PaperPort will not install - the installer detected a previous installation

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Joe Winograd
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You did a proper uninstallation of PaperPort. You even ran the official PP14 Remover Tool. But when you try to reinstall PaperPort, you get the dialog box above, which you can't get past. There is simply no way to install PaperPort! This article presents a solution that has worked for many PP users.

You are reading this article because you tried to reinstall PaperPort 14 and received the dialog box shown above, which says this:

The installer detected a previous installation on your machine. The components of this software will be uninstalled before proceeding with this new installation. Therefore, during the installation process, a system reboot might be required.

That really doesn't seem so bad — sure, uninstall the previous installation and do a reboot — works for me. Problem is, it cannot do the uninstall, which means it won't do the install. There is simply no getting past that dialog and it is impossible to reinstall PaperPort! Even Nuance's official PP14 Remover Tool, documented in my PP14.5 upgrade article, does not solve the problem.

This is clearly a glitch with the PaperPort installer and I don't know a fix for it. Fortunately, there is a work-around that allows us to get PaperPort installed. The work-around is based on the fact that the detection of the previous installation occurs in the "master" installer (AUTORUN.exe), i.e., the installer that installs all components of PaperPort. The work-around is to install each component of PaperPort, one at a time, with its own installer. This article explains how to do that.

First, download PaperPort 14.5 from one of these links, depending on whether you have the Standard or Professional edition:

PP14.5 Standard (420,440,392 bytes)

PP14.5 Professional (663,415,112 bytes)

The next step is crucial, but how you do it depends on your level of expertise. Those downloaded EXE files are self-extracting ZIP files. If you are a more experienced user who knows how to use a utility like 7-Zip or WinZip to extract the files, do that. If you are a less experienced user who does not know how to do that, simply run the EXE file (double-click it in Windows/File Explorer). WinZip will automatically perform the self-extraction and you will see a dialog like this during the extraction process:

When it is done extracting, you'll see this dialog:

Critical Step: Do NOT select a language! Instead, immediately click the Exit button. The reason for this is to keep the folders/files that were unzipped — now, let's find them. Use Windows/File Explorer (or whatever file manager you use) to go to this folder:


where UserName is your Windows username. For example, here's mine:


Inside that folder you will have these folders (among others) for the Professional edition:


There will also be other non-Nuance folders and files in there because other programs use that \Temp\ folder, so you'll have to find the folders shown above. Note that the Standard edition will have the same folders, except for PDFCreate.

If you are an experienced user and unzipped the EXE file into a new folder (rather than the \Temp\ folder), you will have all these folders/files in a single folder by themselves:

Now, here's how we get around the "detected a previous installation" problem. We're going to install each of the PaperPort components, one at a time, by running the separate installer for each one. The screenshots below are all from a Windows 10 Pro 64-bit system, but the method should work fine in all 32-bit and 64-bit editions of W7, W8, and W10.  The order of installation is important, so install them in this order, as follows:

(1) In the PaperPort folder, run (double-click) the setup.exe file. Respond to all the prompts. You'll need to enter your PaperPort 14 Serial Number in one of the dialogs. You'll also get the Activation dialog — you may click Activate Now or Activate Later. Eventually, you'll have to Activate it, so you may as well do it now. Upon successful installation, you'll get this:

(2) In the PDFViewer folder, run (double-click) the setup.exe file. Respond to all the prompts. You should not need to enter a Serial Number — the field should be automatically populated (it will be a Serial Number that is different from your PP14 SN). If it isn't automatically populated with a Serial Number, enter your PP14 SN, but I've never seen that happen (and I don't know if it will work). Upon successful installation, you'll get this:

(3) In the PPImgPrinter folder, there are two subfolders, System32 and System64. If your Windows is 32-bit, go into the System32 subfolder; if your Windows is 64-bit, go into the System64 subfolder. The PaperPort Image Printer is different from all the other installs in that it needs to be run "elevated" to succeed. To do this, right-click on the setup.exe file and then left-click Run as administrator. Respond to all the prompts. Upon successful installation, you'll get this:

(4) In the NuanceCloudConnector folder, there are two subfolders, SYSTEM32 and SYSTEM64. If your Windows is 32-bit, go into the SYSTEM32 subfolder; if your Windows is 64-bit, go into the SYSTEM64 subfolder. In either case, run (double-click) the Nuance_Cloud_Connector.msi file (this is the only install where you run an MSI file instead of an EXE file). Respond to all the prompts. Upon successful installation, you'll get this:

(5) If you have the Standard edition, you will, of course, skip this step. If you have the Professional edition, go into the PDFCreate folder, which has System32 and System64 subfolders. If your Windows is 32-bit, go into the System32 subfolder; if your Windows is 64-bit, go into the System64 subfolder. In either case, run (double-click) the setup.exe file. Respond to all the prompts. You'll need to enter your PP14 Serial Number in one of the dialogs. Upon successful installation, you'll get this:

That's it! PaperPort 14.5 and all its components should now be installed. However, before running it, please continue reading.

The next task is to install Patch 1. Note that PP14.5/Patch1 is the only Windows 10-compliant version of PaperPort. Another one of my Experts Exchange articles explains how to install Patch 1 at no cost:

How to install the Patch 1 update for PaperPort 14.5

One more task — install the PP14 Scanner Connection Tool (also at no cost), as explained in another one of my Experts Exchange articles:

PaperPort 14 Scanner Connection Tool - Fix Scanning Problems in PaperPort 14

Your PaperPort should now be good to go!   Reboot your computer and give PaperPort a spin!

If PaperPort is working — and I expect it will be for most folks — you're done, and you may skip the sidebar below, going straight to clicking the thumbs-up icon to endorse the article. :) If it is not working, read the sidebar below. Also, you may delete the folders and files of the unzipped EXE installer now, but keep the EXE file itself, in case you need it again. If you unzipped into the \Temp\ folder, you'll have to find the extracted folders and files (shown in a screenshot above) among all the other folders and files in the \Temp\ folder. If you unzipped into a new folder, your task is much easier — simply delete that folder.

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Most people with this installation problem previously installed PaperPort 14 at least once. Because of that, the prerequisites have already been installed. However, if PaperPort is not working and/or it complains about missing files, it may be because the prerequisites have not been installed, as it is the "master" installer (AUTORUN.exe) that checks for prerequisites. Due to bypassing it with the method presented in this article, prerequisites (such as the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Packages) may be missing. I've never seen this happen, but if it does happen to you, go into the Prerequisite folder (one of the unzipped folders, as shown in a screenshot above), and run all the EXE and MSI files in there. If you are on 32-bit Windows, run only the 32-bit (x86) files; if you are on 64-bit Windows, run both the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) files, including the ones in the System64 subfolder.

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If you find this article to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. Thanks very much! Regards, Joe

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