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Windows Installer - Extremely Long Delays Installing and Uninstalling

I have several Windows Server 2003 Terminal Servers exhibiting similar behavior.  Specifically, when installing or uninstalling programs which use MSI, it takes an extremely long time for the process to complete.  

For example, on an unaffected machine a particular software package installs in under 2 minutes.  On a problem machine, this same install can take 1-2 hours during which time the msiexec.exe process hangs at 50% CPU (on a dual core machine).  Usually it's hanging at the stage where it's preparing to install (or similar wording).  

After this extremely long wait, the installation eventually "breaks loose" and proceeds to completion.

I've run the MSI cleanup utility from the MS Support website.  I've run registry "cleanup" tools.  Nothing seems to help.

Another example-- uninstalling Microsoft Silverlight, which on most PCs only takes a few seconds, took nearly 10 minutes on this server with the msiexec process hanging at 50% CPU.  Eventually the initial stages passed and the process completed successfully.

Just bringing up Add/Remove Programs listing in Control Panel can take 1-2 minutes with the rundll32.exe process hanging at 50% CPU (on a dual core machine).

Not sure where to look or what to do next.
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Ecompro
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Ecompro
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1 Solution
 
Carl WebsterCommented:
Even though it is supposed to do so automatically for an MSI file, try putting the server in install mode first.
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
I always put into install mode first, except for Windows Updates.  But this happens for ANY program that uses MSI.  I've also tried installing from the console (rather than a TS session), and also via Add/Remove programs.  It does not matter-- long delay happens.

I'm doing a Quickbooks install tonight on another server with the same problem and so far it's been about 40 minutes-- with status stuck on "Validating Install".  This is 100% typical behavior on problem machines.  Once it gets past the validating stage, the install goes fairly quickly.

Any ideas?

Just for fun, here is the windows installer log from this machine showing the Silverlight installation.  It wasn't 10 minutes-- it was more like 18 minutes.  Here's the excerpt:

