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Installer Service won't run - error 997

I'm having a problem with an XP SP-1 machine that had a spyware attack and seemingly a failed installtion of antivirus software.

The Windows Installer service is broken, and I cannot install any setup programs that rely on it. For example, Acrobat Reader 7 says it cannot connect to the Installer Service.

When I go to the Services control panel and attempt to start the Windows Installer service, it cannot start. I receive Error 997: Overlapped I/O Operation in Progress.

I have double chaecked that the spyware (eager-search trojan) is gone. I have terminated all processes not essetnial to running the machine, and have even tried stopping non-essential services. Nothing I can do will get teh Installer Service to start.

The user account is a member of Administrators. I checked that as well. This is a standard business workstation - no web server software, no database software, etc. - just MS office and a few other misc. apps.

Any ideas what might be causing this? I'm stumped and googling the error has been no help.
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1 Solution
Pete LongConsultantCommented:
Reinstall/Repair the Windows Installer

Try re-registering it first

1. Click Start > Search >For files and folders and locate msiexec.exe take note of where yours is.

(In XP it’s usually in c:\windows\system32)
(In 2K it’s usually in c:\winnt\system32)

2. Click Start > Run > Regedit {Enter} and navigate to the following key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer On the right side double click ImagePath, Ensure the path to the file is the same one you found in step 1 (NOTE: there may be a /V after it this is normal) if the path is wrong you will need to change it.

3. Reboot the PC and start in safe mode (Press F8 as the PC boots and select Safe Mode)

4. Click Start > Run > msiexec /regserver {Enter}

5. Reboot the PC, if this doesn’t cure the problem you will need to reinstall

Reinstall Procedure

1. Click > Run > cmd {enter} at the command type the following commands

attrib -r -s -h drive:\%Windir%\system32\dllcache  {Enter}
ren msi.dll msi.old {Enter}
ren msiexec.exe msiexec.old {Enter}
ren msihnd.dll msihnd.old {Enter}

2. Exit the command window

3. Download the new installer files (Unless your using XP)

Windows XP comes with the files preloaded, and a reboot will restore them.

Also See
Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
jimdoriaAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Pete -

I'm going to give you the points for this one, since your answer is thorough and it's good info to have.

In this particular instance, I had several things to do on a client's machine, one of which was to install SP-2. After I did that, the installer was working again, so I didn't actually get to try out your solution. But I'll definitely add it to my "bag of tricks" in case I come across the same thing in the future.

Many thanks.
Pete LongConsultantCommented:
My Pleasure ThanQ

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