Running Windows XP, been having multiple problems, resulting in a complete reboot a few months ago...
Now suddenly I cannot install anything. I didn't change anything, update anything... as a matter of fact, there is an update that for some reason WON'T install...
Cannot get WindowsXP CD to even run so that I can reinstall Outlook.
I updated windows installer, and it said that all was updated, but nothing.
Y'alls expertice would be greatly appreciated.

Just adding that I finally got an error that said that it couldn't find the MSIEXEC. How does that happen? I looked in my System32 folder in Windows, and it shows msi.old and msiexec.old... I am assuming that is not good. How do I fix this?

Grab your installation CD, go Start, run, type or paste in:
sfc /scannow -and press Enter. Follow the instructions, when finished the window will just close, no fanfare.
Actually, I don't know if that will copy in those files because they may not be listed as protected [but it won't hurt to try it]. If it does not you could then just copy those files off your CD [in i386 folder] into system32.
msi.dll has been updated recently. Windows update will pick that up though if you request it [the update website] to scan your system.

I have tried the sfc /scannow... nothing happened.
I put in the CD, I have to go into My Computer to get it to open, because i get an error message that says
Cannot find
"the system cannot find the file specified"
when I try to run setup.

Can you not copy this and other missing files from the CD i386 folder?
And you could always rename msiexec.old to msiexec.exe... mine is vsn 3.1.4000.1823.
mis.dll vsn is 3.1.4000.4039

nevermind... I think I found msiexec.exe... we'll see

Well, changed msiexec.old to msiexec.exe... but now Windows Installer could not be accessed because it isn't installed correctly... argh. Guess I will try to repair that through microsoft website...

Can't figure out how to repair it from their website. Any suggestions?

All is well! Thanks all!!!

C'mon, fess up, what was it..?

It seems every time I download a program from the internet it causes a problem with my computer. I get a message that my computer is shutting down to avoid permanent damage. The message says to remove any new programs. When I do this my computer works fine again. Why does this happen?