Problem with Windows Installer 3.1

257Roberts
257Roberts used Ask the Experts™
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I have a laptop that I am using to make a cloning image from and one program I am trying to install will not start the install routine.  The error message says:  "This is not a valid Windows installer package"  I tried the install disk in another machine and it installs fine.  Other software will load on the problem computer jsut fine.  Only this  one program won't start the install routine.   In "Add Remove Programs"  the Windows installer 3.1 is there in the list but no option to uninstall it.  I downloaded the 3.1 Windows Installer from Microsoft and installed it on top of what was already on the computer, but the same error occurs.  anyone have any ideas of what to do?  Thank you in advance..
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
        Hi 257Roberts
              *Download and install windows installer cleanup utility and remove that software first.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Secure-cleaning/Windows-Installer-CleanUp-Utility.shtml
              *Then try re-installing the software again.

Regards

Author

Commented:
MrHusy, the disclaimer for the cleanup utility sounds scary.  Is it safe to run on the machine?  I am also a little confused about what it is going to do.  Is it going to let me uninstall Windows Installer 3.1 or is it going to allow me to install the software that I was unable to install in the beginning?
You cannot "uninstall" Windows Installer 3.1 once it has been installed.

You can only really "repair" the install - i.e. re-run the setup.

The cleanup utility just clears up the changes made by the various software installers that make configuration changes to the way the individual software wants to use the Installer service when using setup/msi files.
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Author

Commented:
Other computers in my office have an option in Control Panel "Add Remove Programs" to "Remove" Windows Installer 3.1.  The machine I am having the problem with has no option to "Remove"  Windows Installer.  After I re-ran the setup, the options stayed the same with no change.
You cannot completely uninstall Windows Installer 3.1 in normal mode, that was what I was aluding to. Whether the entry is there in Add/Remove or not - that is just an entry in the registry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

This could be because of two things - 1) The program is not installed properly or 2) The entry has become corrupted.

You could try removing it by booting into Recovery Console, browsing to:
C:\WINDOWS\$MSI31Uninstall_KB893803v2$\spuninst

Then run spuninst.exe

Then reboot, and reinstall Windows Installer.

Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
If the spuninst.exe doesnt run properly, then you could try the BATCH command...

batch C:\WINDOWS\$MSI31Uninstall_KB893803v2$\spuninst\spuninst.txt
Top Expert 2007
Commented:
         Hi 257Roberts
               If it wasnt something safe and something I have not used, I wouldnt suggest you to use :). This utility removes any existing reg keys and etc that add/remove snap-in or the uninstaller can not. You will simply select the software listed in cleanup utility (It lists all softwares installed on PC) then simply click remove.

Regards

Author

Commented:
Okay, thanks for the re-assurance..  I will download it and try it out.  If it works I will mark the question resolved.

Author

Commented:
yes it worked as you said.  I will keep this one in my bag of tricks.

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