Windows Installer Utility

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Windows Installer Utility
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kestrel
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November 13, 2008 - 2:06 pm
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When installing a new program or update, I get this message, "Windows Installer Utility could not be accessed" It claimed I was operating in Safe Mode or Windows Installer was not correctly installed. I was not in Safe Mode.
The Microsoft site had me type at a command prompt: msiexec.exe /unregister. Nothing happened. There is no such option as "unregister" option in the help screen.
Anyone got any better ideas as how to fix this annoying problem.
Thanks

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Chad Johnson
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November 13, 2008 - 2:15 pm
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Wooo..

I hate this error. Very confusing.

this post from microsoft: [url:1ec694id]http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324516[/url:1ec694id] Has three different options for you to follow. It talks about Office a lot, but you can ignore those parts.

First though: can you put the entirety of the error message here, word for word? I want to make sure this is the right issue.

thanks,
--zig

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kestrel
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November 13, 2008 - 5:22 pm
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Guess what. I think I have found an answer to my own problem. I went into Control Panel and deleted Windows Installer 3.1. Then I rebooted and the program reinstalled.
All is well.
Thanks
Kestrel

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Chad Johnson
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November 14, 2008 - 11:00 am
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Even better.

Congratulations!

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OldElmerFudd
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December 7, 2008 - 10:09 pm
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I'm a little late to the party, but for others who experience similar difficulties, here's another approach. Windows Installer 3.1 has a bug that was fixed in v.2 redistributable. This error usually occurs if you have the Windows Installer 3.1 version 1 installed on your PC.

From Instant-Registry-Fixes.org:
"To check the version of Windows Installer on your computer, perform the following steps:

1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. Navigate to the C:WindowSystem32 folder.

Note: Here, C: represents the system root folder in which your Windows is installed.

1. Here, locate the Msi.dll file and then right-click on it.
2. Select Properties.
3. Open the Version tab.
* If the file version is 3.1.4000.1823, it implies that you have Windows Installer 3.1 version 1 on your computer.
* If the file version is 3.1.4000.2435, it implies that you have Windows Installer 3.1 version 2 on your computer.

If you have Windows Installer 3.1 version 1 on the system, then you will have to upgrade to version 2 to repair the error."

The following pages describe the problem and the fixes.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/898628
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/893803/

hth
2 penny Ron

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Mindblower
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December 8, 2008 - 11:18 am
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[size=150:n6px2olo]This is odd since I have version 3.1.40001.5512 . Any one else care to check and comment, Mindblower![/size:n6px2olo]

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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David Hartsock
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December 9, 2008 - 5:17 am
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Mindblower,

This isn't anything to worry about. MS updates their installer often. The version numbers above may have been correct when the article was put online, but I'm sure they've changed since then.

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Selahgal
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August 5, 2009 - 1:09 pm
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[size=150:2s146977]For about a month now, whenever I click my mouse to do most anything, the Windows Installer Box appears and flickers then disappears again. It's like it's stuck in time somehow. I've run every 'fix it' problem I have and it won't go away. I thought I could just 'live with it' but it IS very annoying cause when it appears, it 'glitches' whatever I'm doing whether it be pasting or copying, opening a program, etc. Even clicking the 'CANCEL' button on the box doesn't work. Sometimes it goes really nuts and flickers repeatedly for a minute or more! I even took videos of it doing that. Not sure if I CAN or am ALLOWED to post short video clips here.

What is the Windows Installer Program and what it's purpose, besides the obvious?

Can someone steer me in the right direction on fixing this? Thanks so much.[/size:2s146977]

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Mindblower
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August 5, 2009 - 3:50 pm
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Hi Selahgal. I believe the problem is due to glitches (in the days of DOS, this was known as files fragments) and can sometimes be corrected. Here are things I've done to correct such problems (and the order is sometimes important).

If you have a program which can clean your registry do so (but first create a restore point).
If you have a program which can optimize your registry do so. (will need to reboot the computer)
Try to re-install the program which gave you the errors. If this fails, you might need to uninstall first and then reboot.
Do this for all the program which cause you this problem (hopefully it is less than a handful).

There might be something else I did (like maybe restore to a previous date - it all depends what you installed just prior to getting this problem). When using a restore point, I find it best to re-install all the programs between then and now, so it's best to keep a note as to what programs might need to be re-installed. And above all, take your time, write down the steps (programs), and create restore points along the way, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Jim Hillier
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August 5, 2009 - 6:29 pm
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Selahgal - Welcome back. Issues with Windows Installer are all too common and extremely difficult to diagnose and fix. Mindblower is right on the money, most problems are caused by a program which has not installed correctly or file remnants from an incomplete uninstall....finding exactly which one is the difficult part. If you are anything like the average user there will have been many programs come and go over the years and lots of software changes in general. It's akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.

