google result (after TUG's and linux's installation pages) Apr 13, 2013 at 15:38
  • Net install of TL worked - but I still want to know why the ISO didn't. (Thanks @TomasLycken!) Apr 13, 2013 at 16:03
  • TeX Live has everything it needs included (the Windows version). So I think, as it ships its own perl, it will also ship a tar-program. Is there any specific reason to use the ISO-image for you? I've heard that installation from ISO often causes trouble, while netinstall works just fine—I can't imagine why… Apr 13, 2013 at 17:17
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    @SeanAllred Follow Windows installation Troubleshooting with texlive windows installer as shown in screenshot guide. Imp Note also mentioned at Troubleshooting: "you need to right-click install-tl.bat and select Run as administrator" It worked for me. Hope it will Apr 13, 2013 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Since the TL 2012 DVD was released there have been two changes concerning this:

  • the invocation of tar has changed
  • the tar program itself has been updated

Both changes were related to time stamps of files. We hope that at the current status most of the errors you and others have mentioned are history, but with Windows there is never a guarantee.

  • I downloaded the image on the fourth of April; so the problem (I would imagine) must yet persist (although probably pretty localized to some part of my configuration). No OS poses a guarantee for successful installation; sure Windows makes it harder, but there has to be a reason for this happening. Apr 14, 2013 at 11:23

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