Disclaimer: Apple does not necessarily endorse any suggestions, solutions, or third-party software products that may be mentioned in the topic below. Apple encourages you to first seek a solution at Apple Support. The following links are provided as is, with no guarantee of the effectiveness or reliability of the information. Apple does not guarantee that these links will be maintained or functional at any given time. Use the information below at your own discretion.
While upgrading or uninstalling a Windows software application (such as iTunes for Windows or QuickTime for Windows), you may receive one of the following error messages:
file name is not a valid short file name
The folder path 'folder name' contains an invalid character.
... where file name could be the name of any file, and folder name could be the name of any folder.
In the case of software that uses advertised shortcuts (such as recent versions of iTunes for Windows or Safari for Windows), the messages may also appear when attempting to launch software that has already been installed.
The error messages are usually caused by damage to the installation database for the application. Clearing the installation database for the application by using the Windows Installer CleanUp utility can usually get you past the error message.
(1) Click [here|http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301] first, and read the important information about the utility.
(2) Click the *Download the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility package now* link on that page to download a file titled msicuu2.exe.
(3) Open the msicuu2.exe file and follow the prompts to install it.
(4) In your Start menu click *All Programs* and then click *Windows Install Clean Up.* The Windows Installer CleanUp utility window appears, listing software that is currently installed on your computer.
(5) Select the software you're getting the "not a valid short file name" or "invalid character" message for from the list and click Remove.
(6) Click OK in the confirmation dialog that appears.
(7) If you have multiple entries for the software you're getting the "not a valid short file name" or "invalid character" message for, repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other entries for the software.
(8) Click Exit.
(9) Restart the computer.
If you were getting the "not a valid short file name" or "invalid character" message when trying to upgrade or launch software, now try reinstalling the latest version of the software.
If you were getting the "not a valid short file name" or "invalid character" message when just trying to uninstall software, program files for the software in question will remain on the PC after it has been removed by the Windows Installer CleanUp utility. If you want to remove leftover program files, check in at the appropriate forum at [Apple Discussions|http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa?categoryID=1] and ask which files can be safely removed.
This is the 1st version of this tip. It was submitted on March 24, 2010 by b noir.
Do you want to provide feedback on this User Contributed Tip or contribute your own? If you have achieved Level 2 status, visit the User Tips Library Contributions forum for more information.
Lenovo t61 laptop, Windows XP Pro, various ipod models