It also explains why I only got the error message on SOME installations (the 64-bit ones apparently). After tying all that I read, calling HP and Microsoft, no support, I am so glad I found this forum. After I stopped and started the local server, I was able to start the window installer services and then install all my software. If the command msiexec\regserver does not work you can try msiexec /regserver and see if that works. It's probably best to work extra hours if possible and just accept the fact you might need to get a whole new computer.
Now my installations are all working without a hitch. If you get a mesage saying there is "...already an installation in progress" open task manager and end the "msiexec" process then try again. Can't :- Add and Remove Applications Internet Explorer - No display. VISTA is a waste of resources, money, efforts and time. Same thing happens with Windows XP, and unfortunately all the browsers just happened to want to upgrade right after my windows installer decided to stop working, so now I'm stuck with only two old version browsers that at least work at some level and a few sites telling me "you might want to upgrade- there's hundreds of ways to do so.. I can still use certain programs as long as they are already installed, but it's a real hassle not being able to install what I want / need, and having to settle for "good enough" when things were once working and installing perfectly.
I had no space at first the I tried everything spaced and it didn't work. With each, I could start and stop the service from the Administrator functions.
But, I got the same (FAIL) result when attempting an install.
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I've tried everything so far and nothing has worked. If Microsoft can't solve problems on their own OS.. I had the same problem on my Windows XP Media Center - tried many of the suggestions above and nothing worked.