Windows Installer woes – Updates no longer work

So you’ve accidentally delete the "stuff" that is in your %windir%\installer directory (or some utility "freed up some space".  Now your WindowsUpdate doesn’t work for some items no matter what you do.  You’ve followed all the technet articles that you could find.  No dice.
 
We’ll you’ve come to the right place.  I can help.  You must be ready to go through some hoops but nothing too complicated.  Here, I’ll explain what is confusing and what you can do to solve the problem complete with screen shots using an example.
 
If you look in your %windir%\installer directory, you’ll probably see tons of files named some cryptic alphanumeric sequence like 448e39.msi or fcdd818.msp.
 
If you download a Microsoft update and extract it manually [ your standard installation has failed if you’re reading this article :>) ] you’ll see something like "WORDCONV.MSP" or "OUTLOOK.MSP" as one of the files extracted.  Note that this could be any .MSP file.  The trick here is that the extracted MSP file needs to be renamed to it’s corresponding alphanumeric equivalent.  Now I know what you’re thinking….how the heck to I figure that out?
 
Keep reading….I’ll tell you
 
We have to rerun the setup that failed previously…but we need to do it differently…we need to enable logging.  This will give us the proper corresponding alphanumeric value to rename the MSP file.  Here’s how:
 
 
1.  Let’s say you are having a problem with KB952142.  First you need to manually download it.  Let’s put it on your desktop in a directory called KB952142.
 
 
2.  Once it’s there, we’ll see a file called outlook2007-kb952142-fullfile-x86-glb.exe.
 
3.  Open a command prompt and put the focus on the KB952142 directory so your command prompt looks like this "C:\Documents and Settings\dplema\Desktop\KB952142"
 
4.  Next type in the following command.  It will enable logging and create a log file in the directory KB952142:
At the command prompt type outlook2007-kb952142-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /log:"c:\documents and settings\dplema\desktop\kb952142\kb952142log.txt"
 
5.  Open the smaller log file that is not the EULA (in this instance it is named "outlook_MSPLOG.LOG").  Here’s the trick….so a search for 2203 or -2147287038.  You’ll see in that line of logfile the name you need.  In this case it’s called 6aa9fd9f.msp
 
6.  OK, now you’re thinking "great….but who cares".  So you have to do something else.
 
7.  At the same command prompt, type outlook2007-kb952142-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /extract then put the extracted contents in your KB952142 directory.  You should see the file called "outlook.msp.
 
8.  Rename that "outlook.msp" to the name you found near the 2203 error….in this case, 6aa9fd9f.msp.
 
9.  Copy that newly rename file into your %windir%\installer directory.
 
10.  Then rerun the commmand you typed in from #4 above (or you can just double click the installer).  Your installation should work at this point.
And your log file that you used before should be much bigger!
 
11.  Rinse, lather and repeat with your other failed updates.
 
Cheers!
Dustin
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