Windows XP won't install setup.exe files

Everytime I try and install a setup.exe file the Windows hour glass comes up and then dissapears.

I have tried disabling the virus protection software and that didn't work.

I have also tried to install the software on another computer and it worked fine.

So I am not sure what the problem could be.

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Hello corahealth =)

Means the setup.exe from CDs or those ones which you download from internet ??
if from CDs then try this, goto Start>Run>services.msc and check that Windows Installer service is running and its right click properties startup type is set to Automatic !!

If intenret downloads, then run them in safemode and check if they run there or not ??
if they DO run then do this, Goto Start>Run>msconfig>Startup, and click on Disable All
now goto Services section, and tick Hide Microsoft Services
and now untick all those third party services
restart and now check if the same problem ??
if NO then u can re-enable each application\service at a time to trace out the culprit one !!
You can try installing the Microsoft Installer 3.0 and see if it repairs the problem

If Shehar's suggestion doesn't work or the one above I would just do a repair install.

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corahealthAuthor Commented:
I have tried all the suggestions in the first response and none of them worked, this laptop already has service pack two therefore it should already have windows installer 3.0 I would assume.

I am trying to install a program off of a cd. I know the cd works fine in other computers running windows XP with service pack 2.

I also logged in as administrator and tried to install it and it still didn't work.

Any other suggestions
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What if you copy the contents of the CD to a folder on the hard drive and then run the setup.exe from there ??
if same problem, then try repairing Windows Installer as described in this MSKB article >>
Joseph OLoughlinIT Support SpecialistCommented:
Open a cmd prompt
See what your path is by typing
For each directory listed, change to that directory, e.g.
cd windows
and check whether setup.exe exists in that directory
If it dose rename it
ren setup.exe oldsetup.exe
Empty your temp directories
Bring up task manager and check for a running instance of setup.  If there is one use msconfig to disable it and restart.
Setup should now work.  If not we should check for trojans.
The reason I posted that was for you to try it, It could repair problems by re-installing it. You might have it already but it could be corrupt. I've had to do that a few times to fix installtion issues.
I have a similar problem, that perhaps will give someone an idea of how to fix the poster's problem.

I have a CD with an autorun start screen (called start.exe)  The autorun works fine, and the start screen displays.  That screen then has the option to install the program, which would launch setup.exe.  However, setup.exe never launches.

On the other hand, if I browse to the CD, I can launch setup.exe directly without a problem.  It seems that there is some permission/security/policy issue that doesn't allow third party programs to launch a setup.exe.
Yet another program that has the same issue.  I'm trying to install Visual Studio .NET, and the install craps out the moment a child setup.exe is called.

I've seen numerous reports on this across the web, but have yet to come up with any good solutions.  Some sites have suggested uninstalling and re-installing SP2.  Unfortunately this is not an option for me as my Win XP already came with SP2.
U can follow Microsofts directions
How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your computer
I have the same problem and it also fails on a Windows 2000 PC so it (at least in my case) is not an SP2 problem
I found a solution to my problem, which may also help yours.

Go into the following key in the registry:
HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/App Paths/setup.exe

Insure that the default entry is blank, and that there is no "path" data entry.  If either of those two entries contain data, then under some circumstances Windows will try to runn the setup.exe pointed to by the registry, and not the setup.exe you are actually trying to run.
I have a laptop with the same issue (sp2 again).

No resolution?
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