Add/Remove Windows Components Copy Error

Odd situation.  I cannot add the default OS Games to my XP SP3 Home PC.  I got to the Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs then select Add/Remove Windows Components, check the box for Games and click Next.  I then get a message stating Copy Error Setup cannot copy the file xxx.exe.  I select d:\i386 as the source folder and it still has problems.  What am I doing wrong?
Ben PielaAsked:
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Be sure that you first selected all games:

Then you have to MANUALLY add the games from the CD. Press the Browse button and find a game in D:\i386 like is shown at the image bellow:


Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
I have been doing exactly that and I still get the copy error, even after I select the D:\i386 path.

Then take your Windows XP CD and clean the surface of CD. You have to see first if that surface has some dust on it or marks of fingers.

Choose an clean and soft textile or similar material.

I think it will happen if your Win XP  Cd is not with an damaged surface.

good luck

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Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
I am getting the same errors no matter what Windows XP CD I use.  This is a Dell PC and I have a bunch of different Windows XP CDs from them with different SP versions and all of them fail the same way.

☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Do you have another CD drive you could use?

This kind of error on Add & Remove components is usually down to a fault with the drive or connections (or bizarrely RAM - so removing a stick of RAM may actually fix this too!)

Yes, but before PC opening and do that there is another chance that is a "stupid", but can help in such problems - try simply restart PC without a CD in your DVD drive and then put it into DVD drive when you add a games and Windows XP ask you for CD and not before that alert.

Just wait a minute or two that PC can recognize installation disc.

good luck

Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
what the error message you got??
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
I installed an additional DVD-ROM drive on drive letter E:.  I swapped out both memory sticks.  Rebooted and tried again.  Still no go.  The Error Message is "Setup cannot copy the file sol.exe" or whatever game it decides to fail on.

Could there be a registry issue here somewhere?
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
go to device manager then remove CD drive , reboot and try again... before you reboot , please go to my computer -> C: right click properties -> check now .. then reboot..

and try again

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Well, I know that I had such a problem about 10 years ago both on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

The solution was - copy the folder D:\i386 on the C: drive.

If there is an error reading the CD then I tried another CD.

But, the key moment was when I tried to install these games from C:\i386, because the files I have copied were with an READ-ONLY option.

So, I have to press a right mouse button and go to Properties and UNCHEK this READ-ONLY box and press OK and set all files in folder C:\i386 to be READ:


Then I could add a games in such way to browse to C:\i386 folder and Windows XP have finally installed these games successfully !!!

☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Can you run
sfc /scannow ??
I'm wondering if System File Protection is preventing you writing to the file location.
See if SFC returns any errors and if it doesn't then see if the component install works in Safe Mode.
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
Tried setting c:\i386 to RW and I am still having problems.  Tried installing Games in Safe Mode as user Administrator and that didn't work either.
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
try to change CD , use another one
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
sfc /scannow did not work in Safe Mode.  The error was something about the RPC service not running??
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Did you run sfc in normal mode?

Great !

Go to Start -> Run and write services.msc and press OK. The all list of services will be listed.

You have to chose these 2 services in red rectangular - RPC set to start Automatically and RPC Locator set to start Manually like in this image:


Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
Ran sfc /scannow in Normal Mode and it completed without error.  My RPC services appear to be configured as per the image above.
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
man , i doubt something , boot in safe mode , go to c:\windows\system32 ,there is hidden folder called GroupPolicy , just rename this folder to any you want then reboot again , i doubt its problem with local group policy
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
I think there are three possible scenarios here.

Clearly Windows is not allowing the components to install.  This is either:
- Registry corruption
- Third party security/AV software protecting system files
- Infection

This may seem a dramatic solution but I'd recommend you use the Dell Reinstallion CD that matches the SP version currently installed and use it to carry out a repair

This would mean reinstalling Windows Updates afterwards though (but installed software would be unaffected)
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
Tried moving the Group Policy Folder and my Network Connections failed.  I uninstalled and rediscovered the network adapters and now I can connect to the network.  

