Windows General

3 Argentum

Caution Earthlink Total Access

I am making this post for three reasons:

  1. Hoping someone with far more expertise than me will have a workaround.
  2. Hoping that my research so far will help someone with a similar problem.
  3. …and, I read many entries in the forum by Mary G "that a register program like system works is not needed with XP." Would like to hear Mary explain which XP tool will solve this problem.

This whole problem started when I tried to uninstall Earthlink Total Access 2003 using the Add/Remove feature in Windows XP.

TA 2003 was buggy, and I wanted to do a clean install of TA2004 from a new disc I had received. The uninstaller went though a long and what seemed normal uninstall procedure, but when it finished the only thing that had been removed was the TA2003 entry in the Windows add/remove program…. the TA2003 program was still on the computer and fully functional (with the same bugs as before).

I could not install TA2004 because of a mid point Stop Error, ("D:\windows\access\earthlink setup.msi returned 1635").

I have been trying to solve this problem via Earthlink email support, but so far have only received standard suggestions that are available in their online library. I was instructed to do a manual uninstall as described in this instruction sheet: (

I attempted to do the manual uninstall and it failed, so it sent Earthlink Support the following message (edited).

After reaching the last step in your manual uninstall instructions, I could not uninstall the Earthlink Folder in c/programs because my computer denied removal of one particular file titled, "PnEL.dll". (Something to do with pop up blocker)

I probably could have renamed the file and then completed the delete….but because I noticed a register entry in HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE-Software-Classes-AppID {18AE686F-F8C6-430D-BD1D96317646} that referenced Pn Earthlink, I did not want to perform this action outside your instructions.

I found many entries in the Register referring to Earthlink that you did not recommend to edit. There are many in "HKEY-LOCAL -MACHINE-Software-Classes-CLSID", but you did not say specifically to delete these so I did not.

However, I did find the following file in the Register with the same information that is referred to in the Error which has always stopped the installation/reinstallation of Total Access 2003 and /or 2004. I think this file is somehow related to the uninstall / reinstall problem.

I think the Error, ("D:\windows\access\earthlink setup.msi returned 1635"), I keep getting may indicate that the following Register file is corrupted, HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE \ Software \ Classes \ Installer \ Products \ E50E27F2173250C409196B349A542676 \ Patches \ Source List (Product Name > Earthlink.Setup.msi).

I base this speculation on the Microsoft meaning of error 1635, and the fact that the above Registry file has same entry information as is referenced in the Installation Stop Error.

Quote Microsoft

, "ERROR-PATCH-PACKAGE-OPEN-FAILED. 1635. This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and is accessible, or contact the application vender to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package."

So, after a System Restore I am stuck here with the same old installed buggy TA2003.

I hope Earthlink will develop a more comprehensive manual uninstall instruction set for TA2003/04 installed on Windows XP SP1. I have had to do too many system restore operations trying to solve this issue.


Inspiron 5150, XP Pro SP1.

Replies (7)
2 Bronze

Have you every found a solution to this problem.  I too am having the same problem and Earthlink and Dell can't seem to answer the issue.



3 Argentum

Guys, give this a try.  After I got a bad d/l and install of Total Access 2004, I uninstalled (with a lot of garbage left behind). I downloaded and installed the 30 day free trial of Registry Crawler (ck Google), typed Earthlink into its search box, and it brought up all Earthlink registry entries (around 100).  I deleted them, and reinstalled 2004 from the CD I had just received, No problems.  When deleting in RegCrawler, watch for 3-4 entries pertaining to your personal settings and keep them. This will save you some time on reinstall.
3 Argentum

I called Earthlink support on November 15, 2003, and was contacted on the telephone by a person. He walked me through a manual uninstall of Earthlink Total Access 2003.

  1. Went to the Microsoft Windows Add/Remove Program and Clicked "Remove Total Access 2003" the uninstall operation went through what appeared to be a normal uninstall operation…however, after restart the only thing that had been uninstalled was the line item entry in the "Add/remove" program. The Earthlink TA2003 program was still fully intact on the computer.
  2. Attempted to Delete the Earthlink folder in c:/program files. It would not delete because of some files (PnEL.dll, and EAuthMgr.dll). Then shut restarted the computer in Safe Mode, and Deleted the Earthlink folder in c:/program files.
  3. Restarted the computer and Opened Register Editor (Run> regedit). Exported a copy of the entire Register to folder "My Documents" for safe keeping in case of problems (named it ELN). Note: This is not the proper procedure for backing up the entire register, so if anything disastrous had occurred that "copy" would have been almost useless!
  • Expanded HKEY_LOCAL-MACHINE_Software, and deleted the Earthlink Folder.
  • Expanded HKEY –CURRENT-USER-Software, and deleted the Earthlink Folder.
  • Expanded HKEY-LOCAL MACHINE-Software-Classes-Installer -Products, and deleted all folders in the left-hand column that contained an Earthlink reference in the Right column field.
  • Closed the Register. Made sure the %temp% Folder was empty, and rebooted the Computer.
  • The tech said this should solve the problem, and that I should be able to now install the new earthlink software. He said I could now delete the copy of the Register I exported to "My Documents", or wait a few days and see if any problems develop.
  • I do not intend to install the new software now for fear it will result in another piece of uninstallable software. Will work on that problem at some future date. (May try to install a "cleaner" such as Norton system works first, and see if it can clean up the other bits and pieces of A2003 that are laying around in the register.
  • This ended my telecon with Earthlink tech support. This was the most help I had received to date.

    I am going to use the standard Microsoft Windows Program (the old wizard simple setup) via Internet Explorer and Outlook Express to access the Internet and email. Will just have to do without the extra features of the Earthlink software (i.e., Spam blocker etc)…the uncertainty of a faulty install is just worth the potential security problems.

    I may try Mortso’s suggestion at some future date, but right now I am still running a bit "skeered" of the register. I did find a very interesting similar read on this thread…

    editied by chast 11-29-03 ( to correct item 6)

    Message Edited by chast on 11-29-2003 08:51 AM

    3 Argentum

    Correction to my last post:

    # 6. should read…HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE /Software/ Classes / Installer/ Products.

    Sorry about that.


    Inspiron 5150, xp pro sp1

    2 Bronze

    I spoke with both Dell and Earthlink today.  After much to do and both Dell and Earthlink staing it was each others problem and Dell wanting $245.00 to help me re format my computer even though I have a service contract with until 2007 I got no where.  After a formal complaint with both Dell and Earthlink I got a call back and a answer to this msi. issue. 

    msi means it is a Microsoft installer issue and the have a solution now to fix this error..

    Please go to this website and run the Windows Installer Clean up utility

    Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 325084
    This should take care of your msi error.  It worked for you
    3 Argentum

    The information about Windows Installer Clean Up Utility is very interesting...but something does not seem right. That Knowlege Base article appears to deal with the uninstall of SP1 and a specific error code.

    So far, I have not had any install or uninstall problems with any other program, so if the problem is the Microsoft Installer then would it not effect all install / uninstall programs? Wish JRosenfeld, or Denny would voice some expertise on this problem. I am still using earthlink without their software, and that is a pretty bare bones setup.

    Did the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility work for you?

    3 Argentum

    Have you all ever switched to v2004 on the earthlink CD? I used it up until the other day, when I uninstalled it and replaced it with RR. It left a few registry entries behind, but almost all programs do. I just used RegCrawler to remove them.
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