2011-05-09	20:49:00:330	 876	82c	AU	Triggering Offline detection (non-interactive)
2011-05-09	20:49:00:330	 876	a5c	AU	AU received install approval from client for 1 updates
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	#############
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	## START ##  AU: Install updates
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	#########
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	  # Initiating manual install
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	  # Approved updates = 1
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	a5c	AU	<<## SUBMITTED ## AU: Install updates / installing updates [CallId = {924F55C1-AB2B-42D5-A5AA-96852C40A36F}]
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	39c	Agent	*************
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	39c	Agent	** START **  Agent: Installing updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	39c	Agent	*********
2011-05-09	20:49:00:346	 876	39c	Agent	  * Updates to install = 1
2011-05-09	20:49:00:705	 876	39c	Agent	  *   Title = Microsoft Silverlight (KB979202)
2011-05-09	20:49:00:705	 876	39c	Agent	  *   UpdateId = {2F7E857E-D8FD-40DC-BC44-D9FDE83DF4B6}.100
2011-05-09	20:49:00:705	 876	39c	Agent	  *     Bundles 1 updates:
2011-05-09	20:49:00:705	 876	39c	Agent	  *       {6DC3BED4-A92D-4FF7-93B4-309531B87B24}.100
2011-05-09	20:49:00:939	 876	39c	Agent	WARNING: LoadLibrary failed for srclient.dll with hr:8007007e
2011-05-09	20:49:00:939	 876	39c	Handler	Attempting to create remote handler process as accounting\administrator in session 1
2011-05-09	20:49:01:127	 876	39c	DnldMgr	Preparing update for install, updateId = {6DC3BED4-A92D-4FF7-93B4-309531B87B24}.100.
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Misc	===========  Logging initialized (build: 7.4.7600.226, tz: -0400)  ===========
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Misc	  = Process: C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuauclt.exe
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Misc	  = Module: C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuaueng.dll
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Handler	:::::::::::::
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Handler	:: START ::  Handler: Command Line Install
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Handler	:::::::::
2011-05-09	20:49:01:189	3920	d2c	Handler	  : Updates to install = 1
2011-05-09	20:49:05:330	 876	f70	Report	REPORT EVENT: {6A1F2F6F-C1F3-47DC-B220-621D29162940}	2011-05-09 20:49:00:330-0400	1	185	101	{D1597D99-9E24-42A9-A4BA-97610F9D18ED}	100	0	AutomaticUpdates	Success	Content Install	Hide update: user hid one update.
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	82c	AU	#############
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	82c	AU	## START ##  AU: Search for updates
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	82c	AU	#########
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	82c	AU	<<## SUBMITTED ## AU: Search for updates [CallId = {50F5F98A-1820-4436-8E72-7FB758245DD8}]
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	*************
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	** START **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	*********
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	  * Online = No; Ignore download priority = No
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	  * Criteria = "IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Installation' and IsAssigned=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsPresent=1 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' and IsAssigned=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=1 and DeploymentAction='Installation' and IsAssigned=1 and RebootRequired=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' and IsAssigned=1 and RebootRequired=1"
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	  * ServiceID = {3DA21691-E39D-4DA6-8A4B-B43877BCB1B7} Managed
2011-05-09	20:49:30:330	 876	f70	Agent	  * Search Scope = {Machine}
2011-05-09	20:49:56:392	 876	f70	Agent	  * Added update {2F7E857E-D8FD-40DC-BC44-D9FDE83DF4B6}.100 to search result
2011-05-09	20:49:56:392	 876	f70	Agent	  * Found 1 updates and 58 categories in search; evaluated appl. rules of 882 out of 2531 deployed entities
2011-05-09	20:49:56:595	 876	f70	Agent	*********
2011-05-09	20:49:56:595	 876	f70	Agent	**  END  **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2011-05-09	20:49:56:595	 876	f70	Agent	*************
2011-05-09	20:49:56:658	 876	300	AU	>>##  RESUMED  ## AU: Search for updates [CallId = {50F5F98A-1820-4436-8E72-7FB758245DD8}]
2011-05-09	20:49:56:658	 876	300	AU	  # 1 updates detected
2011-05-09	20:49:56:689	 876	300	AU	#########
2011-05-09	20:49:56:689	 876	300	AU	##  END  ##  AU: Search for updates [CallId = {50F5F98A-1820-4436-8E72-7FB758245DD8}]
2011-05-09	20:49:56:689	 876	300	AU	#############
2011-05-09	20:49:56:689	 876	300	AU	Featured notifications is disabled.
2011-05-09	20:52:00:548	 876	f70	PT	WARNING: Cached cookie has expired or new PID is available
2011-05-09	20:52:00:564	 876	f70	PT	Initializing simple targeting cookie, clientId = 7a493d67-ec6c-456d-a0a6-b085f86a372a, target group = , DNS name = accounting.sekweta.com
2011-05-09	20:52:00:564	 876	f70	PT	  Server URL = http://10.4.31.10/SimpleAuthWebService/SimpleAuth.asmx
2011-05-09	20:52:00:580	 876	f70	Report	Uploading 1 events using cached cookie, reporting URL = http://10.4.31.10/ReportingWebService/ReportingWebService.asmx
2011-05-09	20:52:00:580	 876	f70	Report	Reporter successfully uploaded 1 events.
2011-05-09	21:06:08:361	3920	d2c	Handler	  : Command line install completed. Return code = 0x00000000, Result = Succeeded, Reboot required = false
2011-05-09	21:06:08:361	3920	d2c	Handler	:::::::::
2011-05-09	21:06:08:361	3920	d2c	Handler	::  END  ::  Handler: Command Line Install
2011-05-09	21:06:08:361	3920	d2c	Handler	:::::::::::::
2011-05-09	21:06:09:158	 876	f74	AU	>>##  RESUMED  ## AU: Installing update [UpdateId = {2F7E857E-D8FD-40DC-BC44-D9FDE83DF4B6}, succeeded]
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	39c	Agent	*********
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	Install call completed.
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	39c	Agent	**  END  **  Agent: Installing updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	  # WARNING: Install call completed, reboot required = No, error = 0x00000000
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	39c	Agent	*************
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	#########
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	##  END  ##  AU: Installing updates [CallId = {924F55C1-AB2B-42D5-A5AA-96852C40A36F}]
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	#############
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	Install complete for all calls, reboot NOT needed
2011-05-09	21:06:10:595	 876	f74	AU	Setting AU scheduled install time to 2011-05-10 09:00:00
2011-05-09	21:06:14:158	 876	f70	Report	REPORT EVENT: {18C463BC-BC85-4A9D-8C1A-2AE31FA90C84}	2011-05-09 21:06:09:158-0400	1	183	101	{2F7E857E-D8FD-40DC-BC44-D9FDE83DF4B6}	100	0	AutomaticUpdates	Success	Content Install	Installation Successful: Windows successfully installed the following update: Microsoft Silverlight (KB979202)
2011-05-09	21:08:59:220	 876	63c	AU	Triggering Offline detection (non-interactive)
2011-05-09	21:08:59:236	 876	82c	AU	#############
2011-05-09	21:08:59:236	 876	82c	AU	## START ##  AU: Search for updates
2011-05-09	21:08:59:236	 876	82c	AU	#########
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	82c	AU	<<## SUBMITTED ## AU: Search for updates [CallId = {7D3D01CE-82C5-433A-BB31-DF58E44D5FB1}]
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	*************
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	** START **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	*********
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	  * Online = No; Ignore download priority = No
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	  * Criteria = "IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Installation' and IsAssigned=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsPresent=1 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' and IsAssigned=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=1 and DeploymentAction='Installation' and IsAssigned=1 and RebootRequired=1 or IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' and IsAssigned=1 and RebootRequired=1"
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	  * ServiceID = {3DA21691-E39D-4DA6-8A4B-B43877BCB1B7} Managed
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	 876	f70	Agent	  * Search Scope = {Machine}
2011-05-09	21:08:59:252	3064	bf4	CltUI	AU client got new directive = 'Shutdown', serviceId = {3DA21691-E39D-4DA6-8A4B-B43877BCB1B7}, return = 0x00000000
2011-05-09	21:08:59:267	 876	82c	AU	AU received handle event

