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Windows 7: Can't uninstall ANY programs. Error 5: Access is denied


12 Apr 2012   #1

Win 7 Home
 
 
Can't uninstall ANY programs. Error 5: Access is denied

Hi,

I have a fairly new (4 months) Windows 7 installation FULLY virus checked & protected, and I have just noticed that I can't uninstall any programs. When I try, a window pops up almost immediately saying "Unable to create a temporary file. Setup aborted. Error 5: Access is denied.

I have tried running the add/remove applet as Administrator but I get the same result.
The Microsoft 'Fix It' tool finds no problems or errors.

One thing that would be really handy to know is where the Windows Installer is trying to create the file. One thread that I've found says it creates it on 'the volume with the most free space', but as I only have one partition, that doesn't help much.

Does anyone have any ideas please?

Many thanks,
Paul.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by paulio View Post
Hi,
I have just noticed that I can't uninstall any programs. When I try, a window pops up almost immediately saying "Unable to create a temporary file. Setup aborted. Error 5: Access is denied.
always the same error?

Can you install programs? If not, what is error message?

Any other problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 home premium x64
 
 

FULLY virus checked & protected-I beg to differ, because
This error occurs mostly when the computer is infected with virus.
try these
Microsoft Security Essentials
also
Malwarebytes

Both are free incidentally and the first stands a very good chance of being all you need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Apr 2012   #4

Win 7 Home
 
 
If it's a virus...

It deserves a medal...

I used to use Microsoft Security Essentials - But it let a couple of nasties through.
Currently I use Comodo Internet Security (AV - On Access, Defense+ - Paranoid, Firewall - Safe Mode), Threatfire, and WinPatrol (I like it - Some don't). I also scan fairly regularly with MBam & a couple of other rootkit progs. Hijack This shows clean too.
If I'm going anywhere even slightly suspicious I use a sandboxed browser (Sandboxie).

Yes - FULLY (while still being able to access the net) checked & protected. My LAN also sits behind a pretty good hardware firewall.

I can install programs no problem & have absolutely no other problems with my system other than this inability to uninstall stuff...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by paulio View Post
It deserves a medal...

I used to use Microsoft Security Essentials - But it let a couple of nasties through.
Currently I use Comodo Internet Security (AV - On Access, Defense+ - Paranoid, Firewall - Safe Mode), Threatfire, and WinPatrol (I like it - Some don't). I also scan fairly regularly with MBam & a couple of other rootkit progs. Hijack This shows clean too.
If I'm going anywhere even slightly suspicious I use a sandboxed browser (Sandboxie).

Yes - FULLY (while still being able to access the net) checked & protected. My LAN also sits behind a pretty good hardware firewall.

I can install programs no problem & have absolutely no other problems with my system other than this inability to uninstall stuff...
So may virus and malware scanners slow down your machine! When they fix malware or virus there is a probability it breaks windows. I don't know if this is the case now.

Were you ever able to uninstall a program? If so when did you succesfully uninstall some program? Take a look at your "restore points" so do a fake "system restore" and look at the descriptions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I see one interesting reference to an Error 5 being caused by an unsynchronised clock, though fail to understand how that would result in your particular problem.
"System error 5 has occurred. Access is denied." error message may appear

Otherwise I would have to agree with the other posters here and advise a further virus sweep, in safe mode, with Malwarebytes and Spybot Search & Destroy. The latter a little dated now admittedly, but still useful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 SP1
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2012   #8

Win 7 Home
 
 
Solved - But I don't get it...

Hi guys,

Many thanks for the thoughts on the subject.

As I said originally, even if I ran the programs & features applet as admin I couldn't uninstall anything due to the 'can't create a temporary file' problem.
Because it didn't work doing 'run as' administrator, I hadn't tried logging in as admin & trying it. When I did though, everything uninstalled without any fuss.

So it looks as though running programs 'as' administrator isn't the same as running programs while actually 'being' administrator.

A useful thing for me to know for future reference...
Now I've still got to try & find out why my account doesn't have permission to create a file, but the urgency's gone
What would really help is knowing where the Windows installer is trying to create the temp file.
Does anyone know how to find out?

Anyway, thanks again for the thoughts on the subject. If anyone knows why admin isn't admin I'd really like to know.


BTW - Kaktussoft - You'd think so wouldn't you, but I've tried doing various file intensive tasks with & without them all running & there is no noticeable difference at all.
Comodo, Threatfire, & WinPatrol just seem to work very well together - They've got each other's backs, as it were.
Yes, I used to be able to uninstall, couldn't tell you when it broke though.


Best regards,
Paulio.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Try to install some small softwar program. Then unistall it. Install works but uninstall doesn't?

Please create a temporary new user account with admin rights. Try to unstill from that acoount. Works?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't uninstall ANY programs. Error 5: Access is denied




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