Saturday, November 8, 2008

Unable to install some components of Microsoft Money

I've been trying off and on to get Microsoft Money to install on my Vista Ultimate desktop for nearly a year. I started with MS Money 2007 Home and Business edition. I didn't keep any documentation of the actual error, but the point is, it wouldn't install completely. I had a case open with Microsoft, but they were going no where with it and after finding that Money would install on my then new laptop (Vista Home Premium), I gave up on my desktop.

I grew tired of digging up the laptop every time I wanted to send out bills, so I naively purchased the latest version of Money Plus thinking that the bug would have been fixed. (For some reason Microsoft just started calling them all Money Plus – my version is, whatever that means.)

I shelled out my money, downloaded it, and behold, another error message: Setup was unable to install some of the components needed to run Money. Try installing Money again.

Aparently this is a rather common error message to get, as Google returned lots of hits.

Before I go any further, I need to disclose that these steps could have unintended consequences, and you should proceed only with caution and a recent backup. You've been warned.

My first thought was that the old version was still partially hanging around, and needed to be deleted. Microsoft conveniently posted instructions in their Knowledge Base Article 895866 of how to manually remove their software. In short, you do an uninstall of the software, then delete any trace of files from the C:\Program Files\ and from C:\Users\. Finally, you download a Windows Installer CleanUp utility from their site and wallah, it's removed. But alas, no joy.

Next I read that it must some obscure security setting that got messed up. Microsoft has a KB Article 313222 that explains how to reset my security settings back to their defaults. For Vista, you fire up a command prompt and run the following command:

secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

According to the KB article, it is normal for it to through an error message, but to be assured that it did its magic.

I really don't know what settings the above command reset for me, but it didn't help my situation. I haven't yet found any repercussions from it though either.By this time, I was pretty frustrated and it was time to call Microsoft. Only that's easier said than done if you don't have your product key (which is found in Help-About Microsoft Money). Obviously, if you can't install the program, you can't get to the Help menu.

The first heavily accented rep that spoke with insisted that I must have a Product ID, got frustrated, and transferred me to “Roxie”. Again she insisted that I have a Product ID, but finally agreed that maybe she should look up my recent purchased that I'd made an hour before on their own website. “Roxie” took me back through the above steps that I'd told her I'd already done, quickly gave up and transferred me to a fellow with a very American sounding name, “Joe”.

“Joe” and I had our own difficulties communicating, but after an hour, he agreed to email me the steps to reset permissions on all of my files and directories.

First “Joe” had me download a tool called Subinacl from Microsoft's Website, which I installed.

Next, I created a .CMD file in my text editor with the following contents:

cd /d "%programfiles%\windows resource kits\tools"

subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=system=f

I saved this as “fix_registry_permissions.cmd” per his recommendations. Why I couldn't call it “fix.cmd”, I fail to understand.

Finally, I right-clicked the new .CMD file and selected “Run as Administrator”. This took quite a while to run. I watched it for about four minutes – you should see a DOS box pop up, and it will have a red bar across the top as it runs. At this point, I went to bed. I'm not sure how long it wound up taking.

Well the good news was that “Joe's” commands allowed me to install Microsoft Money, and it worked just fine. The bad news came after I rebooted.

Fortunately for me, I rebooted that same night while this was fresh in my mind. Usually my PC will go weeks if not months without restarting (yes, even Vista is that stable). After rebooting, I noticed things were odd, like I got some strange error when trying to run an installer file, my LAN connection in the Systray was reporting “Connection Status: Unknown, There's not enough storage to complete this operation”, and my audio icon had a red X across it.

Back to Google for answers, and I quickly found a forum with my problems described to a tee. A few posts down and I had my answer. Assuming that you're running Vista Business or Ultimate, you can use the GUI to do the following.

  • Click on the Start button
  • Right-click on Computer, and select Manage.
  • Expand the Local Users and Groups.
  • Click on Groups.
  • Double-click the Administrators group.

At this point, you will probably see the Members listed in the middle as Administrator and then possibly your name.

  • Click Add to bring up the Select Users window.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Click Find Now.
  • Double-click on the item LOCAL SERVICE
  • Click OK

You should see that it added the NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE account to the Administrators group. Now repeat the process to add the NETWORK SERVICES account to administrators.

  • Click Add to bring up the Select Users window.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Click Find Now.
  • Double-click on the item NETWORK SERVICES
  • Click OK

You Administrators group should look something like this:

If you're running one of the more limited versions of Vista, you'll instead have to make these changes manually from the command prompt, as Microsoft didn't include the Local Users and Groups snap-in with these editions.

net localgroup Administrators Local Service /ADD
net localgroup Administrators Network Services /ADD

Once the changes have been made, reboot the computer, and it will probably come back up normally.

And that's it, my computer is pretty much back to normal with Microsoft Money Plus installed. I have some reservations about adding the two accounts to my Administrators group, as my laptop which has been untouched doesn't seem to have them. If someone has a better or more secure way of fixing the problems initiated by Subinacl, I'm all ears.

1 comment:

Steve said...

running Vista Home Premium
Tried your method. First command was completed successfully. Second command: There is no such global user or group: Services. The command completed with one or more errors. More help is available b typing NET HELPMSG 3783.
I typed that in and got: There is no such global user or group: ***.