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iTunes Auto Reverts To v.11 Uninvited

Posted on 2013-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit SP2
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8 GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series

iTunes Auto Reverts To v.11 Uninvited

A month ago I allowed iTunes to update form version 9.? to the latest version. Big mistake!  Along with many thousands of users, I disliked version 11 and looked for information in Apple Forums to downgrade it back to a version I was familiar with.  I followed the instructions which worked well at the first attempt and very soon had version 10.7 installed and running smoothly. Version 10.7 had the added bonus for me of a new feature which allowed the re-downloading of purchased music. I was able to replace quite a few tracks which had been lost in a previous transfer to a new computer. I was very happy.

Within a day or two my desktop shortcut to iTunes mysteriously disappeared and when I opened the program from elsewhere, it was iTunes v.11 which greeted me with its welcome page.  I looked to Apple Forums again for advice and could not see anybody else who had experienced this problem.  All the people who had performed the same downgrade were happily back using their favoured version.

I followed advice at this link  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1923  to completely remove iTunes and then re-installed version 10.7 again.  It installed and ran perfectly, as before.  Since then I have repeated this process several times and v. 10.7 simply will not stay resident for more than a day or two.  Sometimes it disappears after a reboot ( once, I think during a slow shutdown) but more than once the change has taken place while the computer is running  -  one minute the shortcut is there ( for v.10.7) and the next minute it has disappeared and v.11 is back.

I thought that the answer might lie in Event Viewer ( not that understand most of the entries there) and I did find a reference in 'Application' for the same time as one of the reversions:

Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: iTunes. Product Version: 11.1.1.11. Product Language: 1033. Installation success or error status: 0.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">

Does anybody know why this is happening?
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Question by:enquirer
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by:John Hurst
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Do you have Apple Update Software installed?  If you do, that might be what is doing it.

Also try working with V11.  I clicked on View, Show Sidebar and most of what I was used to came back. I have V11.1.3 running.

If you have an iPhone, having the latest version of iTunes helps with updates.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:akahan
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Open iTunes.
Go to Edit/Preferences.
Click on "Advanced".
At the bottom of the window, UNcheck "Check for new software updates automatically."
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by:enquirer
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Thanks to both for responding.

thinkpads_user,   Apple Software Update does install with the Program.  In my several installs of v.10.7 I have either immediately un-installed it or in some instances let it be.  In all cases the reversion happens.

akahan, in all my installs I have gone into Preferences and made sure that 'Check for new software updates automatically' is unchecked.  There is even an opportunity to decline this during the install.

Living with v.11 is a non starter for me.  Either I will succeed in running a stable v.10.7 or I will just abandon iTunes.  For me it's all about Cover Flow.  I don't really need to visit the store again and I don't have an iPhone.  I'm happy with the music I have and the many hours I spent placing my own Album Art on my 'songs'.

I have never seen any software behave like this before and would very much like to know what is causing this reversion without my consent.

I should point you to a dialogue I have been having with somebody on Wordpress.  I am Anthony and the blog owner is commorancy.  This will update you on the steps which have been taken to solve the problem to date.  The dialogue between us starts about one quarter of the way down the page.

http://randosity.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/revert-back-to-itunes-10-from-itunes-11/comment-page-2/
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by:akahan
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Do you happen to have a file called itunes.msi anywhere on your hard drive?  (In XP, it would be in \documents and settings\all users\application data\apple computer\installer cache\itunes [version #] ?

If so, delete it.
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by:enquirer
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Yes, I found it ( in Vista)  by searching  - Folder - iTunes 11.1.3.8 ( C:\Program Data\Apple Computer\ Installer Cache ).    It is now in my Recycle Bin.  The file is dated 11/2/2013 which is about the same date I first saw iTunes 11 on my computer.

Is this my problem ??
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by:akahan
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That file is an iTunes installer.  Running it installs iTunes 11.1.3.8.  I'm not sure why it's getting run but, if it's deleted, it can't run, and whatever keeps reinstalling iTunes is going to have to download another installer in order to accomplish that.  Time will tell whether this is sufficient to solve your problem.