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EcomproAuthor Commented:
More info.... the April windows updates took 2 hours to complete on this server.  Here is one of the logs from the installer of one of the updates.

I've just run it through wilogutl.exe and it indicated "no errors".  The update completed successfully--- eventually--- but the log had a HUGE number of errors in it.

I've attached a zip of the logfile if someone would like to see it.  Are the huge number of "transforms"  and "expected product xxx but found yyyy" type errors normal?

Any advice to help solve these unbearably slow installs would be most appreciated.

msilog.zip
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OccITCommented:
I am experiencing the same issue.  I've been installing an adobe reader update for over an hour now!  Windows Updates takes hours to complete.  Anything that I install/uninstall takes for forever to complete.  This has been going on for months and I have yet to find a solution.  
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
OccIT, just curious, are you having this problem on a Terminal Server or on servers that do not have interactive (remote desktop) logins?  

I'm seeing this problem more frequently on Terminal Servers when there are a larger number of users.  TermServers with only a few users (less than, say, 10 users) don't seem to be nearly as affected as servers with a few dozen users.

I'm wondering if it has anything to do with parsing user profiles.... (???)
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webfullcircleCommented:
Having similar issues. Any process using msiexec.exe hangs. Terminal Server 2003.  Have re-registered, installed  4.1. Stop A/V.  Stopped UPHClean. Still hangs.
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OccITCommented:
I guess I never hit submit on my comment yesterday.  My environment is Terminal Server 2003 with 18 profiles on the box.  I have been through two different A/V solutions in Symantec and VIPRE.  I've disabled both and still got the same behavior.  I am using UPHClean.  There are no memory issues.  I just enabled verbose logging for the installer so now I'm waiting for a new Windows Update to install so I can look at what is going on behind the scenes.  
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
I did the same thing in one of my posts above-- enabled verbose logging then ran a Silverlight update, which only took a few moments to complete on other servers.  Installation took about 18 minutes.  The only thing that caught my eyes in the installer log was just a LONG delay between "Reporter successfully uploaded 1 events" and "Command line install completed. Return code = 0x00000000, Result = Succeeded, Reboot required = false"  

Time elapsed between those 2 events was 14 minutes.
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webfullcircleCommented:
Anyone locate a solution to this issue?
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
Well, it's been 7 months without a solution so I'm going to close this question as unresolved.
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
Close without solution.
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webfullcircleCommented:
OK,
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OccITCommented:
I haven't found a solution either :-(
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OccITCommented:
After entering a comment this morning I did some more research and may have solved the problem!  Follow the steps below and let me know how it works out.

