Author Archives: amida168

How to Fix “Another installation is in progress” Error on Windows

Our users reported that they could no longer install applications. Whenever they tried to install applications, they received the following message: “Another installation is in progress. You must complete that installation before continuing this one.”

The problem was due to a registry key-HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\CurrentVersion\Installer\InProgress.

As the name implies, the key is created when an installation is in progress. The key should be deleted automatically after the installation is done. In this case, the installation was never finished and the key was left in the registry. I tried to delete the registry key and rebooted the machine. It did not fix the problem. The registry key was created again after I rebooted the machine. I later found that the registry key was created by a program called ScreenConnect. I had to uninstall the program, but because of the registry key blocking installation and uninstallation, I could not uninstall ScreenConnect.

To solve this dilemma, I discovered that I needed to boot the machine to safe mode with networking, enable Windows installer service under safe mode with networking. Only then could I uninstall the program and fix the problem.

Here are the steps:

  1. Boot the computer to safe mode with networking. On a Windows 7 machine, you can do this by pressing F8 before the OS loads.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt.
  3. Type the following two commands in the command prompt. Note that the first command might be wrapped to the second line. Make sure you get it right.
    reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"
    net start msiserver
  4. Install a program. This could be any program using Windows installer. You will be prompted to cancel the previous pending installation. This is fine, so just follow the prompts to remove the pending installation.
  5. If you know which program caused the initial problem, you need to uninstall the program. In this case, our problem was caused by ScreenConnect, so I uninstalled it.

After you reboot the computer normally, you should be able to install applications without getting the “Another Installation is in Progress” error.

How to fix “Could not create the Java Virtual Machine” Error

I worked on a user’s computer for a problem related to Java. It took me several hours to figure it out. In the end, it actually wasn’t directly related to Java.

There was a Java application that they’ve used for a long time. The program stopped running correctly since last week. Whenever they tried to run it, this dialog popped up.

Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.

Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.

I googled for solutions and tried several different methods. None of them worked for me. I have tried the following:

  • Re-install Java: There were several versions of Java on the machine. I uninstalled all of them. and installed the latest version.
  • Change value of Xmx parameter for java/javaw: Most articles I found suggested this method. The Java program that I worked on does use this parameter. The program uses -Xmx1024M to invoke javaw.exe. I tried to decrease the value. After I changed the value, the error dialog was gone. However, the program still did not run.
  • System restore: I have tried this on several occasions before and this usually fixes minor problems with new programs or spyware. It did not work either.
  • Safe mode: I tested the program in safe mode. This usually eliminates the problems caused by other services or programs. The Java program did not work on safe mode either.

After hours of working on this computer, I still could not fix the problem. I decided to look for any suspicious programs using the Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. I uninstalled a bunch of programs that I knew the user did not install. These programs were related to browsing. The names were like Search Assist, Browse Redirect …. I do not remember the exact names of the programs I un-installed, but you get the idea. Afterwards, I was able to run the Java program again. The problem was solved.

If you have a similar problem, you can try to remove suspicious programs from your computer. It might fix the problem for you.

How to Configure Internet Explorer 10 for Enterprise Web Applications

Ever since we upgraded Internet Explorer to version 10, we have received a lot of complaints that quite a few enterprise web applications did not run properly any more. I have helped my users to configure Internet Explorer 10 so that they can use these web applications again. Since almost all the applications were developed before Internet Explorer 10, the first thing we tried to configure were the compatibility view settings. This would fix most of the problems. If this still did not work for some applications, the next thing to try was to configure the trusted site settings. Here are the steps. Remember to replace yourcompany.com with the domain name of your enterprise applications.

Configuring Compatibility View Settings

  1. Press Alt key to bring up menu bar if it’s not showing.
  2. Click on Tools -> Compatibility View Settings.
  3. Enter yourcompany.com in the “Add this website” box and click on Add.
  4. Click on Close.

Configuring Trusted Sites

  1. Press Alt key to bring up menu bar if it’s not showing.
  2. Click on Tools -> Internet options.
  3. Click on Security tab and select Trusted sites.
  4. Click on Sites.
  5. Enter *.yourcompany.com in the “Add this website to the zone” box and click on Add.
  6. Click on Close to close Trusted sites dialog.
  7. Click on OK to close Internet Options.

 

Windows 8 100% C Drive Usage Problem Solved

When I first upgraded my workstation to Windows 8, I did not notice any performance change. The machine was running as smoothly as it had been with Windows 7. However, a few weeks ago, I noticed my machine started to freeze intermittently. I checked the event logs but did not find anything out of the ordinary. I found out what went wrong when I checked the Task Manager. The CPU usage was fine, but Disk 1 (C:) was constantly at 100% usage and caused the machine to freeze. The question was what was causing the C drive usage to be at 100%? I then checked the Processes tab in Task Manager and found that it was the System process. This was not very useful because it was not specific enough for me to pin point the exact cause.

