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Fatal Error 'Fatal Error 1601' (MSI Error 1601) Displays During HP Software Installation in Windows XP

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When the HP software is installed on a computer running Windows XP, the error message MSI Error 1601 appears on the computer. The rest of the text in the error message might vary.
You can install a basic driver to work around this issue instead of troubleshooting the error . With the basic driver, the printer still prints, but it might not perform all functions. For instance, if the printer has CD/DVD-printing capability, the printer will lose this function with a basic driver.
Follow these steps to use your printer without troubleshooting the error message.
NOTE:This workaround does not resolve the issue , but it does provide a way for you to use your printer without further troubleshooting.
  1. If you have not already done so, close the error message window, and then cancel the installation.
  2. Restart the HP software installation, but this time select the Express or Minimal (basic) installation option instead of the Full or Recommended option.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the software installation.
NOTE:If you prefer to troubleshoot the error and maintain all printer functions, continue with the solutions in this document.
Important : If you have a multi-function printer
A printer that is also capable of scanning, faxing, and/or copying.
, the process for scanning is different with a basic driver. Read or print the document for your Windows operating system to learn how to scan with the basic driver.


If you do not want to use the preceding workaround, follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.

Step one: Save the installation files to the computer

  1. Open a new window to browse to the Get Software and Drivers page:
    Right-click this link, Get Software and Drivers , and then click Open in New Window .
  2. If prompted, type your product number, and then click Next . You might also need to click your model in a list of similar products.
  3. Select your operating system, and then click Next .
  4. Click the Plus sign ( ) next to Driver , and then click the driver that you want to download.
  5. Read through the minimum system requirements and additional instructions. You can also click View directions ( ) for complete download instructions.
  6. Click Download . This option allows you to install the software at any time after the download completes.
  7. Click Save .
  8. Click Local Disk (C:) . A list of the contents on the computer's hard drive appears.
    NOTE:Do not save the installation files to the Windows desktop.
  9. Click New Folder , and then name the new folder hpdisk .
  10. Click Save . The installation files are saved in the hpdisk folder.

Step two: Delete all temporary files

  1. On the taskbar, click Start ( ), and then click Run .
  2. In the Open box, type %temp% , and then click OK . The contents of the Temp folder display on the computer.
  3. Select all the files in the Temp folder, and then press the Delete key to delete the files.
    NOTE:Do not highlight or delete the Temp folder. Delete only the files in the folder. If an Access Denied message appears on the screen during the delete process, click OK to bypass the message and continue deleting files.

Step three: Use MSCONFIG to turn off startup services

  1. On the taskbar, click Start ( ), and then click Run . In the Open box, type msconfig , and then click OK .
  2. Click the General tab.
    NOTE:Make a note of the settings in the General tab now. This information is required at the end of this process to return the settings to the original configuration.
  3. Click Selective Startup .
  4. If a check mark appears next to Load Startup Items , click to clear it.
  5. Click the Services tab, and then select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
  6. Click Disable All to clear all the check boxes on the list.
  7. Click the Startup tab, and then select every HP item on the list.
  8. Click Apply , click OK , and then click Restart .

Step four: Unregister and reregister Microsoft Windows Installer

  1. Click Start ( ), and then click Run .
  2. In the Open box, type msiexec / unregister , and then click OK .
  3. Click Start and then click Run .
  4. In the Open box, type msiexec / regserver , and then click OK .

Step five: Check the Service Pack version

  1. On the taskbar, click Start ( ), and then click Run .
  2. In the Open box, type winver , and then click OK .
  3. The About Windows window opens.
  4. Note the Service Pack version number in the top right corner, and then click OK to close the window.
    Figure 1: Check the Service Pack version number
    The Service Pack version number is at the top of the window.
    • If the Service Pack version number is 0 or 1 , go to the Microsoft Web site to download and install Windows XP Service Pack 3 , and then continue to the next step to check your version of Windows Installer.
    • If the Service Pack number is 2 or 3 , continue to the next step to check the Windows Installer version.

Step six: Check the Microsoft Windows Installer version

  1. Click Start ( ), and then click Run . The Run window opens.
  2. In the Open box , type msiexec.exe /? , and then click OK . The Windows Installer window opens.
  3. Find the version number near the top of the window, and then make a note of it.
    Figure 2: Windows Installer
    Illustration: Windows Installer

Step seven: Update the Microsoft Windows Installer version

Follow this link to see the current version, and then install it if necessary. If the version that is available on the Microsoft Web site is the same version as on your computer, you do not need to install it.
Click this link: Microsoft Windows Installer (in English)
Note: If the preceding link is unavailable, Microsoft might have moved the download. You can go to www.Microsoft.com and search for "Microsoft Windows Installer."
When the installation is complete, try installing the HP software again.

Step eight: Reinstall the software

  1. Right-click Start ( ) on the taskbar, and then click Explore .
  2. Click C:\ in the left pane, double-click hpdisk , and then double-click the hp icon. The installation program starts.
  3. Allow the installation to continue normally.

Step nine: Use MSCONFIG to turn on startup services

At the end of troubleshooting and after the HP software in installed, you can re-enable the startup programs and services by using the following instructions:
  1. Click Start , and then Run . The Run window opens.
  2. In the Open: box, type msconfig , and then click OK . The MSCONFIG utility window opens.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Select Normal Startup to enable the programs that were previously disabled.
  5. Click Apply and then Close .
  6. Click Restart to apply the changes and restart the computer.

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