Step 1

Download and install the latest version of Windows Installer
To install the latest Windows Installer, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5a58b56f-60b6-4412-95b9-54d056d6f9f4&DisplayLang=en

Step 2
------------
Use the Diagnose and fix program installing and uninstalling problems automatically Mr Fixit tool from Microsoft.  This supplanted the CleanUp utility that they used to have.  Go here: http://support.microsoft.com/mats/Program_Install_and_Uninstall 

When you run it choose:

1.  Detect problems and let me select the fixes
2.  Choose Installing
3.  When it asks you what program you are trying to install select "Not Listed"
4.  Then keep going through the wizard screens and fix any errors that it detects.  

Then run these commads:

Stopping services pertaining to Windows Update
1.     Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
2.     If you receive a notification from User Account Control simply click Continue.
3.     At the command prompt, type the following, commands and then press ENTER after each command.
        net stop wuauserv
        net stop bits
        net stop cryptsvc
4.     Please do not close the Command Prompt window.
 
Renaming folders pertaining to Windows Update
1.     At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press Enter after each command:
2.     ren %systemroot%\System32\Catroot2 Catroot2.old
3.     ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
4.     Please do not close the Command Prompt window.
 
Registering DLL’s pertaining to Windows Update
1.     Please copy and paste the following text into a new Notepad document, and save the file as WindowsUpdate.BAT
2.     If saved correctly the icon will change from a Notepad file to BAT file which has two blue cogs as its icon.
            -or-
3.     You can manually type each command at the command prompt:
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\vbscript.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\mshtml.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\jscript.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\msxml.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\actxprxy.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\shdocvw.dll /s
regsvr32 wuapi.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll /s
regsvr32 wucltui.dll /s
regsvr32 wups2.dll /s
regsvr32 wups.dll /s
regsvr32 wuweb.dll /s
regsvr32 Softpub.dll /s
regsvr32 Mssip32.dll /s
regsvr32 Initpki.dll /s
regsvr32 wintrust.dll /s
regsvr32 dssenh.dll /s
regsvr32 rsaenh.dll /s
regsvr32 gpkcsp.dll /s
regsvr32 sccbase.dll /s
regsvr32 slbcsp.dll /s
regsvr32 cryptdlg.dll /s
regsvr32 Urlmon.dll /s
regsvr32 Shdocvw.dll /s
regsvr32 Msjava.dll /s
regsvr32 Actxprxy.dll /s
regsvr32 Oleaut32.dll /s
regsvr32 Mshtml.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml2.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml3.dll /s
regsvr32 Browseui.dll /s
regsvr32 shell32.dll /s
regsvr32 wuapi.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll /s
regsvr32 wucltui.dll /s
regsvr32 wups.dll /s
regsvr32 wuweb.dll /s
regsvr32 jscript.dll /s
regsvr32 atl.dll /s
regsvr32 Mssip32.dll /s

 Restarting services pertaining to Windows Update
1.     Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
2.     If you receive a notification from User Account Control simply click Continue.
3.     At the command prompt, type the following, commands and then press ENTER after each command.
        net start wuauserv
        net start bits
        net start cryptsvc
        exit

Run Windows Update to see if the issue is fixed.  
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OccITCommented:
Ecompro, I see you closed this question. Did you try the solution I suggested on 12/8?
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EcomproAuthor Commented:
Sadly no, your suggestions did not fix the problem.  I'm still seeing the Windows Installer service hanging for VERY long periods of time during installs.  For example, the Feb 2012 updates-- there weren't very many, but it took one system about 5 hours to install them.  Each Windows update took 40-60 minutes to install... and this is on a fast server-- quad-core Xeon CPUs, 4 GB memory, and 15K rpm SAS disks, with the system sitting there idle.
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