Annoying (Windows Installer) Technical Note and Solution.

This post deals with what to do when you want to use the “IFI Loader” or even “EasyC” and keep getting a Message about some other program that is not installed correctly, and needs a CR-ROM inserted in the CD/DVD Drive. After pressing Cancel for 4-6 times, your desired applications will Load.


Most all Windows 32 Bit (and 64 Bit) Applications, developed with Micro-Soft’s Visual Studio, are Installed with Micro-Soft’s “Windows Installer”. These Installers will have the “.msi” File Extension, or might even be inside an Executable File (.exe).

Note: These “File Extensions” are only visible if you have disabled “Hide extensions for known file types” in the “View” Tab of the "Folder Options of the Control Panel or located on the “Tool Menu” of “Windows Explorer”.

The “Windows Installer” looks like this when first launched:

The “Windows Installer” uses its own DataBase, that can be corrupted or confused if Applications Installed with the “Windows Installer” are not properly Uninstalled with the “Windows Installer”. So, Micro-Soft has provided a solution to help you with this, it is called the Windows Installer Clean Up utility.

Some notes about this Utility… First not only do you have to be an Administrator to install this Utility, the Installer only sets this program up for the Administrative User that Installs it. Not All Administrative Users.

On my WinXP Pro SP3 System, MAGOR, my primary Administrator User is Install. The “Windows Installer Clean Up” utility was installed in the “Application Data” sub-directory under the User Profile for “Install”, with a ShortCut in the Profile’s “Start Menu”. (C:\Documents and Settings\Install\Application Data\Microsoft\Installer{121634B0-2F4B-11D3-ADA3-00C04F52DD52}\Icon386ED4E3.exe) and (C:\Documents and Settings\Install\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Install Clean Up). Only Administrator, Install can run this Util.

This Utility looks like this:

You might be able to see that EasyC v2 and EasyC Pro are installed with the “Windows Installer”. RobotC is also installed with the “Windows Installer” as well as lots of other Software. When launching any of these applications, their StartUp can be affected by any other of the applications, that are Mis-Configured, or have been Corrupted During their Install, or Uninstall, or in General Disk Corruption.

You will most likely need to run a Registry Cleaner like the one in CCleaner to remove Registry Entries to the Mis-Configured Application, after the Application has been removed from your Computer, one way or the other and the “Windows Installer Clean Up” Utility has been run. Don’t forget to make a Backup of the Registry before the “Cleaning Process”, just in case.


I posted this message, not because it is directly related to Vex, but because so many of the Windows Software Applications for Vex can be effected by this Windows Installer Database Issue.

Outstanding - Thanks!

Your Welcome… :wink:

It was just one of those “annoying windows things”, that I have been “plagued with” here and there. I did this for my own sanity

Some People define Insanity as “Repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result”, other people just ask, “Why do you keep hitting your Head against that Wall”? To which I reply, “Because it feels so good when I stop”.

“Windows Installer”, the first notable time, I was able to “fix it”, after a Month of looking for the “exact” installer that the “damaged application” needed to have. IIRC, the Application ran fine, just the Windows Installer was “cranky”, and “took it out” on all the other Application that were installed with it.

The Last Time was after Uninstalling the 2009 LabView for FRC, and having it only partial uninstall, and leaving no uninstall options in the Control Panel. LabView installs SO MANY individual Applications, I would have spent a Day or Two, just trying to locate the individual uninstall shortcuts. So, then deleting the remaining Files, by Hand, and Cleaning the Registry, rebooting into Safe Mode, and Deleting More Files, and then Cleaning the Registry, again… All was good, untill I launched the IFI Loader!!! Arggg!!!

Great post MarkO. I’ve used both programs pretty frequently to clean up failed windows program installs. In fact, I did so just yesterday to clear up a problem launching MS Office on a machine here at IFI.

A post out of “Frustration changed to Joy!”

I have used ccleaner for a year or two now… The “Windows Installer Clean Up” I have never head of of till I used Google to search for help with the “Windows Installer”, and found the link, just last week.

The irritating thing is… My usage of the IFI Loader, is “infringed on”, by a Module supporting LabView, which the Only thing in common they have, is they are used for developing Control Programs for Robots, not even the Same Control Software or even the Same Robots.

I can understand if a Program or Module installed by the “Windows Installer” is corrupted, and when launching that Program or Module, the “Windows Installer” tells you that fact, and assists you in fixing it. But I can not understand why launching a totally Different Program or Module, that I want to use, and which has No Install Issues, needs me to fix a Program or Module I don’t want to use.

The “Windows Installer” is just a “by-product” of the application your installing. But that “by-product” ties Every One of the Installed Programs together, whether they are dependent on one another or not.

Sorry, I have beat this Subject to Death… I hope this help one of these Bright “Technology” People in the Future…

Well this is only a guess of mine seeing as how I would need to look at both programs more in depth, but it’s possible they share some files between them such as common .dll files or device drivers. Installing/uninstalling one program can possibly alter these shared files in a way that disrupts the Windows Installer entry. Therefore, the Windows Installer might just be trying to “help” you, thinking that something needs to be repaired (which might be just an altered file association).

Yes, annoying I know. But hey, at least “there’s an app for that” :wink: