Vista upgrade fails with "uninstall McAfee internet security suite"

Hello, I am trying to upgrade my XP pro to Vista.

 It fails at the point where it runs a compatibility check with the following message:

 uninstall McAfee internet security suite.

I have already done so, I have also removed every reference I can find in the registry, I have removed any folders in documents and settings and program files but still the same error is given. It is as if the vista installation process is remembering a reference to McAfee when I first attempted the install and although I have now cleaned the registry the vista thinks it is still there which means it must be using a log file or something from the first attempt.

How can I find the temp  install files to delete them so that it has a chance of a clean install. Any help gratefully appreciated.


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Hi Brian

>>> "...the technician didn't know where the (Vista Upgrade) installation files are stored" <<<

That is pretty disgraceful.  Clearly this is the most likely source of your problem, and if the technician did not know then he/she had a duty to find out in order to provide further information.

The *.vbs error message is a strange one.  On the face of it this looks to be a file association problem with *.vbs files rather than a security restriction, otherwise I would have expected a different message.  The reference to "script engine" infers that the "Scripting Host" files are not installed, are corrupted, or registry entries for them are non-existent or wrong.  Windows Update would normally take care of that if components were not installed, but if they are installed but simply not working properly, then you wouldn't be presented with this as a download.  Windows XP Service Packs would normally update the Scripting Host files, but it's possible that the failed Vista update has messed up that and maybe other things, even though it failed early on.

Personally I would start off by downloading "Windows Script 5.7 for Windows XP"

Download Page:

Right-Click link below > Save Target As:

This version upgrades the support for VBScript (vbscript.dll), JScript, Windows Script Components, Windows Script Host, and Windows Script Runtime from version 5.6 (as installed by Windows XP) to Version 5.7 to come in line with Vista's scripting support.

You will know what version you currently have by locating "vbscript.dll" in C:\Windows\System32 and checking the file properties.  Mine is 5.7, but I have SP3 installed and just ran Windows Update a couple of days ago.

The Windows Installer Cleanup Utility is really part of Microsoft Office Update, and is aimed towards removing leftover files and settings after uninstalling MS Office.  It was just a thought and may help you with the leftover Vista Upgrade files, but I can't guess more than that.

Within the downloaded package (version 4.71.1015.0 from the link given earlier) is the file "StartMsi.vbs", but this is not actually installed by the package.   From what I can see, it is only used to launch the Windows Installer itself (msiexec.exe) and install the correct utility files (msicuu.exe, MsiZap.exe, and the readme.txt file).  You can work around this by unpacking the downloaded file "msicuu2.exe" right from the command line and installing without the *.vbs file.

Place msicuu2.exe in its own folder eg. C:\PACKAGE (keep the folder name short and without spaces).  Create a new folder eg. C:\PACKAGE\EXTRACTED.
Now run the command:

c:\package\msicuu2.exe /C /T:c:\package\extracted

This will give you the following unpacked files in your "Extracted" folder:
MsiZapA.exe - 78KB - Win 9x non-unicode version
MsiZapU.exe - 93KB - Win XP unicode version

Create a copy of the 93KB "MsiZapU.exe" file and rename it as "MsiZap.exe".
Create a new sub-folder (ie. C:\PACKAGE\EXTRACTED\Unicode) and Move your renamed "MsiZap.exe" file into it.
Delete "MsiZapA.exe" and "MsiZapU.exe" (Optional).
Double-Click on "msicuu.MSI" (Note: the *.MSI file, not the *.exe file) to run setup, and it should install OK.
New shortcut is created loose in your Start Menu\Programs folder.

I will keep looking to see if I can find out with certaintly where the Vista Upgrade files would be stored by default.
violinmanAuthor Commented:
Hello Lee,
I have already been through all of the steps covered in the link you included. Including running the MCPR.exe tool. This is why I think that the problem is with vista install files. When I first attempted the install I had not got rid of all of McAfee and so vista flagged it as a problem. The trouble is it is still flagging it as a problem even though it has gone! Which is why I think vista is somehow using the originall install information.


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Hello Brian

Could you please tell us the full details of the failure notice.  I know you stated that the message is:
"uninstall McAfee internet security suite"
but are there any other details that tell you with absolute certaintly that the setup cannot proceed.  I am wondering whether it is a warning notice that could be ignored.

