I can't tell you how many times I've seen InstallShield crash or hang when I try to install or uninstall a program on Windows XP. In many cases, I'll open Process Explorer, kill the hung process, and take a peek at the TEMP directory (in Windows\Temp). I usually find a dozen "temporary" copies of InstallShield files in there, so deleting everything in TEMP sometimes fixes the problem.
Tonight, I finally got around to installing a game that was sitting on my shelf for the past two years. When I ran its installer, InstallShield crashed with the useful message:
Error Code: -5009 : 0x8002802b
Thanks, that's helpful. Luckily, a four-year old post on a the Macromedia forum revealed a fix: just nuke the
C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Professional directory.
Now to scan the machine for SafeDisc and other malware…
Y'know, back in the old DOS days, you installed programs by typing:
c:\> md coolgame c:\> copy a:\*.* c:\coolgame\*.*
And it always worked.