I've had a problem on my gaming desktop for about a year: every .msi installer I run takes forever. And when I say forever, I mean hours. A install was taking me around 30 minutes to install. For a while I just put up with it, because it was easier to just put up with it, because I had no idea how to fix it. My google-fu failed me, and I couldn't find a way to fix it. Some people even reported that the problem still happened after a full reformat of Windows, which I really did not want to do. Finally, I found a solution.

Debugging .msi Installers

As I found on , the way to debug MSI installers and log it was to do the following:

msiexec.exe /i "C:\Example.msi" /L*V "C:\package.log" 

Note that you should change package.log to whatever you want. So I did this with an ActivePython installer. The log had some interesting lines:

MSI (s) (00:BC) [14:48:53:831]: Calling SRSetRestorePoint API. dwRestorePtType: 0, dwEventType: 102, llSequenceNumber: 0, szDescription: "Installed ActiveState ActivePython (32-bit)".MSI (s) (00:BC) [14:58:54:132]: The call to SRSetRestorePoint API failed. Returned status: -2130706175\. GetLastError() returned: -2130706175

You'll notice the timestamps of the two log entries are ten minutes apart. You'll also notice that it's failing on what seems to be trying to set a restore point. Hmmm... Well how do we know that we're right? Well we can for a little bit to make sure. And sure enough, after we disable it, everything installs quickly.

I don't quite know how to rectify this. I have plenty of space for a disk restore. The only similar problem I found was

on the Norton forums.