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unable to install anything!

Please Help! I first noticed a problem a few weeks ago when I was trying to install a student version of AutoCad. I spent countless hours trying to reading forums and trying to fix the problem on my end without success. Most recently I was trying to update Microsoft security essentials and it will no update, another error code with it goes to intstall. Same with my window's updates. When I try to update my computer it gives me another error code (652) unable to intall. Additionally, I cannot update or install the newest version of itunes. Please help! Not quite sure what to do. My laptob is about a 1 1/2 years old. I have 158GB free of 280, so I think I should have enough space. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


My Computer


Staff member
Vista Guru
Gold Member
Welcome Debra
Your symtoms are a classic sign of malwre
Update and run a full anti virus scan
Download and run a full and updated malwarebytes scan

If negative
Try to install in clean boot. If it works follow the procedure to determine the cause.

If it does not work try an SFC scan.
If errors are found run 3 times

If none of the above work, try to correct by a system restore, dated a week before the problem began.

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS420
    6 gig
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD3650 256 MB
    Sound Card
    Intergrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell SP2009W 20 inch Flat Panel w Webcam
    Hard Drives
    640 gb
    Dell USB 4 button optical
    Dell USB
    Other Info
    DSL provided by ATT

This error message is very specific (Hex lookup, not decimal, error revolving around Windows Installer, not Modems)

  ERROR_INSTALL_ALREADY_RUNNING                                 winerror.h
# Another installation is already in progress.  Complete that
# installation before proceeding with this install.
# 5 matches found for "652"
You have an issue with one of your services. Any Windows Update, any Microsoft Security Essentials Update (which uses Windows Update), any program which uses the Windows installer will all be broken by this one error.

It isn't easy to fix, and I would estimate to be fixable on about 75% of machines.

First, I would like to reiterate what Richc46 has said. Credit goes to him for the things he has suggested!

However, there are a few, specific and quick fixes which might just work.

Please access services.msc. You can see how to do this here: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/59910-services.html

I am now going to tell you what to do in there. If you need any help at all, do not be afraid to ask. It is better to ask now, before making a mistake! We will always be here for you.

In the leftmost Name column of services.msc, scroll down to Windows Installer.

Double click on it. Click on the Stop button, if it is started. Leave it at Stopped if it is already stopped. Set the startup type to Manual. This is crucial!

Restart your computer and re-test. If there is still a problem, make sure that no installers whatsoever, or Windows Updates, or anything are running, and then Open Task Manager: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/121580-task-manager-open-close-applications-processes.html

and kill all and any of the following Processes:


Next, we need to view the registry:

Dwarf said:
To invoke the registry editor, click the start orb and type 'regedit' into the search box. If you need to use the program with administrative privileges, right click on the program and supply the necessary credentials, otherwise press enter/return. The program will appear.
Then please navigate to:


Does the key Installer\InProgress exist?

If it does, please just tell me, but don't do anything yet.

Then please try the Clean Boot and what richc46 has said.

There are more advanced solutions, but I am hoping that we won't have to go there.

The very best of luck!


My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 420
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.50GHz
    Stock Dell 0TP406
    4 gb (DDR2 800) 400MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 3870 (512 MBytes)
    Sound Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Dell 2007FP and 1 x (old) Sonic flat screen
    Screen Resolution
    1600 x 1200 and 1280 x 1204
    Hard Drives
    1 x 640Gb (SATA 300)
    Western Digital: WDC WD6400AAKS-75A7B0

    1 x 1Tb (SATA 600)
    Western Digital: Caviar Black, SATA 6GB/S, 64Mb cache, 8ms
    Western Digital: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device
    Stock PSU - 375W
    Dell XPS 420
    Stock Fan
    Advent Optical ADE-WG01 (colour change light up)
    Dell Bluetooth
    Internet Speed
    120 kb/s
    Other Info
    ASUS USB 3.0 5Gbps/SATA 6Gbps - PCI-Express Combo Controller Card (U3S6)
To add onto what niemiro and richc46 said, try opening your computer in safe mode with internet connection. Then download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Run the program to see if you have any malware installed by accident on your computer.

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 530