XP Home won't install updates

By Poppa Bear · 53 replies
Jul 9, 2010
  1. I am helping a friend who has XP Home operating system, and has encountered two problems.

    1. It shows 2 security updates available for Microsoft Office 2003. It downloads these updates but cannot install them. The only error message is: "Failed to install."

    2. Abode reader also failed to install updates. The error message here says that a registry key is not available. I tried to uninstall/reinstall Adobe but it could not uninstall saying it did not have access to a registry key.

    First off I ran a system file check using sfc /scannow in the Run box, and when asked for the installation CD used an nLite Windows XP Home disc with SP3 incorporated as her system has XP SP3 on it. This had no effect.

    I then rebooted in Safe Mode and manually uninstalled Adobe Reader. At first attempt it would not allow certain files to be deleted, so I used properties to take full control of all folders and files and eventually uninstalled all Adobe folders/files. Finally, I ran a manual registry search and deleted all Adobe registry entries.

    After reboot, I tried to do a fresh installation of Adobe, and got a menu option to "Repair existing installation or fresh install". So obviously there were still some Adobe files left somewhere in the system. I chose fresh install and it said it could not access a registry key. I then tried repair and got the same message.

    Unfortunately I am not at my friends PC right now, so can't describe exact registry key.

    Any thoughts on a solution on the info given so far?
  2. ruready2

    ruready2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    What do you mean by " manually uninstalled Adobe Reader."? tell me what steps you performed. Did you delete all the registry keys? Did you use windows search with search hidden files and folders enabled to search for Adobe?. Are you able to get security updates for Windows?
  3. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    By manually uninstalled I mean I deleted all Adobe folders and files from Program Files while in Safe Mode, after needing to take full control of some files before it would allow them to be deleted.

    I opened registry with Regedit in Run box and used "Find" command with "Adobe" as the search parameter, and deleted all Adobe entries.

    No I did not think to use windows search with search hidden files and folders enabled to search for Adobe. I will go back and try this. It may be a day or so before I can post results.

    Thanks for input.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Why not use a registry cleaner such as Ccleaner to eliminate entries you might have missed?
  5. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Sorry, forgot to mention I also ran the registry cleaners ToniArts Easy Cleaner, and Glary Utilities. I have been using these for years on XP Pro, Vista Ult & Win7 Ult; and have found them to be very thorough yet safe. They also auto-create a restore vault for any deletions if you want to re-install.

    Some time ago I had done tests with these two ultilities alongside CCleaner, and found TAEC took out ones CC missed; and GU took out ones TAEC missed. In a further test, after running TAEC first, CC could not find any keys to remove. Did the same with GU first then TAEC, and TAEC got some GU missed and vice versa. In summary, TAEC and GU got all the ones CC got and more. In terms of total keys removed, TAEC only got about 40% of the ones GU got.

    With my friend's PC, before doing anything else, I restored all the old registry entries which had been deleted to make sure a necessary entry had not been deleted in error. This didn't have any effect, so I did a new run with both programs to give an up to date registry clean. Then I did the manual search to make sure these programs hadn't missed any.

    Would it help to run Hijack This?
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Just a guess, but supposing Adobe have given up supporting SP2. MS is doing just that in 3 days time. On the whole it sounds as though one or more of the files making up the registry has become locked against changes. As to why ? Dont know, but can imagine malware. Would you try running updates as the special 'cure-all, all capable special user' named administrator. Also make all system files visible and view the properties of the system files found at c:\windows\system32\config check the permissions tab.

    Failing all else, a systems restore to before the problem started might help.
  7. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Thanks for input.

    1, As mentioned in original post, she has SP3 installed, so think that should be supported by Adobe.

    2. Fairly sure she ran Malwarebytes, SuperAntispy and Avast anti-virus full scan recently, but will re-run just to be sure.

