I created this account for the sole purpose of seeing if the AVSIM braintrust had the answer to my problem. I didn't find it so I want to share it with everyone.
Brand new Windows 8 x64 laptop with great specs
FSX Deluxe installed with absolutely no issue
I wanted to tweak my home airport
The FSX SDK is required for some 3rd party addonsNo big deal, right? The SDK is included on the FSX install disk.
Except (DUN DUN DUN) -
The bleeping installer for the RTM SDK would simply not successfully run. Every time the installer throws error "1628: Failed to complete installation."
You can Google your heart out about Windows 8, FSX SDK, Flight Simulator X SDK Windows 8, or any combination thereof and not find a single helpful link within spitting distance.
You will find a mountain of links about error 1678 telling you to rename the InstallShield folder, kill some processes, re-install InstallShield (you can't, Win8 won't recognize older versions), or create a new user account (link to Microsoft's article on this error).
Forget it. On Win8 this is a complete waste of time.
All that preamble aside, the solution was incredibly simple in comparison to all the hoops I was trying to jump through.
The double-secret-probation Administrator account.
Win8's admin account is disabled by default. Even when you choose "Run as administrator" you're not really running as THE ADMINISTRATOR. Here's what you do, and here's a link to a comprehensive guide to this super admin account.
Open an elevated command prompt. Type this command and hit enter: net user administrator /active:yes
Hit Win+L to lock your computer. At the login screen, click the leftward-pointing arrow at the top left of your login picture. Click on the Administrator account. Find your troublesome installer and run it. Voila! Your SDK is installed! Install SDK SP1a and SP2 as needed. Log out of the admin account by going back to the Start screen, clicking Administrator in the top right corner and choosing Sign out. Log back in as your normal account
IMPORTANT! For security's sake, disable the super admin account when you're done by running this command in an elevated prompt: net user administrator /active:no
Happy flying -