On my 2004 HPa430n (Win XP SP2), “Windows Installer” launches at start up,
trying to install a Fax. When it can find the installation file it wants, the
next window requests you insert the Fax disk in the CD drive. The Source box
has the numeral 1 in it. When you click Browse the filename box contains
In Task Manager > Processes two instances of msiexec.exe are running. One
belongs to SYSTEM, the other to Owner. When I try to “Cancel” out of the
installer, msiexec chews up all my CPU time. When I use Task Manager >
Applications > “End Task” the task named Fax, the installer is killed
(msiexec.exe Owner) until the next time you boot or re-boot.
Neither HP nor MS offer a solution. Ad-aware, RegCure, Xoftspy and eTrust
haven’t helped. No other weirdness obvious to me.
It’s deja vu all over again for me. I had a very similar problem – whenever
I tried to scan something, upon completion, Windows Installer would run
attempting to install some additional HP software component. Cancelling that
worked ok, but it was an annoyance I had to face with every scan.
And it’s an annoyance many people face with every reboot.
The good news is that there’s a free tool that might help.
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The Windows Installer CleanUp
Utility is a free download from the Microsoft support web site. Its job is
very, very simple.
Caution: its job is simple, but let’s be clear about its
job before we go any further. It is not an uninstaller. The
correct way to uninstall software is to use the Add/Remove programs utility in
Control Panel, or the uninstall program that accompanied the software. The
Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is a last resort utility for
cleaning up issues related to Windows Installer. It does not actually install,
or uninstall, any software.
When you run the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, it presents a list –
typically a long list – of items known to the Microsoft Installer:
These are all various components that the Windows Installer service knows
Now, backup. First. We’re about to make changes to your system, and if
something gets screwed up, you’ll want to be able to recover, right?
In your case, we’ll scan the list looking for something that appears to be
FAX related, and something that matches any additional clues you might be
seeing from the Microsoft Installer messages on your reboot. For example if
it’s HP Fax software that the installer is looking for, then look for HP Fax
related software in the cleanup utility.
Once you’re certain you’ve found the right thing … remove it.
Now reboot, and see if that didn’t make the problem go away. In many cases
if you’ve selected the correct item it will.
If you then actually do want to install or reinstall the software in
question, you’ll need to start from scratch with a clean install of that