In the case of the hard drive in question, they were not able to reproduce the error with a setup built with 6.2x or 6.3x, only with a setup built with 6.1, so with regard to this particular instance of this error, they believe it to be a 6.0x and 6.1x issue only. (There may be other causes that are still a problem, please post here if you have any reproducible cases with 6.3x.)
Note that this error is related to the version of InstallShield that was used to build the setup, so having the latest engine files will not solve the problem.
It is also possible to solve this problem by updating the registry of the system in question:
Note: This was determined by trial and error and is not documented by MS and involves updating the registry. Follow these steps:
1. Open the "Regedt32.exe" registry editor (This is the NT 3.51 style editor).
2. Locate the key "HKLM\\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\User Shell Folders".
This key should contain (at least) the following values:
Common Start Menu
If any of these values are missing or point to an invalid path, the 6.1x installer will fail to initialize properly.
Note that there is also a "Shell Folders" key, updating the values under this key does not seem to have any effect, the values are automatically copied from "User Shell Folders" when Windows starts up.
3. If any of these values need to be added, add them as type 'REGSZ_EXPAND', and specify a valid folder location for the value data, then restart Windows.
4. To verify the change, check the "Shell Folders" key after reboot the equivalent values should point to a valid folder.
6.1x setups should then run properly.