I googled for a solution and there were quite a few people who had the same problem. I tried several solutions but they did not help me solve my problem. This issue had bothered me for several weeks and I was about to reinstall my machine with Windows 7. I decided to give it another try, before I reformatted my drive (and then reinstalled my machine), and did a search again. Finally, I came across this post which solved the problem!

The problem was the Intel Rapid Storage driver. After I installed the latest version of the driver from Intel, the intermittent 100% C drive usage disappeared. Here is the link to the driver that I used:

Intel Rapid Storage Windows 8 Driver

The version I used is 12.5.0.1066 and it was released on 03/22/2013. If the link is broken, you can try visiting the Intel Download Center to search for the latest driver.

Intel Download Center

Note that this solution only applies to the Intel Rapid Storage controller. If you do not have the Intel Rapid Storage controller, do not download and install this driver.

To find out what storage controller you have, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key and type device manager.
  2. Click on Settings -> Device Manager.
  3. Scroll down and expand Storage controllers to find out what controller you have.
    intel-express-chipset-sata

Once you have identified your storage controller, you can then try to visit the chipset manufacturer’s web site to download the latest driver and see if your problem is solved.

The Fastest Way to Empty Cache from Google Chrome Browser

If you have ever tried to empty or delete cache from Google Chrome, you’ll know that it’s a multistep process. Google has a tutorial for it, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ve just found out a way to do it quickly, and it’s also easier to write instructions for the process.

  1. Copy and paste this string to the address bar and press Enter.
    chrome://settings/clearBrowserData#cache
  2. The clear browsing data dialog shows up, click on Clear browsing data button. chrome-empty-cache

This works on Chrome version 27. If this does not work for some reason, you can try the longer version. My instructions differ from the tutorial provided by Google. Here they are, for your convenience:

  1. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome icon on the top right corner and select settings. chrome-settings
  2. Enter cache in the Search settings box and press Enter.
  3. Click on Clear browsing data button.
    chrome-cache
  4. The clear browsing data dialog shows up, click on Clear browsing data button.chrome-empty-cache

How to Boot from USB on an Asus CM1855 UEFI Equipped Computer

My user recently bought two Asus CM1855 computers and asked me to install Windows 7 on them. I tried to boot the machine from a USB drive with my Windows 7 installation files. To my surprise, I could not select my USB drive as an option. This machine has the new UEFI firmware that I am not familiar with. After a bit of fiddling, I was able to figure out how to boot from the USB drive. Here are the steps:

  1. Turn on the power and press the DEL key immediately. You may need to press the DEL key repeatedly and make sure you see the UEFI screen. As you can see, only the internal drive is shown on the Boot Priority list even when I have the USB drive connected.
    IMAG0081a
  2. Click on Advanced Mode
    IMAG0082a
  3. Click on Boot, scroll down and change the OS Type to Other OS
    IMAG0084a
  4. Press F10 to save settings and reboot.
  5. Press DEL again when the system boots up. The external USB drive is now an option to choose from. Press F8 to choose the USB drive to boot the machine from.
    IMAG0085a

Lenovo X1 Carbon Unknown Device Driver on Windows 8

I worked on a Lenovo X1 Carbon yesterday. It’s a very capable machine. The CPU is an Intel Core i7-3667U. It comes with 8GB of DDR3L RAM and a Solid State Drive. The performance is amazingly fast. When I installed some software that would usually take half an hour to install on a recent computer, it only took 10 minutes on this machine. It’s even faster than my i7 workstation because of the solid state drive. The only downside to this machine is that the graphic card is an Intel HD 4000 that is not very powerful, but sufficient for business applications. The machine came with Windows 7 pre-installed. The user had requested Windows 8, so I first tried to do an upgrade installation. The compatibility report showed that there were a lot of drivers and applications incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, I decided to do a clean installation. After installation, I installed Lenovo System Update. This is a utility to install all the necessary drivers and application for your Lenovo computers. You do not have to download each individual driver one by one. This saves you a lot of time. I wish the other vendors would follow suit and have such a utility. Anyway, after I installed all the drivers downloaded by System Update, I found that one device driver was not installed when I ran the Device Manager.  I usually use PCIDatabase web site to identify the device. It did not work in this case, because there is no vendor ID and device ID. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find that info through Google. The search shows that it’s a iSCT ACPI Virtual Device (INT33A0) for Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit) – ThinkPad X1 Carbon After the driver was installed, there was no more unknown device in the Device Manager.