Win XP machine install problem

425 pts.
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Windows XP
Windows XP Pro
I have an HP box, plenty of memory and HD space. I reformatted because of a spyware problem, reinstalled Win XP Pro and downloaded updates including SP3. The computer seems to work fine. But I cannot install anything. Whether from a CD or download (e.g. free antivirus or anti-spyware) I get a message saying that the install file is corrupted. Could it be a hardware problem? If so, what? Thanks

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The Microsoft Installer may be corrupt. You may not be able to correct this without reinstalling the OS. Check the event log for details and follow up on the errors/warnings. If you do end up reinstalling, make sure to do so using trusted media.

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  • Schmidtw
    Are you sure you are administrator on the box? Fi you don't have proper rights/permissions, you would be able to install anything. Hope this helps! -Schmidtw
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  • Britinga
    Yes, I have admin rights. I tried reinstalling the OS but this time it failed, claiming that the media was corrupt. The media is valid - it installed fine on another box, and the CD is genuine (we have a volume license). I'm assuming it's a hardware issue. Would it be more likely to be motherboard, memory, or hard drive?
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  • Lonewolfbw
    In my experience, a good percentage of the time if youcan eliminate the CD media as the problem, then the RAM is the next place you want to check. With my attempts at installing WIndows, almost every time there was a problem along these lines it was a RAM issue. Plus, that's an easy one to test, since it's far easier to pop out/replace RAM than the other two.
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  • Wrobinson
    You can now test RAM using Windows Memory Diagnostic, courtesy of Microsoft.
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  • Wrobinson
    Based on the discussion, it may be that you have a physical hard drive problem. There are many tools that you can use to troubleshoot the problem. The first of which is chkdsk. Refer to the following article for more information and guidance http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457122.aspx
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  • ShaneAlexander
    Agree with above, looking like a hardware issue, the common factor could be ram or harddrive, I'm leaning towards harddrive. Find out the make/model of the hard-drive, and search for an offline (e.g. create a CD) diagnostics program (e.g. Maxtor, Seagate have them). Or HP have Offline diagnostics software. "HP Insight Diagnostics Offline Edition" "PC-Doctor Offline DOS Diagnostics" Get HP software from below link, for your HP model And definitely ensure you have latest BIOS and harddrive firmware. http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html There is also an Online HP system check http://h20239.www2.hp.com/techcenter/HP_SystemCheck/hp_syscheck.htm Also... could be software (but as you've rebuilt it's more likely hardware), so have a look at below links which may help. "Windows Installer 4.5 is available" (e.g. to update the installer) http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942288 "You cannot install some updates or programs" http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798 The cryptographic service needs to be working perfectly to install any apps. p.s. I'm puzzled as you say you cannot install anything, yet say that you can install SP3 and updates. When does the issue start? What is the exact error message / number?
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  • ShaneAlexander
    (Sorry about the links in above, haven't got used to this editor yet)
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  • Britinga
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. This did turn out to be a memory problem. I removed 3 of the 4 RAM strips and was able to reinstall Windows and the other apps. Then I replaced the RAM one strip at a time and used the Memory diagnostic tool that Wrobinson alerted me to. Thanks again for all your help.
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