    3. Pardon my ignorance, but can you explain exactly step by step how to go about:
    4. Had thought of System Restore as a last resort. Can you confirm definite if System Restore deletes any downloaded programs or data files; or only restores system files, appdata, registry, etc.

    I will make my next post after I have access to her PC again in a few days time, and will post what I've done and results.

    Cheers PB
  8. ruready2

    ruready2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    I would still like to know if you are able to install security updates. This will tell me whether or not the issue is malware related. If you are able to receive security updates it is a system file glitch. Otherwise, it very well could be malware. At this point I am leaning toward malware since, as noted by gbhall, it sounds as if a reg. key has been locked somehow.

    Finally.. you may use those reg cleaners for years and never have a problem then one day BAM!! The wrong one gets deleted as a result of a glitch in the software. There is a huge misconception about cleaning the registry. There really is very little to gain by doing so. These misconceptions were designed to generate revenue by misinforming the consumer of the end results. Can the cleaners find invalid entries? Without a doubt the answer is yes. I have known instances when more than 2000 have been detected on one computer. The problem is once they were allegedly repaired/removed, there was virtually no improvement in the computer's performance. It's a risk I am just not willing to take for an end result which could prove detrimental and even if successful has no benefit. That's just me though.

    Edit: I wish to qualify my last paragraph to be more specific in that reg cleaners such as Glary and Ccleaner which offer back-ups can more often than not be safely used. It is the rogue type reg cleaners which I mostly refer to in the paragraph.

  9. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    No I can't install 2 security updates for Office 2003, as mentioned in the opening post:
    Yes, I'm also inclined towards Malware. However, until I get back to her PC and:

    1. Run Search for Hidden files, folders and System folders, etc, and clear these out.

    2. Re-run manual and registry cleaner programs.

    3. Run Avast, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpy

    Only then can I provide any further answers.

    Without wishing to be controversial, I have many times run the above reg cleaners and seen significant increases in PC speed.

    More importantly, there have been many occasions over the years where even after running the regedit "Take Ownership"; and using Properties/Security to manually take full control of a folder; the folder could not be deleted until all the reg entries related to that particluar folder had been removed, and the PC re-booted. The point being that removal of the corrupt/infected reg entry was essential before the file/folder could be removed.

    Appreciate input.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    In answer to your concern over what system restore does and does not do. Open help and support on your own PC. Click 'Undo changes to your computer with System Restore' and there is a reasonably complete description. In brief, it restores the system files, not your data.
  11. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Thanks for that info. I've got XP Pro on my PC and had a read up on what System Restore does. I imagine that would be the same on XP Home.

    You said in your earlier post:
    I don't really understand what you meant by this. Could you possibly elaborate please?

    Cheers PB
  12. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Not everyone has this user, I would forget about it. It is just a hidden super-user with admin rights. It is mostly automatically added under particular circumstances so that full rights are available. If you look at any system file under windows explorer and look at properties / security panel there will be a list of users. One might be administrator, but not that often.
  13. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7


    Since my last post I have taken the following action on my friend's PC, which is an ASUS Mobo with Intel Core 2 duo CPU running WinXP Home with SP3.

    1. Ran Avast, Malwarebytes and SuperAntispy. No viruses, but a heap of tracking cookies, and one Rogue Controller removed by SuperAntiSpy.

    2. Ran registry cleaners EasyCleaner and GlaryUtilties.

    3. Manually searched registry for any residual Adobe reg keys, and deleted two

    4. Booted to Safe Mode as Administrator and searched C: Drive, including hidden and system files searching for Adobe files/folders.

    It located one Adobe folder in Windows System but was unable to delete despite using Properties>Security to allow full control. This folder contained Active X files.

    After all this it was still not possible to uninstal, repair or re-install adobe. It kept coming up with this error message:

    Error 1402. Could not open key:

    HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run\Optional Components\IMail

    On using regedit to open this key it could not be exported, deleted or edited with new D Word, String value etc. It was totally locked. I have the same reg key on my installation of WinXP Pro and had no trouble doing all of the above functions on this reg key.

