Windows Installer Problems

When Installer Loses It

Hope for the Best

The internal simplicity of Installer

For a general overview of Manifold Technical Support, please see the Support page. This page provides some tips on working with Windows Installer.

Manifold products such as Radian Studio and Manifold GIS products are installed by Microsoft Windows Installer, a standard installation utility built into Windows that is used by innumerable applications. When the Manifold product is uninstalled using the Windows Control Panel's Add or Remove Programs applet, the removal is done by Windows Installer.

Using Microsoft's own program to install and uninstall an application is a good thing because doing so ensures maximum compatibility with Microsoft's standards and with other programs that also use Microsoft standards for installation.

Although Windows Installer is a very reliable, well-understood program, it is possible for Windows systems or software installations to be damaged in ways that might get Windows Installer confused. This most frequently happens when people or third party programs partially uninstall or partially reinstall, tinker with registry entries, delete installation files they might need later or make other alterations to Windows. But such damage can occur for other reasons such as transient hardware failures, memory blips caused from cosmic ray impacts or any of the other innumerable highly exotic causes of strange troubles within modern computers. Don't take it personally.

When Installer is confused any attempt to install or uninstall the Manifold product can result in all sorts of unexpected error messages. Deal with that by keeping calm and dealing with the situation step by step.

Important: There are many ways that Windows installations can be damaged so that even normally reliable programs like Windows Installer cannot function. This is part of life with Windows: over time Windows installations can be damaged so that important parts of the Windows system cannot function correctly. To deal with such expected damage to Windows experienced Windows users will make use of restore points, backups and other strategies that make it easier to recover from damage.

Advice for avoiding problems with Windows Installer:

  • Critically Important: Retain the .msi file used to install whatever is your current Manifold product installation, in case you later need it for an uninstall or reinstall.
  • If you ever encounter unexpected messages from Windows Installer, such as "Newer Version installed," try resolving the problem by uninstalling (using the Windows Control Panel Add or Remove Programs applet) your current Manifold product installation and then re-installing.
  • If that does not work, try using the Microsoft utilities described below to clean up Windows problems.

It can be very difficult to repair damage to Windows systems that prevents Windows Installer from working correctly with a given installation. Windows experts know it is often far faster to simply back up all important files, re-install Windows and then re-install applications for a clean and undamaged Windows installation.

Microsoft Utilities

There are two main Microsoft utilities that are used to repair Installer problems:

  • Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter - This is your first choice. Download the Troubleshooter from this page and follow Microsoft's instructions.
  • Microsoft Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, a program no longer provided by Microsoft. Use only as a last, desperate step before reloading your Windows system if the Troubleshooter does not work. If you can obtain a copy of the utility, run it and then reboot and install or uninstall the Manifold product.

You may or may not be able to find the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter at a Microsoft site. It may be replaced with a different utility or a Microsoft web-based service. If so, you should consider using any such newer or different or replacement utility or service. Microsoft continuously updates and changes the availability of such programs or services that it provides. Manifold cannot advise you on how to obtain a Microsoft-provided resource from Microsoft. You must contact Microsoft for any such assistance.

Important: It can be extremely difficult to repair damage to Windows. Beginners or inexpert consumers will often cause far more damage to Windows when attempting to make a repair. Do not just "try stuff" without knowing in great technical detail what you are doing and the risks of any procedures.

Most experts will not attempt to find and fix random damage but will simply re-install Windows for a fresh start. That's a good strategy for beginners as well.

Tips for Experts

If there is a problem uninstalling and the above Windows utilities do not help, creating and reading an uninstall log may help. You can produce an uninstall log by running a Windows uninstall from the command line with full Administrator privileges:

msiexec /x manifold-9.0.161-x64.msi /l*v uninstall.txt

The uninstall.txt logfile may show what is causing the problem.

Important: Disable all antivirus software for the duration of install / uninstall. Antivirus packages block files too often due to false positives. When that happens, the files cannot unregister and therefore they cannot uninstall. False positives happen most often with 32-bit modules. If you have been running a 64-bit Manifold product, you might not have noticed that some of the 32-bit modules were silently blocked "for your safety" due to a false positive.

Important: Manifold does not provide technical support services for fixing damage to Windows installations. Manifold cannot provide advice for finding Microsoft resources within Microsoft's web pages. Your authoritative technical resources for Microsoft products are Microsoft documentation and technical support services. This page provides advice that has helped some Manifold users with typical Windows installations but that is the limit of advice Manifold will provide for repairing Windows systems. Your particular Windows installation may be different or may have experienced different damage than other Windows installations, so the advice in this page may not apply to you. If so, please consult your Microsoft tech support resources for assistance.


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Manifold products deliver quality, performance and value in the world's most sophisticated, most modern and most powerful spatial engineering products. Total integration ensures unbeatably low cost of ownership. Tell your friends!