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Why is an install package launched from setup.exe not able to see system information?

We have a third-party install setup .exe that is called as a prerequisite from our app setup .exe.  Their package has an issue on Server 2019 in that it needs an environment variable set so that their installation will launch successfully on that OS.

As a potential, automated solution, I've written a tool to create the needed environment variable or record the environment variable's value if it already exists so it can be restored after the third-party install. The tool works in standalone and when called from our setup .exe (also as a prerequisite sequenced before the third-party installer).

The problem seems to be that when extracted and called from our .exe, the third-party install does not see the environment variable change. I verified that the variable is in place at the time of the issue.

If I cancel the third party install called from our .exe and browse out to the extracted prereq install package and launch it, that does see the variable and continues successfully.

I'm just wondering if anyone would have any idea why the third-party install, when launched from our setup .exe, would not see the environment variable.

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