I'd prefer of course (as I'm sure you would) to get to the bottom of WHY iTunes keeps reinstalling itself, but for now let's see if this stops it from happening.
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by:enquirer
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Thanks akahan  -  this looks promising.   I have the file in the Recycle Bin still and won't delete it just yet.  iTunes 11 is still aboard if unused.  If I had uninstalled it before now I'm not sure if I would have found itunes.msi still resident.

I am the only user on this computer but there is a default Public User.  I had trouble finding the path to itunes.msi and only by right clicking the Windows Orb and selecting 'Explore All Users' from the bottom of the list could I find a folder called 'Program Data' and then the rest of the path.  I've never looked there before but only in 'Explore' at the top of that list.

I will ininstall v.11 tomorrow and hope that the missing file won't cause a problem with that process.    Then I look forward to seeing if my version 10.7 will stay put!
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by:John Hurst
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If you are still having issues, Apple issued a list of software to be uninstalled to completely uninstall iTunes.

From that list, uninstall all of:

1.iTunes
2.Apple Software Update
3.Apple Mobile Device Support
4.Bonjour
5.Apple Application Support (iTunes 9 or later)

Here is the Apple Support Article I used:   http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1923

... Thinkpads_User
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by:enquirer
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Thanks for the reminder, Thinkpads_User.   I did follow the instructions in that link during my most recent uninstalls and I'm about to go through the process again.  Will report back.
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by:akahan
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the presence or absence of the .msi file should have no relevance to your success (or lack o it) in uninstalling iTunes... it's not part of the uninstall process.
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by:enquirer
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Everything went very smoothly.   I now have iTunes 10.7 successfully installed and did the usual swap out of the iTunes Libray.itl files.    The program opened with my familiar interface with all my album art and recent changes in place.  Maybe this time it will stay .....

From the Start button I opened All Users and took a look at  C:\Program Data\Apple Computer\ Installer Cache \   There is now a folder there called 'iTunes 10.7.0.21' which contains two files,  iTunes64.msi and SetupAdmin.exe   When I deleted iTunes.msi from there yesterday that folder was called iTunes 11.1.3.8

I think you may have found the solution akahan but I will feel more confident if my version stays beyond its record of about 36 hours!
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by:akahan
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They're two different folders.  That is, each time you install iTunes, a new folder is created with the version number and the corresponding installation file.  My hope is that by deleting the installation file in 11.1.3.8, you'll prevent spontaneous installations.

You may as well MOVE iTunes64.exe and setupadmin.exe to a safe backup location, so that you'll have them in case you ever need to reinstall 10.7.0.21.  Someday, the install file for that version may become hard to find.
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by:enquirer
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Do you mean MOVE rather than copy?  and do you mean the new iTunes64.msi file?    I do have a copy of the 10.7 installation file kept safe and I have been using it for each of the installs.  I have lost count of how many now.

Two things are puzzling me.   When I install iTunes, I have to answer three UAC prompts during the process.  How does the windows installer - .msi file do it silently without even consulting me?    What prompts it to do it at all?  Looking through the Apple Community Support forum on te subject of downgrading to an older iTunes version, it seems that many people followed the instructions there but nobody else came back to the forum with the reversion problem I experienced.
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by:akahan
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I meant move, just in case there's something in setupadmin.exe that's enabling download/installation of an updated version.
But if you have the 10.7 itunes.exe file, that should be sufficient to enable you to reinstall should you need to.  Perhaps best, then, to just DELETE the two files I mentioned.

I assume that the spontaneous installations are processes that belong to the SYSTEM or administration owner, rather than to a user.

And again, sorry, I don't know what's been prompting it to happen in the first place... that remains a mystery.
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by:enquirer
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"I assume that the spontaneous installations are processes that belong to the SYSTEM or administration owner, rather than to a user."

I can only quote below a snip from Event Viewer after one of the uninvited reversions to iTunes 11.

Log Name:      Application
Source:        MsiInstaller
Date:          11/22/2013 4:41:28 AM
Event ID:      1033
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      Polaris
Description:
Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: iTunes. Product Version: 11.1.1.11. Product Language: 1033. Installation success or error status: 0.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="MsiInstaller" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1033</EventID>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-11-22T12:41:28.000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>134555</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>Polaris</Computer>
    <Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>iTunes</Data>
    <Data>11.1.1.11</Data>
    <Data>1033</Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>(NULL)</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Binary>7B41353335313131442D393543382D343837462D383639452D4345344332333939373244327D</Binary>
  </EventData>
</Event>
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by:enquirer
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I am user Polaris  ( sole user) and the computer name is also Polaris.
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by:akahan
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Yes, so, consistent with my supposition, the process belongs to SYSTEM.
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by:enquirer
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Not sure whether to close this question  ........  or wait for a day or two to confirm if it truly fixed.  I could always ask the question again if it isn't.
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by:akahan
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I'd leave it open for now.  I shouldn't get any points unless/until it's fixed, and it's always possible that if you don't close it for a few days, someone may take a look and be able to supply answers to the as-yet-unanswered questions here.
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by:enquirer
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OK akahan,  I will leave it open  .....    but I am fairly confident that you singled out that one file which has been the cause of over three weeks of wrestling with iTunes.   I am very grateful to you for your help thus far  -  and to Thinkpads_User for his participation.

I shoud have come to EE first!   I have had such good help here in the past but have not used the site for a few years.
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by:enquirer
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I hate to say it  -  but iTunes 11 is back.

It happened at 1:22 a.m. Dec 1st (PST).  The computer was running at the time but I did not see the change until I woke up and turned it off at about 3:30 a.m.  This time the shortcut icon on the desktop was still in place but inactive and it had disappeared upon start up at about 9:30 a.m.

I looked at  C:\Program Data\Apple Computer\ Installer Cache \     The folder iTunes 11.1.3.8 is back  with a creation date of 12/1/2013 at 1:22 AM.  It contains a single file  iTunes64.msi  Date created/modified 11/2/2013 at 1:25 AM   -  the date the first upgrade happened.

After the latest install of 10.7 a couple of days ago I did not uninstall Apple Software Update but I set it to 'Never Update' in Preferences.

The log entries in Event Viewer look similar to before but leading up to the event of Windows Installer installing iTunes 11 there are a number of activities with Bonjour and Apple Application Support which might reveal an answer to the problem if I could understand them.  

I will be away from the computer for the next eight hours or so.
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by:John Hurst
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I am not sure what is in your computer that would cause this. I have successfully uninstalled iTunes from a number of computers and it does not come back.

Now iTunes is constantly updating, and new versions are needed for I Devices. As I noted earlier you can give it a reasonably classic look and feel, so you may be better to make peace with the new version. Then as updates come along, you will be able to accept them.

..... Thinkpads_User
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by:akahan
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I was afraid it might be premature to award me the points.  :-)


Try uninstalling the new version of iTunes, and then reinstalling the old version.  (You've undoubtedly gotten to be very good at that by now.)

Then, in Windows, go to Start/All Programs/Apple Software Update.

Fire it up, and IMMEDIATELY hit "cancel".  Then, in Apple Software Update, go to Edit/Preferences.  Where it says "how often would you like to check for updates?", hit Never.  (If something other than "never" had been checked, that could be the problem here.)
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by:enquirer
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Thinkpads_User,  I appreciate your continued interest in my question   -  but I'm not sure what to tell you here.

If I was simply uninstalling iTunes from my computer,  I would not expect it to come back either but that is not what is happening here.  As I stated in my first response in this dialogue. learning to love iTunes 11 is not going to happen.  If you look at the forums there is a huge amount of discontent out there about version 11 and a fair bit of disillusionment about Apple in general.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4557327?start=0&tstart=0

Perhaps my question should have been - Am I the only person who cannot successfully revert to a previous version of iTunes?   It is becoming quite likely that I will not be allowed to use iTunes v. 10.7 on this computer.  OK,  I can live without iTunes but my academic interest is directed more now to why can I not do on this computer what thousands of iTunes users have done?  I don't have iDevices and I don't need more music  -  so updates are irrelevant to me.
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by:enquirer
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akahan,    during the most recent residence of iTunes 11 I did open Apple Software Update and let it run.  All it did was tell me there was a new version of Quick Time available.  I would have had to check a box next to that info and click update or something similar.  It seems to take no action on its own other than to inform  ( but of course, who knows what it might do in the background).   And yes,  I did have a check entered against 'Never' for the question of how often I would like to check for updates. I did not uninstall it though, maybe I should have done.

