I installed service pack 2 on XP home edition and then MS Word began having errors that I reported to MS. MS said there were some patches to be applied to MS Office. I downloaded the Patch and during the install was asked to insert the Office CD, which I didn't have so I cancelled and started over to take the option to install a larger set of files that doesn't require the CD. This failed too. Then I began seeing the Windows Installer saying "Preparing to install..." with no name of what it was trying to install. Windows Installer tries to run with almost anything I do.
I restored the system to a date prior to the date I installed the XP service pack but that didn't change the behaviour of the Installer. I undid the prior restore and then made what was probably the fatal mistake. I did a system restore to a prior date in Safe mode. The behaviour hasn't changed but now I learned that I may have hosed the registry.
I think I have registry problems because when I try to run Word or Excel the Installer tries to run and then, after a few minutes tells me that the component is not working properly and asks if I want to repair it. It then says that the component is not registered to the current user...
I have run msiexec / unreg and msiexec / regserver but the Windows Installer still ran all the time.
I downloaded a fresh copy of the installer and unregistered/reregistered again.
I have tried the installer clean up tool that other posting here pointed me to but it will only install if the installer is running properly.
Do I have any options short of relinstalling XP?