Ok, maybe is it a bit late, but I've got an answer that saved my life multiple times lately. I think some recent Windows Update hotfix messed up things badly because I've seen many machines having the very same problem (from a Windows XP workstation to a Windows 2008 R2 Server, including Windows 2008 Server). Here is a solution that worked for me.
>Go to C:\Windows\System32\wbem
>Rename the Repository folder that's in it (maybe you'll have to reboot in safe mode in order to do this)
Not done ?... Ok, some more radical solution if the above failed : create a batch script (wmi_fix.bat looks like an appropriate name, given that WMI is the culprit) with the following content :
cd /d c:\temp
if not exist %windir%\system32\wbem goto TryInstall
cd /d %windir%\system32\wbem
net stop winmgmt
if exist Rep_bak rd Rep_bak /s /q
rename Repository Rep_bak
for %%i in (*.dll) do RegSvr32 -s %%i
for %%i in (*.exe) do call :FixSrv %%i
for %%i in (*.mof,*.mfl) do Mofcomp %%i
net start winmgmt
if /I (%1) == (wbemcntl.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (wbemtest.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (mofcomp.exe) goto SkipSrv
if not exist wmicore.exe goto End
net start winmgmt
This script is not mine and I don't know who posted it first : just google to find it elsewhere. It is not intended for the very error you have, but the underlying problem is the same : the wmi part of Windows somehow blew up on your computer. In my case, the problem was a SQL Server 2008 R32 refusing to install because of Windows Installer service not running. In fact, Windows Installer service was running (according to the service console) but not really (according to SQL 2008R2 installer). And whenever I wanted to check service dependencies, it showed an empty list, without error message but after a loooooooong wait.
I recently had a customer having trouble installing a french ERP (CEGID) because of the MSI installer failing to find a working Windows Installer service, and this fix worked for him too.
Maybe it's too late, but I hope this helps someone else. Because I didn't find any relevant and direct link to this WMI problem, when googling for the errors I was seeing myself.
Edited by Sylvain Langlade, 23 November 2011 - 07:12 AM.