    Any suggestions?

    Is there some way of getting feed back from Microsoft on this particular error No?
  14. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

  15. ruready2

    ruready2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    Read this article from Adobe regarding the error 1402. could not open key. I think you will find your solution here. There are several different procedures to try.


    Seems gbhall has already provided that link..DIdn't notice til after I posted. Is there a way to delete post?
  16. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    To gbhall and ruready2.

    Thanks for info guys. Sorry this problem is being solved in installments, but will report back later in the week after applying the info in the above links.

    Cheers PB
  17. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7


    Sorry to take so long to get back on this but have not had access to my friend's PC. Attached is a log from HiJack This. I've tried all the suggestions and it's still jammed. Can't repair, uninstall, or reload. There is a new error message when a new install is tried with Adobe Reader 9.3.3 which has been saved to the desktop: "Winodws is inaccessible. This is due to running Windows in Safe Mode, or it is not properly installed." It must be the second option because it was not running in Safe Mode.

    Also tried a system restore and Windows said it could not do one. It successfully downloaded and installed 6 security updates for Windows; and downloaded but could not install 2 security updates for Office 2003 Pro.

    This is the text of the HiJack log:

    Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
    Scan saved at 5:13:37 PM, on 9/08/2010
    Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
    Boot mode: Normal

    Running processes:
    D:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
    D:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
    D:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\InCDsrv.exe
    D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\SeaPort\SeaPort.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Fomatik\TrueImageTryStartService.exe
    D:\Program Files\Canon\CAL\CALMAIN.exe
    D:\Program Files\Analog Devices\Core\smax4pnp.exe
    D:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMAX\Smax4.exe
    D:\Program Files\AVerTV DVB-T\QuickDVB-T.exe
    D:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\InCD.exe
    D:\Program Files\Creative\WebCam Control\CAMTRAY.EXE
    D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe
    D:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Nokia\MPlatform\NokiaMServer.exe
    D:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NMBgMonitor.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NMIndexingService.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NMIndexStoreSvr.exe
    D:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
    D:\Program Files\PC Connectivity Solution\ServiceLayer.exe
    D:\Program Files\PC Connectivity Solution\Transports\NclUSBSrv.exe
    D:\Program Files\PC Connectivity Solution\Transports\NclRSSrv.exe
    D:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VS7DEBUG\MDM.EXE
    D:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant =
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,CustomizeSearch =
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyOverride = *.local
    O2 - BHO: AcroIEHelperStub - {18DF081C-E8AD-4283-A596-FA578C2EBDC3} - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelperShim.dll
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {5C255C8A-E604-49b4-9D64-90988571CECB} - (no file)
    O2 - BHO: Search Helper - {6EBF7485-159F-4bff-A14F-B9E3AAC4465B} - D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\Search Helper\SEPsearchhelperie.dll
    O2 - BHO: Windows Live Sign-in Helper - {9030D464-4C02-4ABF-8ECC-5164760863C6} - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WindowsLiveLogin.dll
    O2 - BHO: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll
    O2 - BHO: Windows Live Toolbar Helper - {E15A8DC0-8516-42A1-81EA-DC94EC1ACF10} - D:\Program Files\Windows Live\Toolbar\wltcore.dll
    O2 - BHO: JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C} - D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll
    O3 - Toolbar: &Windows Live Toolbar - {21FA44EF-376D-4D53-9B0F-8A89D3229068} - D:\Program Files\Windows Live\Toolbar\wltcore.dll
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMAXPnP] D:\Program Files\Analog Devices\Core\smax4pnp.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMAX] "D:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMAX\Smax4.exe" /tray
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickDVBT] D:\Program Files\AVerTV DVB-T\QuickDVB-T.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [InCD] D:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\InCD.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [High Definition Audio Property Page Shortcut] HDAShCut.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Creative WebCam Tray] D:\Program Files\Creative\WebCam Control\CAMTRAY.EXE
