Sunday, March 7, 2010

Problems Installing Updates on Windows XP (KB976881 and KB977713)

I ran Automatic Updates in Windows XP Pro, running as a guest machine in VMware Workstation 7 on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).  I had problems with two of the updates, namely, Security Update for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 (KB976881) and Update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB977713).  All other updates had installed without a problem; but when I ran these two updates, I got "Some updates could not be installed" and then the list of these two.  I went to the manual download pages for KB976881 and KB977713, but when I ran them manually (either from the website or after saving them to a named file on my system), I got "The update cannot be applied."   This problem persisted after rebooting the virtual machine and the system.  Unfortunately, searches for those messages yielded nothing helpful.

In Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, I selected Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and clicked Change.  I tried Reinstall or Repair > Detect and Repair and clicked the Install button.  This ran for a while and then said, "Installation ended prematurely because of an error" and then "Fatal error during installation."  I tried Change again, and this time chose Add or Remove Features.  Interestingly, Outlook did not even seem to be installed, leading me to wonder why Microsoft Updates was trying to update its junk email filter.  PowerPoint was installed, though.  I reversed this:  I unchecked PowerPoint, and I checked Outlook, and then clicked the Update button.  This, too, gave me "Installation ended prematurely because of an error."  I tried the same thing again, but this time I only tried one of the two:  that is, I unchecked PowerPoint, but did not check Outlook.  This, too, ended prematurely.  I tried once more, this time leaving PowerPoint checked and also checking Outlook.  Once again, installation ended prematurely.

In Add or Remove Programs, I clicked Change > Reinstall or Repair > Reinstall Office.  But that, too, ended prematurely.  So, using the last card in the deck, I chose Change > Uninstall.  This successfully uninstalled Office 2003.  While I was removing things, I also tried to uninstall Microsoft Office Live Add-in 1.3, but evidently I should have uninstalled that before uninstalling Office.  I ran a cleanup program (Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal) repeatedly, until there were no more registry errors, and then reinstalled Office 2003.  Early in the installation process, I got a message, "Setup has detected pre-release or trial versions of Microsoft Office products on this computer.  To continue installation, Setup must remove these products."  This was a surprise to me, but I said OK.  I did a Custom Install, installing everything but InfoPath, which I never used.  When installation was done, I did not go immediately to look for updates on the Web, but instead installed Service Packs 1 and 2 from my computer, since I had already downloaded them.  Then I went to the Office Update page and saw that I probably should have just installed Service Pack 3, since it seemed to include SP1 and SP2.  I downloaded SP3 so I would have it for future use, and installed it from the download.  Then I went to Microsoft Update and ran repeated Express installations until there was nothing left, followed by a Custom search, to see what else they had for me.  There was nothing.  Just to be sure, I rebooted and tried the Custom search again.  Still nothing.  It seemed I had resolved the problem.