[Python-Dev] MSI installer won't install on WinXP-SP2 (was Re: [RELEASED] Python 3.4.0 release candidate 1)

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Feb 12 21:38:38 CET 2014

On 13 Feb 2014 04:06, "Bob Hanson" <d2mp1a9 at newsguy.com> wrote:
> TL;DR: Solved. Thanks, Victor, for prodding me to jump through
> all those Windows hoops. ;-)
> [More comments interleaved below:]
> On Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:15:43 +0100, Victor Stinner wrote:
> > 2014-02-12 18:10 GMT+01:00 Bob Hanson <d2mp1a9 at newsguy.com>:
> >
> > By the way, why not upgrading to SP3? :-)
> Lots of reasons. One, though, IIRC, MS does not allow downloads
> of such anymore.
> (More importantly to me, I don't like the EULA for SP3+ and don't
> want to implicitly agree to it.)
> > I read that you installed the beta2 before. You should maybe make sure
> > that Python 3.4 beta 2 has been fully uninstalled. Why did you remove
> > the directory manually? Why not uninstall using the Control Panel?
> 'Twas long years of fighting with the Add/Remove Programs applet
> when working with Python and other OSS which made me do the
> "naughty" thing today. In my experience, particularly if one has
> third-party packages installed by a variety of means, the Control
> Panel applet often screws things up royally when "removing"
> things.
> (Also, I'd just read about Terry's install problems -- usually, I
> just install overtop the prior version and the MSI installer does
> the right thing. Today, though, with the above paragraph in mind,
> and with Terry's problems, I just decided to "shortcut" things.)
> Following Victor's questioning, I put the dir back, went to CP
> and did the Add/Remove thing, and then reinstalled rc1 and it
> "worked."
> Perhaps a caution in the docs (release notes?) or some such
> should be added -- as far as I know, I used to be able to delete
> Python dirs with abandon before installing a different version.

Just deleting the Python directory hasn't been the right thing to do in a
very long time - it leaves cruft in the registry at the very least (that
will confuse other tools into thinking Python is still installed), and
since Python 3.3 will also leave the Python Launcher for Windows installed.

Using Add/Remove programs instead of just deleting directories is a general
Windows administration requirement for MSI installers, so there's no reason
to add a specific note.

> It *does* seem that Python and Windows is becoming a sadder story
> -- I know, use Linux. :-)

Actually, we've been substantially improving the Windows integration to
make things easier for new users, which is the main reason the Windows
installer has become substantially less tolerant of corruption of the
registry state (which is effectively what occurs when you just delete the
Python directory instead of uninstalling it through Add/Remove programs).

Python 3.4 now not only provides the "py" multi-version launcher and the
"pip" package installer, selecting the path modification component during
installation means you don't even need to adjust PATH yourself any more.

The primary beneficiaries of the increasing adoption of the pre-built wheel
binary packaging format are also Windows users (Linux users and Mac OS X
users that do not use the python.org binaries currently still need to build
from source themselves, or bootstrap the cross-platform conda tools).

> Meanwhile, my main Python remains 2.5.4 -- a very good vintage.

If that's your baseline, then yes, Python was likely still quite tolerant
of bypassing the uninstallation process back then. That hasn't been the
case for a long time.


> Anyway, thanks again, Victor, for encouraging me to do the
> obstacle course yet again. :-)
> Bob Hanson
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