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] "D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AppleSyncNotifier] D:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleSyncNotifier.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "D:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [avast5] D:\PROGRA~1\ALWILS~1\Avast5\avastUI.exe /nogui
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NokiaMServer] D:\Program Files\Common Files\Nokia\MPlatform\NokiaMServer /watchfiles startup
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "D:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ZoneAlarm Client] "D:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe ARM] "D:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\AdobeARM.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [BgMonitor_{79662E04-7C6C-4d9f-84C7-88D8A56B10AA}] "D:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NMBgMonitor.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PC Suite Tray] "D:\Program Files\Nokia\Nokia PC Suite 7\PCSuite.exe" -onlytray
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-19\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] D:\WINDOWS\System32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'LOCAL SERVICE')
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-20\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] D:\WINDOWS\System32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'NETWORK SERVICE')
    O8 - Extra context menu item: &Windows Live Search - res://D:\Program Files\Windows Live Toolbar\msntb.dll/search.htm
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Add to Windows &Live Favorites - http://favorites.live.com/quickadd.aspx
    O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - D:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\OFFICE11\REFIEBAR.DLL
    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - D:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - D:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
    O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - D:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - D:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O16 - DPF: {32C3FEAE-0877-4767-8C20-62A5829A0945} (FBootloaderAX) - http://static.ak.facebook.com/fbplugin/win32/axfbootloader.cab
    O16 - DPF: {4F1E5B1A-2A80-42CA-8532-2D05CB959537} (MSN Photo Upload Tool) - http://gfx1.hotmail.com/mail/w3/pr01/resources/MSNPUpld.cab
    O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - http://fpdownload2.macromedia.com/get/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab
    O16 - DPF: {E2883E8F-472F-4FB0-9522-AC9BF37916A7} - http://platformdl.adobe.com/NOS/getPlusPlus/1.6/gp.cab
    O16 - DPF: {E77F23EB-E7AB-4502-8F37-247DBAF1A147} (Windows Live Hotmail Photo Upload Tool) - http://gfx2.hotmail.com/mail/w4/pr01/photouploadcontrol/MSNPUpld.cab
    O20 - Winlogon Notify: !SASWinLogon - D:\Program Files\SUPERAntiSpyware\SASWINLO.DLL
    O23 - Service: Acronis Scheduler2 Service (AcrSch2Svc) - Acronis - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe
    O23 - Service: Apple Mobile Device - Apple Inc. - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
    O23 - Service: Ati HotKey Poller - ATI Technologies Inc. - D:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
    O23 - Service: ATI Smart - Unknown owner - D:\WINDOWS\system32\ati2sgag.exe
    O23 - Service: avast! Antivirus - AVAST Software - D:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: avast! Mail Scanner - AVAST Software - D:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: avast! Web Scanner - AVAST Software - D:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Bonjour Service - Apple Inc. - D:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
    O23 - Service: Canon Camera Access Library 8 (CCALib8) - Canon Inc. - D:\Program Files\Canon\CAL\CALMAIN.exe
    O23 - Service: InCD Helper (InCDsrv) - Nero AG - D:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\InCDsrv.exe
    O23 - Service: iPod Service - Apple Inc. - D:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
    O23 - Service: Java Quick Starter (JavaQuickStarterService) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. - D:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    O23 - Service: NBService - Nero AG - D:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\Nero BackItUp\NBService.exe
    O23 - Service: NMIndexingService - Nero AG - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NMIndexingService.exe
    O23 - Service: PLFlash DeviceIoControl Service - Prolific Technology Inc. - D:\WINDOWS\system32\IoctlSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Pml Driver HPZ12 - HP - D:\WINDOWS\system32\HPZipm12.exe
    O23 - Service: ServiceLayer - Nokia - D:\Program Files\PC Connectivity Solution\ServiceLayer.exe
    O23 - Service: Acronis Try And Decide Service (TryAndDecideService) - Unknown owner - D:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Fomatik\TrueImageTryStartService.exe
    O23 - Service: TrueVector Internet Monitor (vsmon) - Check Point Software Technologies LTD - D:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\vsmon.exe

    End of file - 9826 bytes

    Attached Files:

  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    XP has this user (both Home & Pro) but it is only accessible using the Safe Boot technique. This is the only login that the XP/Home user can access the NTFS Security Tab in the Properties.

