Microsoft Office encountered an error during setup

If you are trying to install Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 on a computer that has had Office installed on it previously, you may encounter the following, un-helpful, error message:

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 has encountered an error during setup

This can be very frustrating since there is no error code or anything in the message that gives you a clue what the problem is. Usually this indicates that there are fragments of a previous Microsoft Office installation left behind on your hard drive. There are a number of solutions so I’ll start with the easiest first.

  1. Delete the rgstn.lck file in the Microsoft Help folder. The location of this folder depends on your operating system and the rgstn.lck file is normally hidden so follow the instructions in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 927153. (NOTE: Some users have reported that you need to delete the entire Microsoft Help folder instead of just the rgstn.lck file)
  2. Make sure you completely uninstall all versions of Office. Even after you uninstall Office using the normal procedure, there may be remnants left behind. Microsoft provides manual removal instructions in KB article 928218. However the instructions are quite complicated so I recommend using the “Fix It” utility on the same page. This utility can take a long time to run so if it seems to hang on one particular step just be patient and let it finish.
  3. Use a program like CCleaner to delete temporary files and invalid registry entries. This is a good housekeeping measure anyway but it’s especially good after uninstalling something to clean up leftover remnants.
  4. Disable all anti-virus software and/or clean-boot the computer. They always say to disable anti-virus software when installing a new program. Most of the time it doesn’t matter but there are times when it actually makes a difference. Even better yet is to clean-boot the computer so that nothing is running except the essentials. I’ll be making an article on that very soon.

Following those steps should get you going but if you’re still having problems, I’ve heard some people recommend re-registering the Windows Installer and checking permissions on the %TEMP% folder and the C:\Windows\Installer folder to make sure you have full-control. To re-register the Windows Installer run the following commands:

msiexec /unregister
msiexec /register

I hope that helps!


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