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Windows installer error 1601 and error 3


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#1 wrvh

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:43 AM

Yesterday I was infected with the 'Windows Fixdisk' malware/virus. I used the bleepingcomputer guide to get rid of it: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-windowsfixdisk

The steps included installing Malwarebytes and RegTweaker (my mistake). I bought the registered versions. I cleaned things up with both programs, and Malwarebytes is now running in the background.

Now, after getting rid of the 'Windows Fixdisk' issue, I decided to install an up-to-date version of Comodo internet security. I uninstalled the old version and tried to install the new one. That didn't work.

The installer almost immediately gives me the following error:

"Cannot install COMODO Internet Security
Error: 1601. The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This
can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact
your support personnel for assistance.

Would you like to try again?

Yes/No"

So, I guess Windows Installer has a problem (oh and 'trying again' didn't work, but I guess you knew that). This is what I tried so far:

- I installed the latest version of Windows Installer (4.5). It did not solve the problem.
- I tried the MSIEXEC /UNREGISTER and MSIEXEC /REGSERVER thing. Didn't help either.
- I checked out Windows Installer in the 'Services' menu (Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services).
Startup type is set to 'Manual' and Service status says 'Stopped'. When I try to start it, I get the following error:

"Windows could not start the Windows Installer service on Local
Computer.

Error 3: The system cannot find the path specified."

I'm all out options here. Any help would be very much appreciated. Oh, I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium, SP1, with all updates.

Edited by wrvh, 20 April 2011 - 01:04 PM.


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#2 wrvh

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:13 AM

Update:

Installing other software doesn't work either. The setup either locks up or shows an error.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:48 AM

<<The steps included installing Malwarebytes and RegTweaker...>>.

BC would never publish a procedure involving attempted malware removal...which refers to a program like Reg Tweaker. There is no mention at all of such program or comment regarding such...in the directions I am looking at.

For the record:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
Louis

Edited by hamluis, 20 April 2011 - 11:49 AM.


#4 wrvh

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:00 PM

You are absolutely right, my apologies! I really don't know where I did get the idea to use regtweaker... I was up all night getting trying to fix the Windows Fixdisk issue, I must have made a mistake somewhere.

So, did I mess up my registry? Everything else seems to work fine. Could it be the reason Windows Installer stopped working?? Is there a solution?

Edited by wrvh, 20 April 2011 - 01:01 PM.


#5 hamluis

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:54 PM

If Windows Installer is the only apparent issue...I would try updating/reinstalling it.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=5a58b56f-60b6-4412-95b9-54d056d6f9f4&displaylang=en , please...read the instructions (under Instructions on that webpage) and download the correct set of files for your O/S.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-performance/installer-error-1001/a9f833b1-9b56-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5

Louis

#6 wrvh

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 04:27 PM

Thank you for your response, I appreciate the help. I tried updating Windows Installer, but when I run the .msu file I get an error stating:

"The update does not apply to your system."

I am 100% sure I'm using the right file (Windows6.0-KB942288-v2-x86.msu, I have Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 installed), and I followed the instructions. Any ideas?

#7 hamluis

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:51 PM

I don't have Vista so I can't help with Vista-specifix downloads...but you need to realize that there is 32-bit Vista and 64-bit Vista...installing the files intended for the wrong version probably won't work.

How To Tell, MS Guidance

Louis

#8 wrvh

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:20 AM

Like I said, I am 100% sure I'm using the right version (32-bit / x86). I really appreciate your help, but I'm not a complete noob when it comes to computers. I've searched for a solution for hours before starting this topic. All the usual fixes don't seem to work in this case though. So right now, it comes down to this:

1 - I can't install software due to Windows Installer not working (error 1601).
2 - I can't start Windows Installer in the 'Services' window (error 3).
3 - I can't reinstall or update Windows Installer ('The update does not apply to your system').

#9 hamluis

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:00 AM

I'd do a repair install or run the sfc /scannow command, since there may be more than Windows Installer amiss due to key system files being damaged.

The fact that you ran Reg Tweaker...adds more support for my doing the above.

Louis

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833

Edited by hamluis, 21 April 2011 - 11:03 AM.





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