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Windows Installer Failure after XP Re-Install -- "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed"

Posted on 2004-08-03
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Last Modified: 2009-10-29
In a prior post, it was suggested I should re-install XP to solve an installer problem -- http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21078698.html

I was attempting to clone my hard drive using Norton Ghost 2003.  The error message said "The task could not be started because the following file could not be found: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\Ghost\template\common\pcdos\IBMBIO.COM".

So, I naturally tried to Re-Install Norton Ghost from the Norton System Works Pro CD.  But the Windows Installer Dialog Box appears with the error message:  "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance."

I have completed the XP re-install, which was successful, but I'm still getting the installer error. I'd like to repair this system if possible. All ideas appreciated.
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Question by:WizeOwl
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11711882
Try this:

1. Open a CMD.EXE prompt.

2. Type msiexec /unregister and press Enter.

3. Type msiexec /regserver and press Enter.

let us know if it still gives you a problem..

FE
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Kenneniah earned 300 total points
ID: 11721026
Try going to Start|Run and typing services.msc
Make sure that the Windows Installer service is not disabled.

Also try gpedit.msc, and look under Computer Configuration (Possibly User as well)|Administrative Templates|Windows Components|Windows Installer and make sure none of those policies are set.

Then I'd also try installing the Windows Support Tools as instructed at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/tools_howto.mspx

Most notably look at Msicuu.exe and possibly Msizap.exe (look in the support tools help file after installing for info on how to use these)

The description of Msicuu is as follows:
The Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, Msicuu, deletes the configuration data that Windows Installer maintains for a product that it installed, including directories, files, registry subkeys, and registry entries. You can use Msicuu to remove the remnants of a corrupted Windows Installer installation that prevents you from installing a product correctly.

Also check out:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=324516
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=315353
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Author Comment

by:WizeOwl
ID: 11741917
Thank you both for responding to my question.  I found the information quite informative.  I was able to finally get Norton to install after performing both methods of re-registering and re-installing the installer (KB Q315346).  I also found that the Installer service was not started.  I'm not sure which procedure actually solved the problem.

I will definitely bookmark this question and refer to it whenever these issues arise again.  

Interestingly, the command gpedit.msc returned an error, dialog box: Microsoft Management Console
"Snap-in failed to initialize. Name: Group Policy.  CLSID: {8FC0B734-A0E1-11D1-A7D3-0000F87571E3}"
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11742403
Hmm...  just curious, if you don't know which question helped you, then possibly you should have split the points?  Just a thought..

FE
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 11745503
Hiya FE,

I agree on the split points, go to http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21086042.html and make a comment :)
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 11745513
On the gpedit error....
Try going to a command prompt and going to the I386 directory on your XP Pro cd-rom.
Then type "expand framedyn.dl_ C:\windows\system32\framedyn.dll" and then try running gpedit again.
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