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SOLVED: Driver Install Error - "Class installer"

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Matts_User_Name View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matts_User_Name Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: SOLVED: Driver Install Error - "Class installer"
    Posted: 23 January 2009 at 2:44pm

This might sound like some kind of crazy idea, but basically, for about a year now my XP system has had a serious problem with any new drivers being installed.
Do you perhaps know of some way that I can instruct windows to perform some kind of reinstall of its plug and play system (or inf folder)

Basically, no matter what driver I attempt to install it will always result in a "Cannot install this hardware" error message saying that it "Cannot find the file specified" and setupapi.log reporting success on everything until it write out this line, and then the installation stops.
"#E154 Class installer failed. Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified."

I am not sure if there is a solution to this because I have spent countless hours googling and only coming up with one solution: Reinstall/Repair XP!
I seriously do not want to do that, but it would be very nice if I could make any new devices work properly in my computer.

I have tried everything I could think up, and crazy possible solutions which I found through google, but none with any results.

I've tried tracing all kinds of logs with Process Monitor but after hours of analysis, I think SetupLog.API tells me more, because I just cannot seem to find any red flags that are sticking out.

I know it is a problem that lies in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum and ...CCS\Control, but where to begin I have no clue. (Perhaps it if was documented more)

Various solutions I have tried:
Upgrading to SP3
Defrag
ChkDsk
sfc /scannow
removing unnecessary drivers manually
installing latest msiexec
ensuring the msiexec service is set to manual and startable, and Cryptographic Services is running
Ensuring no drivers are hooking the kernel (Ex: SSDT hooks)


My main experimentation has been with my network driver because it is very broken and wont even list the TCP/IP protocol under its properties. Amazing it still works, but as soon as I try to update it/ roll it back/ uninstall and resintall it, then I will be totally screwed as it will not install. Only fix is through SR (which will replace the SYSTEM hive and revert it back to this current "broken-but-working" state)
Mainly tried experimenting with the "Network Adapters" key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} by deleting some subkeys, and their corresponding Enum keys, but NOTHING has worked.

I am not sure what do even do anymore, as I dont want to reinstall XP, but I would atleast like to be able to add new devices to my machine.

What is even more odd, is the fact that the drivers DO actually install (and are loaded into the kernel), but at the last second, when you think it is done, it comes up with the "cannot find the file specified screen."
In Device manager, the name shows properly, and so does the driver in the Driver tab, but it will constantly have a Yellow "!" mark stating "This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)"

You wouldn't blieve how many hits on google there are with my exact problem:
http://discussions.virtualdr.com/showthread.php?t=230243
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/149165-45-cannot-install-network-adapter
http://adsltech.com/portal/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3825&ResetModules=True



I am still coming across ideas, but I really doubt how well any will work.
Perhaps next I will try removing UpperFilters and LowerFilters keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class next, but I really dont think that will effect anything due to the fact that I think the problem started after drivers have added themselves to some of these keys.


ANY ideas are extremely welcome here.

Edited by Matts_User_Name - 13 February 2009 at 3:34am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2009 at 3:23pm
If System Restore is still enabled you could probably roll back before the date of the problem??

Alternately you could use the registry hives from c:\windows\repair as a means of patching the currently damaged system registry (not easy but still possible).

Richard S.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matts_User_Name Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2009 at 3:30pm


Haha, I dont think I have enough diskspace to have SRPs from over a year ago.
The registry replacement is a good idea, although I am a little scared of the effect. It would be pretty easy to do (just either use ERD Commander, or another Windows system) but replacing the whole SYSTEM hive makes me very uneasy.

Perhaps what I will do is use Acronis to create a copy of this drive, and if something goes wrong I can just plug it back in, but then again that just depends on the results.
If I replace the system hive, I wonder if any files on the system will be deleted or modified (I dont think they will, and therefore all I would have to do is just re-replace the System hive, but then agian I am not 100% sure)

I am trying to think of the worse case that could happen if I replace the System hive...
If a BSOD occurs I don't think that should damadge any data (never has in the past), but I am not sure if a BSOD would even happen during startup due to the fact that those should only occur in the case of driver issues. (shouldn't be any because I am using the original System hive)

Hmm.. What about the key:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist
I looked in the System hive under repair and hivelist appears to not be there. Would this be a problem?

