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Windows Installer - Garbage text, installation fails


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#1 notmyusername

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:44 AM

Basically, this I think should explain what my problem is with this EVIL piece of software:

Posted Image

This shows up whenever I attempt to install Office 2000 or 2003. This is definitely not the first time it happens, I've seen it before in some other apps. The only strange thing here is that it's been just a month after I did a clean install of the system.

So, even if I try to "blindly" proceed with the installation, it fails after a screen or two with various error messages (one is the standard XP error message, the other appeared to be something installer-specific, but it only happened once so I couldn't printscreen it) or even with none at all.

I've already tried the "msiexec /unregister && msiexec /regserver" mantra, it didn't help. I even tried to remove the "East Asian Languages" support and reboot, but as strange as it might seem it is basically the same thing, and the kanji characters still show up there like that (just WHERE do they come from if I REMOVED these fonts for God's sake?..).
If there is any other way to try and fix it, please let me know.

My system is Windows XP SP3 Russian. I can post the hijackthis log if it's needed.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

This is not a malware forum, please do not post any malware logs here.

Your graphic doesn't seem to be working...oops, now working but useless to me. Do you care to post translations or do you just want us to guess?

If you have a Russian version of Windows installed...why would you not expect Russian language error messages, etc.?

Louis

I'm assuming that what you posted is readable to someone familiar with Russian.

Edited by hamluis, 04 February 2010 - 11:48 AM.


#3 notmyusername

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:33 PM

Mojibake or "unintelligible sequence of characters" (...) is the happenstance of incorrect, unreadable characters shown when computer software fails to render text correctly according to its associated character encoding.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojibake

That's what I meant by "garbage text". There's nothing I can translate because it is neither Russian nor readable. And moreover, this is the lesser of two evils. Like I said, the real problem here is that it just doesn't install. I try to proceed clicking where the "next" button would normally be, but the installer just quits with/without error and that's it.

Edited by notmyusername, 04 February 2010 - 12:36 PM.


#4 Elise

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:36 PM

Looks interesting :thumbsup:

Does this also occur when using other applications or in-build windows features or only with the installer?

regards, Elise


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#5 notmyusername

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 01:01 PM

Now that you mention itó just now I tried to run the uninstaller for my mail software (The Bat) which is in Russian as well. Everything seemed fine. But when I ran its installer (an .msi file) next, the text it showed was again in a garbled state not unlike that in the screenshot.
On the other hand, English-language .msi packages and other applications (including non-.msi Russian-language installers, e.g. NSIS-based) do not seem to have this problem.

Maybe it's also worth mentioning that I've had definitely installed both apps (Office and The Bat) in the past without problems, there wasn't any of this weird stuff.

#6 Elise

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 01:53 PM

Well, first thing, lets see if Dial-a-fix is able to be of help.
  • Please download Dial-A-Fix from one of the following mirrors:
  • Extract the zip file to your desktop.
  • Double click Dial-a-Fix.exe to start the program. Note - you might see an error message regarding Internet Explorer. Just ignore this and continue.
  • Place a checkmark in front of "fix windows installer"
  • Click on go
  • Exit/Close Dial-A-Fix
Let me know if this makes any difference.

regards, Elise


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#7 notmyusername

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:10 AM

Just showing up to mention that I've managed to track it down. It is related to a program called AppLocale. The first time it is used to launch an application, it, for whatever reason, creates a number of registry entries, one of which is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Custom\MSIEXEC.EXE. This key is exactly the reason for the strange behavior of Windows Installer. If it is deleted, everything is back to normal (AppLocale does not recreate it in consequent runs).

#8 Elise

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:17 PM

Thanks for letting us know!

regards, Elise


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