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XP won't let me install anything...

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Windows XP won't let me install anything anymore. Every time I try to install a program on my computer now, I get an error message. Usually what happens follows this pattern: open Setup, go through installation wizard choosing options I want and what directory to install into, then when I click to actually run the installation my comp says "Error:1500 another installation already in progress" or something of the sort. However, I am not installing anything else. I have checked the task manager to see what other applications are running, and nothing else is active or trying to install. I tested to make sure it wasn't just one program that was acting funny by attempting several different installs, and found that each one failed giving that similar error message.

A friend said that a previous instalation may have failed in the past and "clogged" the installation process for all installs after that. I then dl'd the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, but the ironic part is that I cannot even run or use that utility since it too requires an installation. I then used WinRAR to extract msicuu.exe and msizap.exe with some prof. help, but I am lost from that point. I opened msicuu.exe myself to try and clean up any dead installations, but I have no idea what to even look for or how to use the program. I am lost as to what to do from here... Any ideas? I appreciate the help. Thanks!

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