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Windows Installer


FPCH New Member
May 9, 2007
I am running a Dell Dimensions 3000 with XP Home. I have had a bunch of problems recently with slow running etc which I fixed by running ms.config and slimming down the startup programmes and running Bug Doctor and Registry Fix to cure the gremlins. Although it now loads up much quicker I still have a problem that each time I access an MS application (IE, My Computer, My Docs, Add Remove software etc) it launches Windows Installer, which takes about 3 minutes to run - frustrating.

Also similar probs with Acrobat Pro 7.0.9 which will not open and I cannot disinstall it / reinstall (message: this patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package).

Unfortunately my system was not set up to create a restore point (yes - I know! It is now) so I cannot restore to an earlier point. I tried running XP repair and even a full replacement but it didn't work.

Any ideas how I can fix it please?




Jan 22, 2003
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
Hi ovingite;
It seems you have two related problems. Probably an MSinstaller issue which there is a Microsoft program to clean it up. I suspect this since it seems you might have used a registry cleaner.

Problem two is the message you got when you tried to uninstall Adobe. It uses the same Microsoft installer. Thanks for the exact error message. Let's deal with this problem first.

I searched for the last two weeks to deal with this issue myself only my problem was with Microsoft Office 2000Pro on a Wndows Millenium system which also uses the new MS installer version 2 for updates. The latest version for XP is 3.

After about 50 hours of research I found one solution for the error message. It was for a version of Office on XP but it worked for ME too. Keep in mind this in a MS installer issue which Adobe uses too. In any case it's worth a try. Backup your registry first just in case it doesn't work.

Click on the Computer on the top so it searches the whole registry.
Click Edit - Find and type in PATCHES. Click Find or Find Next.
Rename any FOLDERS on the left that says PATCHES to PATCHESOLD. These are called Keys.
Don't rename APPPATCHES or IPATCHES or anything else.
Also don't rename any data on the right.

You may notice that any FOLDER that is named PATCHES is a sub folder of INSTALLER.

Quit the registry editor. Reboot just to be sure. Try uninstalling Adobe again.
You can always double click the backup to merge it back into the registry if needed.

You're caught in a loop. The next step is to deal with your first problem. I'll send you some links tomorrow.

Manually set system restore points along the way while you're at it. Then keep restore on.

After all this you may need to reupdate any programs that use this installer such as Adobe and Microsoft Office and others.

Good luck;