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WISE installer programs crash, unwise.exe install.log error, won't uninstall

Hello. I have a particularly infuriating problem. I would like to repair ir without having to reload Windows. I am a very good sw tech and am usually successful in fixing bugs without reinstalling everything but I have not been able to get this one yet.

The symptoms are as follows - newly installed programs crashing (they either crash with Event ID 1000 errors or they simply do not run at all); and then an inability to use unwise.exe (the WISE installer's uninstall program) to remove the application. I have a workaround for the second issue, by relocating the INSTALL.LOG to another folder and forcing the unwise.exe to look for it and ask for the location (the uninstall issue is that the unwise program says that it cannot open the INSTALL.LOG even though it is right where it should be). I have not found a solution for the problem of the programs crashing on load - but I can tell you that the ONLY programs that do it are the ones that also exhibit the uninstaller problem.

I have at least ten unusable programs now because of this problem. The apps work fine on another computer so I know that they are not the problem - the WISE installer is the problem. I wrote to WISE but they said that it was the sw company's fault and would not help me. Yeah right - ten different programs from ten completely different makers all getting a WISE error, but WISE is not at fault. Whatever. They expect me to contact ten different sw makers because of their bug.

One common thread is that all of the programs are involved in some way with music creation. Some are application extensions that are installed with the wise installer and some are executible programs.  The more that I try to use some of the programs that I have installed but not yet tried (many are plugins so they do not get used until there is a need for them) the more programs that I find that will not run.  I do pro audio so I have a lot of plugins.  Some are highly specialized and only get used once in a great while - and it's a real bummer to find that one won't work when I finally do go to use it.  Around $2,000 worth of software does not work because of this issue, so you know that I am very frustrated.  I am at the point now where I will not even buy any software that uses the wise installer because I know that it will not work on my system.  

All of the above programs are the latest versions. My PC is a 3.0 HT with 2GB of PC3200. The OS is a recent fresh install of XP Pro and everything about it is constantly updated. I keep a clean OS and defrag it liberally with Diskeeper. Aside from doing pro audio I am a tech, although I have mostly stopped doing that for a living.  But I learned to fix OS's starting with Win 3.1 and was an NT support tech so I am used to fixing problems without automatically just reformatting the HDD like today's "techs" and I really need to fix this one.  It takes me way too long to set the PC up the way that I want it and I just did that two months ago when I got a new HDD and don't want to do it again.  Anyway, creating an image now would not help me because it would just bring the problem over.  And the ONLY problem that I have on the rig is this WISE problem and they refuse to acknowledge it or offer assistance.

I realize that this is not technically a programming problem but I think that I need a programmer to figure this out.  It's too technical for the regular software problem forums - and if I can't fix it then I know that it's a tough one because I can fix 99.9% of software issues without reimage etc.  But I am not a programmer.  I have no problems going under the hood of Windows but I stop at writing code so please take this from that perspective.  I can live with the uninstaller issue, but not with the programs not being able to be used.

I hope that somebody here knows a fix for this. There is close to $2,000 worth of sw that I cannot use.

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1 Solution

Just a curiosity, but do other mainstream programs (like office) work?

As in, if it is installed (office), un-install it then re-install and see if it works.

I can think of a couple possibilities but am curious to know if ANY program works from a windows installer based installation.
RoodillonAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks for answering, yes other programs work fine.  I have installed other programs on my machine that don't use that particular installer and they work with no problems.  The issue is definitely limited to the programs that have the unwise.exe uninstaller in them - so I can assume that they all use a particular wise installer but I am not knowledgeable enough about programming to speculate any further than that about the installer.  Also, they are all relativeley small programs that are related in some way to music.  For example, Awave Studio; SIA SMAART; LinPlug Octopus; Chicken Systems Translator; Algorithmix Plugin Pack among some others.  All fairly small and uncomplicated programs.  Some are simply a .dll as far as the main part of the program.  I tried installing one of the programs on another computer and then just copying the .dll to this computer but it did the exact same thing.  


Each program that uses that unwise.exe method of un-install will store its "un-install string" in the registry. Sometimes with extremely deep paths, or paths with spaces in them, it will get confused. Unwise.exe is simply a little stub program that was created as part of the Wise pacakge studio long ago to un-install programs that were installed using the older wise-script compiled executables.

The symptom you describe on the load-event however is a little odd. Most older wise-script based installations are file-copy based, that is, unlike the newer .MSI based installations that package things either into .CAB's or into a large main executable with a windows installer database, they simply do a file-copy (much like x-copy / etc).

When a .dll is installed on a system, it  usually has to be "registered", simply copying it MAY work if the program that uses it is hard-coded to look for it in a certain path. This could be a problem of the .dll's not being registered after they are copied to the system by the various installers.

You can test this by registering one or more yourself by using the : REGSVR32 command.

To use that command you do something like :  I have a .DLL called "mystuff.dll" that is at path "c:\mydll\here", to register it, I use the command as follows :  regsvr32 "c:\mydll\here\mystuff.dll"

Try that for one or more of those items that are simply .dll's as you mentioned.

If that dose'nt work, if you can cut-n-paste the full error message you get when one of the apps dosent work that may help.  Our next step is to use a tool called dependency walker and analyze the calls the applications are making to see where they are dying (this is a freeware download).
RoodillonAuthor Commented:
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