Edited by Matts_User_Name - 23 January 2009 at 3:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lancesjunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2009 at 4:23pm

I experienced this exact problem and spent many many hours trying to resolve it.  All Internet searches revealed many things to try but nothing short of reinstalling Windows resolved the problem.  I gave up and called MS for after hours support ($515).  They were able to give me the fix within minutes.  If the solution below helps you, please help me defray my out of pocket costs for the support call by sending a buck or two to my paypal account - lancesjunk 'at' comcast.net

Background of my problem.  I accidentally installed symantec endpoint protection with network threat protection (the firewall) on my exchange server.  This hosed up all network communication.  I uninstalled the product, but it left the "teefer2" network drivers in the hidden device manager (seen by running "set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" and setting Show Hidden Devices from the view menu of device manager. 

The network communication problem still existed after going through the lengthy manual removal process found here:  http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-security.nsf/docid/2007073018014248

I was not able to uninstall or replace the drivers for the network cards to get them working correctly. It would always give me the error about the device being needed for booting.  

Throughout this process, I have continually received the error, "#E154 Class installer failed. Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.", while trying to get the drivers installed/updated for the cards.  This was in the file c:\windows\setupapi.log  I tried every driver known to man for these cards.  At the end of every driver installation or update, I would get an error from the Hardware Update Wizard, which says:

"Cannot install this hardware"
There was a problem installing this hardware
Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
An error occurred during the installation of the Device
The system cannot find the file specified

The actual process looks correct, as in, it is showing the files getting copied and I get the signed driver error on some that I tried, but the error is always the same. 

Without much hope left, and facing a possible restore, I went through the entire registry and deleted anything that was associate with the broadcom cards and teefer2.  This removed the nics and teefer2 from device manager and I was confident reinstalling "from scratch" would work, but it did not -I got all the problems mentioned above from the hardware wizard, and in setupapi.log.

This was my breaking point and decided to seek Microsoft's help.  I am glad I did as their solution was simple, yet very obscure.

Backup and then delete the REG_BINARY value 'CONFIG'  (not the  "network" key from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network

You then restart the computer and either Windows will install the card automatically, or you will have to kick it off.  If it is already in Device Manager, you may have to update the driver.  This time it will work like magic.

A MS knowledge base article can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937056
Although, it is for a slightly different issue, the underlying problem of holding onto incorrect information is the same.  It also lists only win2000 and 2003sp1 having been affected, but my problem was on SP2 of 2003 server.

After the headache I got from endless google searches and deadends, I hope this helps somebody before going through all the trouble.  Please forgive the reposting on other threads experiencing the same problem.

~Lance Smith

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matts_User_Name Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2009 at 3:29am


I don't believe it! You do not know how much I thank you.
I think I'm going to at least try and get you $50 for this!


It actually works, and funny enough, it didn't even require a restart or logoff:




I remember investigating this key many times before (as it was the only place I could think of possibly to be the problem, as far as process monitor goes)
I did a lot of trial and error of deletion, but I was scared if I delete this config value, I would totally screw things up.
I tried deleting all the keys in \Control\Network but never thought to try this. Its data appears to contain a name of all previously installed network drivers or something similar.
The problem with always experimenting was the fact that once I did delete something, then the current network drivers would no longer work, nor could I reinstall them, so I would rely on a system restore every time I had enough courage to delete and restart.

What I would want to know is how would Mark have resolved this. Perhaps some trial and error and just would try to delete this?

In any case, I am still in disbelief.
Did you get the idea to just try this, or was it a suggestion by Microsoft.

It would have been nice if they documented these types of keys more. Notice nothing about it in either Registry References:
2000 - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/regentry/28787.mspx
2003 - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/regentry/28787.mspx


I wonder if this value just gets "clogged" after a while and needs to be deleted?
Also, I wonder what similar values are out there. (Somehow I highly doubt any registry cleaner will ever touch things like this, meaning their use seems quite useless.)


Here is what I have to say to it:




Finally I can actually get VMWare networking drivers working, have it stop complaining, update my Mobo drivers, configure TCP/IP properties (before I couldn't even see it, see image below), install various other updated drivers that would fail on install (sometimes not even network drivers)

F-ed up Network driver causing no TCP/IP protocol to be listed:




I wonder where we could post this for anyone else to see, because I feel really sorry for those people that are going to have to reinstall windows for such a simple, yet undocumented fix.
Hmm maybe Wikipedia somewhere.
Perhaps we should contact someone over at MS Help & Support to make an article similar to this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937056 but for "Cannot install this hardware", "Cannot find the file specified", "#E154 Class installer failed. Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified."

