(Fix) 'Another Installation is Already In Progress' installing Office 2007 over Office 2000

Ran into an interesting problem this evening – I was helping someone who was having problems with installing Office 2007 on an XP system with Office 2000 (I believe Professional) installed. The problem was that when the actual installation process started, it would hang up because another installation was running.

The standard fix for that is restarting the system to let the in-progress installation do the processing that it needs a system restart for, but in this case that wasn’t the issue.

Other options beyond that relate to removing the InProgress key from HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\InProgress, but that also wasn’t doing the trick so it wasn’t an existing installation – it was either something attempting an install behind the scenes (possible, but unlikely given the system setup) or it was something being triggered as part of the installation process.

Digging a bit, the .ipi file being referenced by that registry entry contained references to Office 2000 Professional Disk 2. That led to it being a problem with the uninstaller for the earlier version when started by the Office 2007 installer. Since it wasn’t critical to keep the other parts of Office 2000 on the system we went ahead and uninstalled that, but we received the same error attempting to uninstall Disk 2 (which contains Publisher and some Small Business Tools).

Since this was apparently an issue with the uninstall for that part of Office 2000, I did a bit of digging. It turns out that Microsoft has a cleanup utility designed to remove Office 2000 from a Windows 2000 (or earlier) system. It was last updated when Windows XP came out, and explicitly does not run on XP.

With that information, we ended up with Microsoft’s article How to remove Office 2000 CD2. This gives instructions on the files, directories and registry entries to remove after you’ve run the Disk 2 uninstallation (which was giving us problems all by itself).  Rather than individually remove all of the specified files, and since we had already removed the bulk of Office 2000, I took a bit of a shortcut.

Final Solution: While this is a little messy (there are no-longer-needed files and shortcuts left behind), the quick solution to getting the Office 2007 installer to stop trying to uninstall Office 2000 was to back up (export) the entire HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\ branch then remove it since no parts of Office 2000 are going to be remaining. This allowed the Office 2007 install to complete with no issues.

Followup: there are certainly files left behind that should be removed, but given the relative size of Publisher 2000 and modern hard drives I’m not too concerned about space consumed by the remaining files. There are some now-invalid shortcuts that should also be cleaned up, but since the user is above-average technically savvy she should be just fine cleaning those up herself.

Second Followup: Applies only if Outlook is being uninstalled. It turns out that the user in question was using Outlook Express but was using Outlook for storing Contacts – this was available up to Office 2000 but was removed in Office 2003 except for upgrades. Since the new version being installed didn’t include Outlook, I ended up needing to export the contacts from her PST on another system so she could use them in Windows Address Book. If you’re doing this and using Outlook Express, check first to see if you’re using Outlook Contacts and export as needed before proceeding. Microsoft’s article Copy Outlook contacts to the Outlook Express address book provides more information.

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1 comment to (Fix) “Another Installation is Already In Progress’ installing Office 2007 over Office 2000′

  • It occurs to me that I didn’t describe how to see what installation is in progress. This is not 100%, but it’s worth a shot and anyone can do it.
    1) Get the name of the file from HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\InProgress – it’ll almost certainly be something in C:\Windows\Installs, you can just copy the entire string by double-clicking on the entry, then selecting the entire string and copying it.
    2) Go to the Start menu, pick Run, type “notepad.exe” and hit Enter
    3) In Notepad, go to File, Open, and paste in the file name (with the path) then open the file
    4) Look through the unreadable parts looking for references to what program the installer is part of. You may need to turn on word wrap from the Format menu. When you find it you may be looking at what appears to be words with spaces between each letter (e.g. “M i c r o s o f t O f f i c e P r o f e s s i o n a l D i s k 2”) – this is related to how the computer stores information, you don’t need to worry about it.