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Windows installer pain

2009-10-30 19:19:17.327333+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

At some point, I think it was attempting to uninstall the "Lite" versions of Visual Studio C# or C++ after I'd installed the full version, attempts to install various software on my Windows Vista 64 machine started complaining about installs in progress. Today I decided I'd really like Python on Windows, so I tried a couple of times, and kept getting a message about another install in progress. A few reboots, a couple of web pages suggested some registry keys to delete, but the failures still happened.

Eventually I tracked down the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility on the Microsoft support site, so I downloaded it and tried to install it:

Yep, it says "Windows Installer Clean Up Setup", and it has failed because "Error 1500. Another installation is in progress. You must complete that installation before continuing this one." Which, of course, is exactly why I was trying to install the stupid thing in the first place.

I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike Windows more than I already did.

[ related topics: Humor Photography Microsoft Software Engineering moron Monty Python Python ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-30 19:30:47.212414+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh. Joy. Okay, so you can run this thing by downloading WinRAR, copying the enclosed files to a folder, renaming MsiZapU.exe to MsiZap.exe, and running msicuu.exe, but then you have to figure out which install to nuke. Turns out it wasn't the Visual Studio Express Editions (even though they wouldn't uninstall through the usual mechanisms).

So this machine is still screwed for anything that tries to use the official install mechanisms.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-30 20:42:27.395179+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Yeah, the Windows installer sucks serious rocks. Try creating one sometime :-( My personal preference has been for NSIS, although I'll admit these days some of that is because it's what I'm familiar with.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-30 20:50:32.493089+00 by: meuon

http://www.ubuntu.com http://www.debian.com http://www.centos.org http://www.redhat.com

I show people "apt-get install _____" and they cry.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-30 21:35:57.867831+00 by: Shawn

Indeed. Along those lines, I'm experimenting with AppSnap (one of several efforts to create an apt-like system for Windows).

Doesn't solve the problems from the original post though, since it just runs the Windows installer.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-30 23:04:43.717899+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm on 3½ hours of "Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update 1 of 1 ..". I'd hard power cycle it, but last night it took at least this long and had rebooted normally this morning.

Shawn, yeah, when I had to create a Windows installer recently I asked around and everyone said "NSIS", so I never bothered with trying to build an MSI.

Meuon, both my mom and Charlene have had reason to use Windows Vista recently, and both have said "this is awful! I miss my Ubuntu". I, on the other hand, need to develop Windows software. Grrr.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-31 00:54:12.854375+00 by: jeff

Does anyone have any experience with Windows 7 yet? Or are we skipping that one entirely? <grin>

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-31 13:53:26.331733+00 by: JT

I'm part of the MSDN, I tried Win 7 and noticed it has less compatibility than Vista did. I then uninstalled Win 7 because 90% of my programs are for XP or 2k.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-10-31 14:28:47.488611+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm buying new Windows on an as-needed only policy. Because I've got a whole bunch of embedded systems stuff, drivers for various devices took a long time to catch up to Vista and I've got no desires to be a pioneer.

It did eventually shut down last night. Reboot probably took half an hour of little dialogs popping up and then going away, I think it was trying to clear the install queue. We'll see how it is now.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-11-01 00:22:59.931769+00 by: JT

I've found that ccleaner from piriform.com helps clean out a lot of trash. Even shows an odd number of uninstall options for programs that don't actually show up in the vista uninstall program option. If there are old leftover files, it seems to get rid of them better than the normal "disk cleanup" operation you get from clicking properties after right-clicking the drive.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-11-01 10:37:01.534248+00 by: DaveP

I've been running Win7 at work. If compatibility with old software is not a priority, it's the least-sucky Windows yet, mostly because there's a lot of old cruft (especially drivers which would just cause mysterious crashes on Vista-64) that it just won't run.

Took me almost six months running it before I kicked my Win 7 computer out of frustration. That's about six times longer than any previous version of Windows.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-11-01 16:20:56.800603+00 by: jeff

I skipped Vista entirely (never touched it a single time) in the hopes Microsoft would finally produce a reasonable OS. Not that it's Ubuntu, but it may perhaps be something usable. I just bought a HP desktop with it pre-installed and may be buying a new laptop with the same. We'll see.