We seem to be at a stalemate here and I'm not sure what to do with this question   ....... abandon it,  close it, or leave it open for a while longer.

I learned after my latest uninstall of v.11 that the .msi file you found in Program Data disappears after the removal of iTunes  ......   really thought you had something there!
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akahan earned 500 total points
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I suppose an alternative approach would be to prevent your machine from accessing Apple's servers to download and install the new version of iTunes.

So you would:

Uninstall the new version.
Reinstall the old version.

Edit your hosts file to prevent further access of Apple's servers, as follows:

1)  Browse to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories
2)  Right click "Notepad" and select "Run as administrator"
3)  Click "Continue" on the UAC prompt
4)  Click File -> Open
5)  Browse to "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc"
6)  Change the file filter drop down box from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files (*.*)"
7)  Select "hosts" and click "Open"
Append the following lines to the hosts file:
127.0.0.1    itunes.apple.com
127.0.0.1    ax.itunes.apple.com
127.0.0.1    albert.apple.com
127.0.0.1    gs.apple.com

8)  Close Notepad.  Save when prompted.
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by:enquirer
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OK  -  I did a test run on that instruction.   I added your list below what was already there, so it now looks like the copy below.  Is that correct?

I closed Notepad without saving for this test.

# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host

127.0.0.1       localhost
::1             localhost
127.0.0.1 itunes.apple.com
127.0.0.1 ax.itunes.apple.com
127.0.0.1 albert.apple.com
127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com
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by:akahan
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yup, that's correct.
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by:enquirer
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Once again, I will keep you informed.  I cannot start this new idea until tomorrow   .......  work intervenes.    Thanks.
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by:John Hurst
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Another thought is to do a full (5 or 6 step) uninstall from above, and then leave it uninstalled for 48 hours. Do not reinstall.

If you do that, does it still come back?  Is so, it may be an operating system issue and not an Apple issue.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:enquirer
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I went ahead last night and reinstalled 10.7   As soon as I saw that it was running smoothly I did the edit job on the hosts file.   For good measure I then uninstalled Apple Software Update.   All was still well when I briefly checked this morning  -  and again tonight.

There wasn't a 48 hour gap on this occasion where I was iTunes free but earlier in this struggle  ( which has been ongoing since Nov 2nd)  my computer was iTuneless for four or five days, while I was waiting for a response from Apple Forums.

It's 24 hours and counting now   ......   I'll let you know.
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by:akahan
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Fingers crossed...
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by:enquirer
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It's about 56 hours now and all is well.  I think this might be the longest stay.
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by:akahan
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iWin.
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by:enquirer
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Yes sir,  I think you have!   It would appear that Apple is the villain here.  iTunes 10.7 is alive and well for these past 72 hours.  In Event Viewer there are some entries which suggest that Apple Application Support has been trying to phone home for instructions but has been thwarted.

The reasons which make my machine different from thousands of others which have rolled back iTunes may remain a mystery but you seem to have achieved what I wanted  -  the ability to retain and enjoy the version of my choice.  The latest thing is so very often not the best thing.  In future I will be wary of all updates.

I will check back in the morning and close the question.
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by:enquirer
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I am now confident that iTunes 10.7 is here to stay  -  and at the outset of this question, that is all I really wanted.

Akahan,  you are a genius.  I am very grateful to you.   I signed up for a month  ......  so I might have another question or two!
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by:akahan
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I'm glad EE was able to be of help to you!  There are a lot of really smart people here.  I learn something every time I visit.
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by:enquirer
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I should add a postcript here about a further solution to my question. Unfortunately, the day after I closed the question, iTunes once again reverted to the latest version.

In a private communication with akahan he advised me to disable Windows Installer by the following method.   In Start/Run I entered  services.msc  and opened it.  I changed the 'Startup Type' to Disable and clicked Apply.    Windows Installer has now been prevented from silently updating iTunes and my preferred version of iTunes has now been resident for seven days.

For me, this fixes the problem satisfactorily.  I will simply re-enable Windows Installer when it is needed,  as I did a day or two ago for a Windows Update to install successfully.
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