I am running XP Home SP3.  The latest XP Home Dell CD I have is SP2.  If I do the repair with it, I will then have to reinstall SP3, correct?  I have never done a repair like this, so I am curious about what will happen afterwards.  Will Windows Updates think that I have an SP2 PC and then start downloading all of the updates again?  Or will I have to do that manually?
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
AV Solution is Microsoft Security Essentials.
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
Interesting side effect.  I wanted to see if I could manually copy the sol.exe file from C:\i386 to C:\Windows\System32.  I renamed the existing file (how is the file there?) and copied the file over successfully.  Then I attempted to delete the new sol.exe file that I had copied over and it just magically reappeared.  I attempted to delete it a few times and each time it seemed like it was deleted, only to reappear a few minutes later.  I looked in the Recycle bin and there were the few copies of the file that I had deleted.  What causes this crazy stuff to happen?
Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
This is not the side effect rather it is a security feature, wherein Windows keep a copy of the important files and as when the file is hampered with or deleted, the system restore it from the backup.

Usually Microsoft Windows XP keep the copy of the important files in c:\windows\system32\dllcache\

Since sol.exe is installed it won't let you delete it and if you manage to delete it, system would restore it from the backup. Hence you would see number of deleted copy in Recycle BIn as system restore it everytime  you delete it.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Windows shouldn't let you repair SP3 with an SP2 disk, you'll get an error saying the version on the PC is newer.
You can make an SP3 CD by downloading the SP3 update and then slipstreaming the Dell SP2 disk with it using nlite


I am running XP Home SP3.  The latest XP Home Dell CD I have is SP2.  If I do the repair with it, I will then have to reinstall SP3, correct?  I have never done a repair like this, so I am curious about what will happen afterwards.

OK. A MASQUERAID has his own opinion. But, I did repair a two months ago to my Windows XP SP3, because my Win XP S3  Installation CD has not an option for Repair the installed Windows XP SP3 on hard disc.
But, my Win XP SP2  Installation CD HAS this Repair option !!! And I had repaired Win XP SP3 on my hard disc, because there was an boot error, and after that I can work normally on Win XP SP3.

The Automatic updates option work excellent. And just one thing - I decided to install Recovery Management Console, from Win XP S3  Installation CD,  that is shown during the boot so I can chose a Normal Win XP booting or select Recovery Management Console.

This menu is shown for 30 seconds and default option that is selected is Windows XP boot.
So, when I see that menu just press Enter key and the Windows XP SP3 perform normally booting and I can then work on my PC.




Let's see where we stand with this situation by creating a report.

Save the attached file to any folder and double-click on it.
It will display a black "DOS" window and tell you when it is complete.
The file "GamesCheck.txt" will be created in the same folder as the batch file.

Please attach "GamesCheck.txt" to your next comment and we can have a look at what you have.

Lee, and others, and also bpiela if you are still interested.

The original question was:
"I cannot add the default OS Games to my XP SP3 Home PC"
but it was later confirmed by the asker (see Comment 37361973) that the Solitaire program file WAS actually already on the system and in the correct folder:

"I wanted to see if I could manually copy the sol.exe file from C:\i386 to C:\Windows\System32.  I renamed the existing file (how is the file there?) and copied the file over successfully."
"I attempted to delete it a few times and each time it seemed like it was deleted, only to reappear a few minutes later."

Of course Windows Protected File System jumped in and restored the original from the "C:\Windows\System32\dllcache" folder (as explained by SSharma), and it clearly demonstrates that at least one game program was already where it should be.

This is a Dell computer (see Comment 37361254).  These come preinstalled with Windows and, as well as usually having a "recovery partition", they normally have the folder "C:\I386" which may or may not be set as the original "Install Source", and may therefore be the first place that Windows looks in such a process.

Windows components are installed using "C:\Windows\System32\sysocmgr.exe" (System stand-alone Optional Component Manager) which looks up "C:\Windows\System32\sysoc.inf" for instructions.  There is sometimes a "HIDE" flag on certain lines to prevent that component or component group from showing in the Add/Remove listing.  The respective lines in "Sysoc.inf" tells the process the names of the different setup instruction files to use.  The games should be set to "games.inf" (standard games) and "igames.inf" (Internet games), but no path is given.  Normally "%SystemRoot%\INF" is assumed.

These two instruction files tell the process which program files to copy, where to put them, what Start Menu Folder to create, what shortcuts to create in that folder, and  and what registry settings to write for each.  The INF file first reads the registry key:
and this is what shows components that are already installed as ticked.

