I was using Windows 7. I used to have a Microsoft mouse, but it died. Sadly, the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center did not die along with it. Instead, I had to mount a determined extermination campaign. This post relates that saga. (I was using Windows 7 x64; not sure whether any of these details would vary on another Windows operating system.)
The original problem was that, whenever I went into Control Panel > Mouse to adjust my mouse settings, I would get a dialog telling me that the Mouse and Keyboard Center was not able to be installed because the installer was looking for files that did not exist. The solution to this, I thought, was to go into Control Panel > Programs and Features and uninstall Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. Little did I know that this exercise would only make things worse.
It made things worse because (a) it did not actually uninstall Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center (MMKC), though it did remove the MMKC entry from the listed programs, and (b) this state of affairs led me to believe that I had thus inadvertently removed MMKC from the list of programs that Revo Uninstaller could detect.
I cared about Revo Uninstaller because it was often good at removing programs. I had not really removed MMKC from the list of installed programs, as I would eventually discover; but the belief that I had done so started me on a project of trying to reinstall MMKC (or of trying to do a new installation that would overwrite the fubar parts of the existing installation), so that Revo would be able to find and remove it. What I would eventually discover was that MMKC could be listed in Programs and Features and still not appear in the list of programs that Revo could identify.
Attempts to install the latest version of MMKC were futile, giving me an error message:
This software version is already installed on this system. To re-install this software, you must remove it first, and then run Setup again from the installation menu. For information about removing a program, see Windows Help.
I did see Windows Help, by going into Control Panel and hitting F1. I searched the popup for “removing a program.” Its only relevant advice was to try uninstalling in Safe Mode. I rebooted and immediately began hitting F8 until I got a Safe Mode boot option. In Safe Mode, I went to Start > search for Programs and Features > Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center > Uninstall. This gave me an error:
Setup must close because an error occurred. Verify that your computer meets the system requirements on the product packaging.
I booted back into Normal Mode. There, I took a look at one other thing that, in fairness, I must admit I was turned on to by Windows Help, namely, the existence of a folder called C:\Program Files\Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. I wasn’t quite ready to just delete that folder wholesale — there was no telling what that would do — but I did check it, in vain, for an Uninstall program. It did have a Setup.exe file, but running that just gave me another error:
Setup cannot continue because one or more of the required installation files are missing or damaged. Run Setup again from the software CD-ROM or another reliable installation source.
Which would have been great advice if I had not already tried it. The version of MMKC that I had most recently tried to install was in a downloaded file called MouseKeyboardCenter_64bit_ENG_2.2.173.exe. Somehow I found another Microsoft webpage that offered to give me an earlier 64-bit version and a handful of 32-bit versions. From that page, I downloaded and tried running a filed called MouseKeyboardCenter_64bit_ENG_2_0_162.exe. This gave me a different error: “Setup cannot continue because a later version of this software is already installed.”
I noticed that the page from which I downloaded that earlier version said that MMKC was “formerly IntelliPoint and IntelliType Pro.” That was interesting because MartinZin had advised me to solve this MMKC problem by searching the registry (in Regedit) for every occurrence of IntelliType, and deleting them all. That had not accomplished anything. (Note: I did have good Acronis image backups of the program drive, and also had good System Restore points, so I could roll things back if this went haywire.)
I wondered, now, if I could try installing not only IntelliType but also IntelliPoint, and then use Programs and Features or Revo to uninstall them and/or MMKC. I found download pages for the 64-bit versions of IntelliType and IntelliPoint (v. 8.2) and tried installing those. IntelliPoint would not install — it gave me the “a later version is already installed” error — but IntelliType thanked me for choosing a Microsoft keyboard (as if …) and proceeded to install. This did not help anything — Programs and Features still gave me the “required installation files are missing” error when I tried to uninstall MMKC — but at least I was able to uninstall IntelliType. When I did so, I got an error indicating that there was a problem with MMKC. It went by too quickly for me to capture verbatim, but it then yielded this message:
There is a problem with the Mouse and Keyboard Center software installation. To fix the problem, you must remove Mouse and Keyboard Center software, and then run Mouse and Keyboard Center Setup again.
So now it was clear: I just had to figure out how to remove MMKC. I silently thanked them for that stunning insight. In service of that quest, a search led back to Microsoft’s Fix It Solution Center, where I had previously tried to run their FixIt tool to “fix problems that programs cannot be installed or uninstalled” (replacing Microsoft’s old Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (MSICUU2.exe)). As I now reprised, that FixIt tool terminated in an error:
This troubleshooter is not available
This troubleshooter is invalid or might have expired. If the file name was changed when the troubleshooter was saved, the troubleshooter is rendered invalid and cannot be run.
Contrary to that warning, I had not renamed the downloaded troubleshooting file, so the best explanation appeared to be that it was useless. At this point, whatever the situation may have been previously, MMKC was once again appearing in Programs and Features. My attempt to uninstall it gave me another instance of the “Setup cannot continue” error quoted above.
Lacking other ideas, I went back to MartinZin’s suggestion, this time using Regedit to search through the registry, from the top, for every instance of IntelliType and IntelliPoint. For most keys with one of those two words in its name, I deleted the entire key and all of its subkeys. The decision to do so was helped by the fact that these keys rarely contained more than a few lines obviously oriented toward MMKC. Where it appeared that other programs might be affected, I deleted only the subkeys referring specifically to MMKC or these other related names. This exercise alerted me also to the abbreviated forms Itype, Ipoint, and mskey, as well as the long-form “Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center.” I also started to search for and delete keys referring to Point64, but decided not to continue that; it seemed I had best restrict my search primarily to keys that referred to files in, or were otherwise directly related to, the MMKC folder on drive C. For Itype and Ipoint, I modified the registry search to find whole words only. For the long form phrase, “Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center,” I searched for the whole phrase and several subphrases (e.g., “Microsoft Mouse,” “Mouse Keyboard”), as well as “MMKC.” In most cases, I did the search twice, to make sure I had them all. For the long-form phrase, a search in O&O RegEditor confirmed that there were more than 150 instances, so in that case I did not do the extra mouse work to select and delete the whole key; the keyboard work was considerably faster if I just deleted the individual values referring to MMKC, usually leaving a null default value under the key. Altogether, this was a time-consuming process, probably chewing up well over an hour.
When that was done, I deleted C:\Program Files\Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. Then I looked for a good registry cleaner. Many people had recommended CCleaner over the years, but it had screwed things up for me one time, due to overly aggressive settings. On that level, I agreed with numerous articles and posts suggesting that registry cleaners were often unhelpful and sometimes damaging. I’d had generally good results with Glarysoft Registry Repair — less so with 64-bit Windows 7, but then again, possibly I had been using an outdated version. Reassured by a relatively positive review on About.com, I decided to try again with their latest version. I ran it and then rebooted.
On reboot, the system was completely screwed up. Just kidding. What actually happened was that MMKC was no longer listed in Programs and Features. I went into Control Panel > Mouse. There was no longer a tab for MMKC. I ran sfc /scannow to contribute to system stability; I probably should have done that before rebooting.
At the moment, it seemed that the extensive registry editing and/or the deletion of C:\Program Files\Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center had solved the problem for me. As long as I didn’t buy or connect another Microsoft mouse or keyboard, I might be OK. I wasn’t using that particular laptop much at that point, so I was not prepared to say that it looked like everything was good. But at least in the next several reboots, I did not notice any ill effects from that wanton registry triage.