    The XP/Pro user can use any login with Admin Privs to get the Security Tab.
  19. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Thank you for that input jobeard. I have now tried and exhausted all options without success. This leaves the choices of:

    1. Reloading an Acronis image that is about 2 years old after first saving all settings, documents, music, emails, etc. Then after restoring the OS, updating security and other programs; and finally restoring settings, documents, etc.

    2. Running a Repair Install from the installation CD which has been upgraded to an nLite CD with SP3 included. I'm not referring here to the "R" Repair option from the installation disc, but proceeding as if doing a fresh install, but then choosing the OS to repair after accepting the agreement, etc.

    3. Doing a format and a fresh installation.

    The 2nd option is the simplest and preferred method, but can anyone definitively say how safe it is?

    Also would it be necessary to first back up the contents of My Music, My Documents, etc? I seem to recall doing one some years ago, and if memory serves me right, some of the programs wouldn't run properly, shortcuts were missing, etc.
  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I just skimmed the thread so sorry if any detail already addressed that i missed.. but will add some comments

    Re: MS Office 2003
    I've seen that identical problem on several XP Pro machines all running Office 2003 where no Office 2003 security updates would install. At least in each case i fix (i think saw it on 3-4 different family machines), i uninstalled then reinstalled Office 2003 ran Windows Update and everything worked

    Re: Adobe
    You might also first try Windows install cleanup tool. Run it and see if any Adobe product is listed and remove it. Let us know if this resolved the problem or not

    Re: System Restores might also help if trying to restore back to a working point in time that you have a Windows restore checkpoint saved
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    one btw about the registry....

    Altho you might
    > Find Adobe as part of a registry key name
    > And/or you might also find Adobe in the registry in a text string, e.g. "Adobe Creative Suite"

    Windows translates human friendly product names into CLSIDs and then stores product registry info by its CLSID.

    Example: {DF9A1DA0-23C0-101B-B02E-FDFDFDFDFDFD} is the CLSID for Adobe Creative Suite 3 products so registry cleanup by hand can still be a bit trickier

    /* edit */
    => meaning, the Adobe installer might be looking in the registry and seeing the Adobe Reader CLSID so thinks it's already installed

    => Can you uninstall / reinstall Office 2003? Then try Installer Cleanup tool for Adobe
  22. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Office 03 Uninstall

    Thanks for the input.

    1. I haven't tried uninstalling/reinstalling Office 03, and will give that a try. Whether or not that will fix the Adobe problem is problematical. Also there are two Windows security updates that it can download but can't install.

    Is there any freeware that can repair the "Windows Installer" program?

    2. I tried "Windows Install Cleanup" but it could not install the program.

    It's interesting to note that when I ran sfc /scannow using the Run command box and the nLite XP CD with SP3, it repaired nearly 300 files. Maybe the system is just too corrupted to repair. However, aside from Adobe and updates everthing else works fine.
  23. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1. Just to clarify
    Just to double check, I'm assuming you're saying you used nLite to build an XP SP3, yes? But you didn't build XP Lite? (you're running the full version of XP Home or Pro.. i.e. you didn't do anything to cut it down)

    2. If you simply download and try to install/uninstall any freeware tool, does the Installer fail for everything???? (or just problems with Adobe and Cleanup tool)

    3. Not sure how to interpret 300 files being replaced but, for now, would simply start by seeing if the MS Installer will work with any other simple tools