There are some similar ones, but none having solutions for this problem (I tried too many to count) Ex: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/841567

This has never been posted anywhere else from what I can see currently as of 2-12-09. Do a google search for "Control\Network\Config" "file specified" no results.
Funny thought because if u remove Config, there are a few hits, but no conclusions to delete this damn value.
Excellent work!



BTW, I would send you $50 paypal funds now but since Paypal banned my account (and wont tell me why, so basically its all frozen until infinity) [too long of hell story to explain], I will sometime this weekend go out to CVS, buy an Amex Prepaid Giftcard, and link it to a new paypal account (Yes that is a nice workaround, but the 5.95 fee on the cards is not too nice)


Edited by Matts_User_Name - 13 February 2009 at 3:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrofLuigi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2009 at 7:18pm
Now that I read this thread I remember I also experienced the issue in the (distant) past.

The symptoms were similar: Properties of the network connection wouldn't come up, or, when they did, accepted no changes and "class installer" message was shown somewhere in the process (maybe when I tried reinstalling NIC's drivers (without success)).

I blamed it on poor Nvidia (Nforce2, pre-NAM) drivers. I see this is one common denominator here. Or maybe the drivers aren't bad, but they (mis)use the value?

Anyway, I "solved" my problem at the time with format c: and reinstall.

In any case, it's a nice find, lancesjunk.

GL

*Edit (I forgot to add): Of course I used ProcMon to try to trace the problem and it led me to the CONFIG value, but I was also too afraid to delete it.

*Edit2 (my memory is coming back ) : And the symptoms were similar (half-working state) - the network worked, but no configuration was possible.


Edited by GrofLuigi - 13 February 2009 at 7:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2009 at 7:31pm
GL - what you describe sounds similar (at least in parts) to this topic:
Excessive CPU usage-SVCHOST: 650i chipset
Daily affirmation:
net helpmsg 4006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lancesjunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2009 at 1:14am
I am glad this helped and as you can see, I went through most of the frustraion that you did.  I searched for the solution after I found it and couldn't find it anywhere.  I also posted the solution on any board that looked like it was the same problem we had.  Some were very old, but since they came up in my searches, I figured it would be helpful if someone stumbled across it. 
 
Just to answer your question, the solution came from M$ and the guy knew it within minutes.  He said he knew it so fast because he just solved the same problem for someone else a few weeks ago.  He didn't give me any discount for being so easy though.  Hehehe.
 
Molotov, that post is too many pages for me to go through, but feel free to post a link back here or put the solution there if you think it will help.
 
 


Edited by lancesjunk - 14 February 2009 at 1:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrofLuigi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2009 at 5:14am
My former problem seems similar to that thread, but more to this one.

There was no excessive CPU usage, no duplicated network connections (like #2, #3.)... No mangled registry entries. Properties of network connection sometimes (always? my memory fails me) would not appear at all. No crash. I don't remember if windows firewall was on or off. All network-related services were present and/or started (I KNOW they were started at least during the time when I was trying to troubleshoot). No yellow exclamation marks in device manager.

I found different versions of the NIC driver and prepared to reinstall/uninstall but "class installer" message prevented me.

The network was working. I ran it several months that way. It was a mystery.

That's why I think lancesjunk's post is valuable.

GL

* Edit: (I can't help it ) I remember it so well because I was tracing with ProcMon the entire driver install procedure - going through all device classes etc.

* Edit 2: No third-party antivirus/firewall and no acrobatics like this.

Edited by GrofLuigi - 14 February 2009 at 5:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2009 at 3:23pm
Quote that post is too many pages for me to go through, but feel free to post a link back here or put the solution there if you think it will help.
In that case, the solution was to remove corrupted registry entries underneath [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network\], that were on systems with an nVidia 650i chipset, that were either causing problems accessing network connection configuration, excessive CPU consumption by the "Network Connections" service, or both.  Presumably, the corruption was caused by the 650i driver installation program.  That's where I saw similarities to what GL posted.  The network still worked in those cases, but could not be configured.  nVidia was involved, as was some form of registry corruption...
Daily affirmation:
net helpmsg 4006
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