18 Jan 2008

Windows installer - simple solutions to tragic problems

One may find problems installing a particular software sometimes or every time. One of the most annoying problem is when you right click on any icon on the desktop, say "My Computer" the Windows installer will start and you will begin to ponder that something is wrong with the recently installed software. To understand the problem let us first know what a Windows Installer is? The Windows Installer (previously known as Microsoft Installer, codename Darwin) is an engine for the installation, maintenance, and removal of software on modern Microsoft Windows systems. When installation problem occurs, the least place where you will look for is the Windows Installer service engine! Thats natural for a person to imagine if something goes wrong, that it is the software and not the service engine that is having problems. There are many symptoms for the failure of Windows Installer engine.

Some of them are as cited below:
1) When you try to install an update from Windows Update or from Microsoft Update, you experience the following symptoms:
• The system may appear to become unresponsive when Windows Update scans for updates that use Windows Installer.
• You receive an access violation error in the Svchost.exe process. This process is related to the Automatic Updates service. This access violation occurs when you use Automatic Updates to scan for updates by using the daily automatic schedule or when you visit the Microsoft Update Web site to manually scan for updates.
• A memory leak occurs when Windows Update scans for updates that use Windows Installer.
• Windows Update scans take a very long time, sometimes hours, to finish.

2) Error 1722. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package
3) Inability to install any software on the computer system giving corrupt package error.
4) Running of windows installer every time you load a program (The most annoying as i mentioned above)
5)"The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed"
6) "Windows Installer Service couldn’t be started" etc.


Method 1
Unregister Windows Installer, and then reregister Windows Installer. To do this, follow these steps:
1. On the "Start" menu, click "Run"
2. In the "Open" box, type "msiexec /unreg", and then press ENTER.
3. On the "Start" menu, click "Run"
4. In the "Open" box, type "msiexec /regserver", and then press ENTER

Method 2
Upgrade to Windows Installer version 2 or newer version. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer, and then browse to the following Microsoft Web site:
2. In the left pane tree menu, click "Setup and System Administration", and then click "Setup".
3. Click "Windows Installer", and then click the appropriate link for your operating system.
4. Click "Download" to download and install Windows Installer version 2 or newer version.

Method 3
Use Windows Installer CleanUp Utility to uninstall the failed product.
Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

Method 4

The Windows Installer service may disabled on the machine.
1. Go to "Start" -> "Run" , type "services.msc" and press on "Enter" button.
2. Double-click on the service named "Windows Installer".
3. Check the value in the "Startup type:" field. If it's currently set to "Disabled", then this is the
problem. Change it by selecting "Manual" from the drop-down box.

Method 5
Empty user and system "temp" folders.
1. Empty "%systemdrive%\temp" folder.
2. Empty "%systemdrive%\%windir%\temp" folder.
3. Empty "%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp".

Method 6
Enable Windows Installer Logging and call to PSS support.
How to Enable Windows Installer Logging

How to Enable Windows Installer Logging in Windows XP

Method 7
Check correct DCOM and System permissions:

Method 8
If you just upgrade Windows XP workstation to service pack 2 and the windows installer
problem appear only after this upgrade, please review the following knowledgebase:

Method 9
Check that the installation path length and environment variables length are execute
255 characters

Method 10
If you get the message error "Error 1628: Failed to complete script based install"
And followed the instruction above and it didn’t resolve the problem and you just create fresh
installation packet by using InstallShiled tool, please disable "Cache installation on local machine" option during the installation packet create process.

Method 11
Check if there pending installation/s:
Warning: You should only edit these registry entries if you really know what you're doing. Back up your hard disk first.
a. Empty "InProgress" Registry Key
Check the following registry key:
and clean any entries that you find.
b. Empty/Rename "PendingFileRenameOperations" Registry Key:
Check the following registry key:
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations
and clean any entries that you find.

Method 12
Obtain update MSI Package from the software manufacture.

Courtesy: Microsoft Support


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