    ALSO.... fyi: XP is using the older, default installer that comes with XP. If, in fact, it's not working FOR ANYTHING, i think (would have to double check ) that the newer MS Installer that comes with Vista and Win 7 can be downloaded from MS Download center. Of course, that probably still assumes the current installer can install it! (catch-22?)

    but let's stick to current installer for the moment.. see if it's failing for any other freeware tool (e.g. CCleaner )

    /* edit */
    btw.. one other possible option to consider is doing an XP Repair Install. but first see how the results from checking the installer and office removal etc. works
  24. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    If I may add something,

    Poppa Bear, you finally answered ruready2’s relevant question in regards to security updates in post #17, he was asking if you could install OTHER security updates which you finally reported back that you could.

    This leaves me 3 questions reading through the posts that might be relevant.

    Is the copy of XP Home, legit with all post SP3 updates performed manually selecting the Custom option rather than the Automatic or Express that don't include "Software Optional" and "Hardware Optional" just "High Priority"?

    In case of Manual updates, are you accessing Windows or Microsoft Update? If not Microsoft update, how were you alerted about the Office 2003 updates?

    Office 2003 Sp3 and some other updates will fail through Microsoft update if the copy of Office is not Legit, is your friends copy legit?

    Some updates fail with Automatic updates, There are instances that a legit XP and Office fail Genuine Advantage check!

    Sorry if these have been posted, I did read the entire thread but I don't always trust my eye doctor.
  25. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7


    To LookinAround:
    Yes, I'm using an nLite build with SP3 on a full version of XP Home, and it was not modified in any other way except to add SP3.

    No, it was able to uninstall Adobe Air and Adobe Acrobat. However, all three Adobe programs are still showing in Add/Remove Programs utility.

    Pardon my ignorance, I'm not that computer literate on registry entries, but if I'm reading you correctly this means some Adobe keys could still be there but not detected by using the 'Find' parameter in a manual search? If this is the case, how would it be possible to detect these? As mentioned earlier I have run registry cleans with Toni Arts registry cleaner and Glary Utilities. Would running these have removed the "hidden" Adobe keys?

    To Sharam:
    My apologies, I incorrectly stated it could not download 2 Windows updates.

    It downloaded and installed 6 Windows Security updates. It is only the 2 security updates for Office that it can download but not install. I was also able to uninstall Zone Alarm free, and install the latest version of ZA free.

    1. Yes, both XP and Office are genuine with installation CDs and alpha numeric Keys.

    2. It is set to auto-update via the Security Centre. This problem first became apparent when auto updates would not install. At this point I ran manual updates using the Microsoft, (not Windows), install engine, and only High Priority search. I have not tried Custom, but will do this.

    It will also not download or install a Nokia update for a program already installed to download photos from a camera to the PC.

    Incidentally, two years back I installed a larger SATA, (in place of the existing IDE), hard drive in my friend's PC; and then did a fresh installation of Windows. The last program I installed was Adobe, and when I tried to uninstall Adobe Acrobat and Air, it borked the whole installation, and I had to start from scratch. 2nd time round I installed Adobe first, and had no problems. For reasons unknown some programs seem to depend on the sequence in which they are installed relative to other programs or updates, like SP3, in order to avoid software conflicts.

    I also apologize for the delay in replying. However, my friend is a single mother who works full time and has 2 teenage daughters who regularly surf the net. This means my access to the machine is not always readily available and I shudder to think what her daughters may have downloaded from the net. However, I have run Avast A/V, Malwarebytes, and Super Antispyware.

    I will not reply again until I have tried to:

    1. Uninstall Office and re-install.

    2. Run a manual Custom search for updates with the Microsoft search engine.

    In the meantime can anyone give me definitive info on how safe it is to do an Install/Repair from the original XP installation CD, as opposed to using the "R" option? As mentioned above, should I back up all data first?
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