As long as your XP is still functional, you could try installing and running the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to see whether it lists any McAfee products or leftover components to uninstall:

I am sure you are correct about the failed Vista setup leaving temporary setup files on your hard drive.  I will have to look and see where these are stored for a Vista Upgrade, but perhaps running XP's Disk Cleanup (%SystemRoot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe) and checking the box to delete "Temporary Files" may find them.

Someone here is asking that very question, but has not received any responses yet:

What I think I will do is download the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor and run it on my XP system while monitoring what it does.  If this is the same program that is run from the Vista Upgrade CD, then perhaps I will be able to come back with some useful answers:

Is your CD an Upgrade version, or are you just using a full one and opting to upgrade to save you from backing your whole system up and then doing a fresh install?  You are aware that you can run the XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard and then import them during a fresh Vista setup?

Perhaps the information on these pages may be helpful if you have a spare hard drive and wish to try installing a Vista Upgrade version to it, but I'm not sure how legitimate the processses are:

This is also a cautionary tale from someone with bad experiences when doing a Vista upgrade over XP, and there are a lot more:

I don't know if the Vista setup executable accepts any custom command line switches, or whether it uses a custom setup file (*.ini), but perhaps we need to search to see if the upgrade setup command running in Windows has any command line options.

Hopefully someone with direct experience with Vista Upgrades will be along with some definitive answers.
violinmanAuthor Commented:
Hello BillDL,
Many thanks for all your suggestions. I have first tried your suggestion of running the Microsoft Installer Cleanup utility but it will not run, instead it gives me an error "There is no script engine for file extension .vbs" I assume this means I do not have visual basic installed.

With the Vista install the "uninstall McAfee internet security suite" is not a warning about it may not work after upgrade as with some other programs but a Stop! it will not let me proceed beyond this point.

The reason I think it is a problem with temp files, or perhaps installer files is because I have run Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor and it does not mention a conflict with McAfee, very strange!

My CD is an upgrade version, I do not want to do a clean install, I also spent 2 hours on the phone to Microsoft Technical dept. but even they could not sort the problem but also the technician didn't know where the instalation files are stored.

Is there a way to deal with the "vbs" issue so that I can run the installer cleanup?

Thank you for all your time,


violinmanAuthor Commented:
Hi BillDL,
Having read the comments from others making the upgrade from XP to Vista and having also put at least 5 or 6 hours into the task I think my gut instinct is that this is trying to tell me something!

As this particular computer has all our business accounts and email client I have decided to heed my inner voice and try a different approach.

I have ordered a 160 gig. hard drive which I will add to the system and then do a clean Vista install on that drive, once I have it all running ok and with all my software installed on the new drive as well I will then make it primary.

I forget how to set up dual boot which I will initially use, having the old drive as default and I think using F8 to bring up the boot screen (If I remember correctly) when I want to select the new drive.

I really am very grateful for all your help and advice, it is much appreciated and I will now close the ticket and award the points.

Best regards,

Thank you Brian

I tend to agree with you, especially with the computer in question having so much important data on it.  I think you have come up with by far the best plan of action in using a separate hard drive.

Dual Booting generally is easy enough.  You just install the operating systems to different hard drives, usually the older one first, and the Boot.ini file in the root of the main system drive lists the 2nd operating system as the alternative option when in the black screen stage.  You can control the length of time that the menu remains open before defaulting to the first operating system through "System Properties > Startup and Recovery tab", or under the "Boot" tab of MSCONFIG.  Some people employ a 3rd-party boot loader. like this:

At the end of the day though, even this messes with the system drive (albeit to a much lesser extent), and is probably unwise on a computer with loads of important data.

There is also the alternative of using one of the "Virtual" approaches. eg:

Microsoft VirtualPC:


Sun VirtualBox:

Innotek VuirtualBox (probably the same as the above):

More here:

The principle is that the software allows your current operating system to load another operating system in a protected and isolated environment as a "host" operating system that should not interfere with your main one and can be removed at any time.

The drawback is that you need a computer with not only the recommended hardware resources (eg. memory) to run your main operating system, but also the additional resources on top of that to host the virtual one.


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