You could cleanup any leftover/unnecessary Windows Installer files. Download the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility from here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301

Install the utility and I strongly suggest you read through the associated readme file before continuing any further. Access the readme.txt file via; StartMy ComputerC:Program FilesWindows Installer Clean Up. Run the utility and have a look through the list of programs to see if there is any mention of something you are certain has been uninstalled or is definitely not on your machine. If you find any such entries, select them and click on the 'Remove' button. Be careful, do not remove any files associated with programs which you know are installed or even think might be installed!

You could also check to see if the problem persists in 'Safe Mode', which will minimise startup processes. To boot into safe mode; restart the computer and as soon as BIOS has finished but[b:3r0ejzty] [i:3r0ejzty]before [/i:3r0ejzty][/b:3r0ejzty]XP begins to load, start tapping the F8 key repeatedly. Work for a while in safe mode and let us know if the Windows Installer box still pops up.

cheers...JIM

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Selahgal
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August 6, 2009 - 4:36 pm
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Hi again!

I have done the registry cleaners and fixers and such. Still flickers.

Can I really delete this silly thing without causing problems?

Also, I've noticed it REALLY goes nuts when my computer is starting windows. Wondering if there's a clue here. I have several programs that have 'start up' lists in them, but how do I know which list is the one windows is really using each time I start my computer? It takes FOREVER to load the programs.

One guy on another forum said to check the Device Manager for things with yellow question marks. I had three items with yellow question mark so I disabled them. Didn't help. Sigh.

Hubby says it's time to reinstall windows. I am thinking he's right.

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Jim Hillier
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August 6, 2009 - 7:02 pm
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Hey Selahgal - I can't see a device driver being the issue here. Did you try installing and running the Windows Cleanup Utility? Did you try running in safe mode??

Your hubby is right (surprisingly ). That was the advice you were given here in your other (original) thread. Re-installing always seems a tad drastic to me when there is just the one issue to deal with but, when you have several issues it is more often than not the most expedient solution. Especially considering your machine was not set up properly in the first place and has been quite heavily infected.

You could chase around for weeks or months even, backwards and forwards on forums, trying to solve the Windows Installer problem and still not make any real progress. Outside of that scenario it seems clear to me you have two basic choices:
1) Pay for a professional to fix the problems.
2) Re-install XP.

If you do decide to bite the bullet and re-install please make sure you back up [i:2ju3dhw9]all[/i:2ju3dhw9] important personal data first.

cheers...JIM

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Mindblower
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August 6, 2009 - 10:14 pm
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It's always easy to start over (actually more trouble and time consuming that you know). Often the trick (key) in solving any problem is to do so as quickly as you notice you've got one. Don't install, unistall, run, or do anything new. This sounds simple, but (can you read my mind), it NOT. We have many self install, autorun programs, so remaining OFFLINE is vital. Don't rely on the system tray to tell you what's running (or loaded). A good program which can display and disable start-up programs is a handy tool. Sorry that I forgot to mention this. But as you've surmised, you're out of realistic options, so pull the plug and re-install. Good luck, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Selahgal
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August 6, 2009 - 10:31 pm
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Guess I'll re-install windows tomorrow or let hubby do it on Saturday. Was hope it wouldn't come to THAT, but there it is. Thanks for your help.

Oh yeah, concerning these two questions from my post, can you please help?

"Can I really delete this silly thing [Windows Installer] without causing problems?"

and

"I have several programs that have 'start up' lists in them, but how do I know which list is the one windows is really using each time I start my computer?"

You guys are the best!

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Jim Hillier
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August 7, 2009 - 12:28 am
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"Can I really delete this silly thing [Windows Installer] without causing problems?" and "I have several programs that have 'start up' lists in them, but how do I know which list is the one windows is really using each time I start my computer?"[/quote:25a4uu8y]

No, you cannot "delete' Windows Installer without causing problems. That may not fix your particular problem anyway. If the issue is connected to a partial or bad program install, if the issue is being caused by partial or bad program uninstall...the problem may remain even after repairing/re-installing Windows Installer.

We would need to know what lists are being generated by which programs. There are a number of freeware Startup Managers available, but it is one thing to view a list of startup entries and another to actually understand what they are for and what they do. The one I like and recommend for less experienced users is the Startup Manager tool included in Advanced SystemCare. A right click on any item in the list will bring up a menu including the option "Online Search" which will automatically take you to a site which helps identify the entry and offers advice on whether it is necessary or not.....very helpful.

If you wish to view exactly what programs are starting with Windows: Go to StartRun and type in [b:25a4uu8y]msconfig[/b:25a4uu8y] then hit 'OK'. Then click on the 'Startup' tab across the top of the System Configuration Window. That list should be the same as in other applications though.

cheers....JIM

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