There were a lot of suggestions surrounding Group Policy, Windows Services, etc, but going right back to the original question it really isn't clear what file the error message was flagging up:
"I then get a message stating Copy Error Setup cannot copy the file xxx.exe."

This issue could be as simple as missing "OEM" *.INF files in the original install source (C:\I386) as the result of a cleanup or similar.

It could also be as simple as the Games folder just not showing in the Start Menu, even though all the required program files were already there and ready for use.

What we never cumulatively established is whether a command:
DIR /on /b /s "C:\Program Files\MSN Gaming Zone\Windows"
would show the Internet Games files already in that folder.

We never extablished whether freecell.exe, mshearts.exe, winmine.exe, and spider.exe already existed in "C:\Windows\System32", nor whether each of their corresponding help files (*.CHM) already existed in the "C:\Windows\Help" folder.  We already know that "sol.exe" exists in "System32" and "System32\dllcache" because the asker verified this.

We never established whether "%SystemRoot%\inf\sysoc.inf" was available and not corrupt, nor whether (being an OEM version) the INF file may have pointed to the "C:\I386" folder for the games-related *.inf files.  We never established whether "games.inf" and "igames.inf" were in the "%SystemRoot%\inf folder or not.

The "Games" Start Menu folder is an "All Users" one:
"C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Games"
and we never verified whether this actually existed or not.

We never established what the registry showed for:
nor what the "SourcePath" path was in:
[HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]

Lastly, we never established whether the default StringValue in:
was correct with the command:
%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %1

Don't you think that these were all simple checks that we should have made at the very outset before suggesting Recovery Installations, checking Windows Sevices, and other deep suggestions?

My attached batch file in Comment 37366741 would have quickly given us all a very good insight into the current situation and addressed all points raised above (except the *.INF file association which I forgot about at the time).
Revised version here again just to prove a point before this question is deleted:
It is a pity that we won't have the chance to start from scratch, because I would be prepared to eat my hat if this doesn't have a VERY simple solution.

☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Agreed, as is often the case BillDL has neatly cut through all the guesswork and provided a very nice diagnostic tool.  Unfortunately we may never see the results of his hard work.

The default with a Dell OEM preinstall is the standard games are installed so we do know the original installation has been modified, either simply to hide the games (as sol.exe is present) or because we are dealing with an image that specifically does not allow them.

Then we have the file copying error which does seem to me reminiscent of the installation errors in XP due to either faulty RAM or CD.

Personally I'd like to see BillDL's batch file preserved as a useful diagnostic tool but without further feedback from bpeila the question thread has no other significant value.  (Unless it could be used in a short Games Article ? ;))
Thanks Masqueraid.  As you said, without feedback the question itself is hardly of any significant value as a PAQ. I still have the batch file.  It's not really a difficult a thing to write and doesn't require any clever tricks, just an XP system to ascertain what should have been there and a bit of knowledge about how it would or should have got there, that's all.  Maybe I will integrate it to an article that covers "fact finding", or something like that, if this question vaporises.  Unfortunately I'm going to barely active here for a the next couple of weeks and may have forgotten about this when I return.
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
I am sorry that I didn't finish out the solutions posted.  I appreciate all who posted.  The PC in question has be reformatted and rebuilt so I will never know if BillDL's script was the solution.  I guess the right thing to do is to accept multiple solutions.  I should have done that earlier and for that I apologize.  I look to be a more responsible EE member in the future.
Ben PielaAuthor Commented:
I appreciate all the help you gave.  Thanks to all.
Thank you bpiela

It is a pity you had to reinstall Windows.  I had hoped that we could perhaps have saved you the trouble by getting access to your games.  My batch file wasn't really intended as a "solution", just as the means to ascertain what actually was installed and what wasn't.

Reinstalling Windows will probably have been a good move in the long term though, for a number of reasons:
1. You get a good clear-out of all the junk left over from programs that have been uninstalled and left stuff behind
2. Many of the previously installed separate Windows Updates will now be "cumulative" and the "fixes for bad patches" issue might be less of an issue
3. You now know what programs, applications, updates, and so on that you want to reinstall and what ones you can do without.

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