4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2012 10:45 PM by b noir
OldTim Level 1 (0 points)

I learned from the Apple Store that to use our new iPad, I needed a version of iTunes of 10 or higher.  I was running iTunes ver.  Disclaimer:  when opening iTunes (ver I would always get a dialog box saying something along the lines of "Windows system components required for iTunes are missing" but I could just click on Continue and iTunes opened and worked fine.  I could not find which Windows components were missing.  I am running Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 3.  32-bit  The desktop has a 1.8 Ghz Intel Celeron Processsor.  1.99 Gb of RAM


I upgraded from the old version of iTunes to ver.  The download and install all went smoothly and there were no error messages.  When the install was done, iTunes didn't open.  I closed everything, restarted and tried again - no luck.  When I click on iTunes, the hourglass appears for several seconds and then disappears.  Nothing more happens.


I went to the Apple Support Communities site and read a number of discussions with the same problem.  Here's what I've tried so far, and the results.


1.     I opened the Windows Task Manager, clicked on Processes and then tried to open iTunes.   iTunes appeared briefly in Task Manager - Processes (iTunes.exe) and then disappeared.  Nothing more.


2.     I read of a problem with Data Extraction Protection, so I added iTunes and iTunes Helper to the Data Extraction Protection exception list.  No change - no iTunes.  Reversed that change.


3.     I found, read, and followed the knowledge base article "Removing and Reinstalling iTunes, QuickTime, and other software components for Windows XP"  (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1925)  The only thing I noticed was that QuickTime was not downloaded or installed.  I had not checked the box to make iTunes the default audio player, but I don't know if that is why.  After the download and install (ver 10.7 again) iTunes still did not open.  Same hourglass performance as before.


4.     I downloaded and installed QuickTime (ver restarted the desktop and tried iTunes - still no luck. 


5.     I turned off my anti-virus software (Avast) and tried iTunes - no luck.  Restarted Avast


6.     I turned off ZoneAlarm and tried iTunes - still no luck.  Restarted ZoneAlarm


I am now out of ideas and still cannot open iTunes.  I fear I actually have some missing or corrupt Windows component (virus infection over a year ago), but have no idea how to narrow down or identify and fix the problem.  If anyone has already solved this problem or has good ideas for a solution, please let me know.  Sorry for being so long-winded but I felt providing all the information was necessary.  Thanks!

Windows XP Pro
  • b noir Level 9 (72,060 points)

    "Windows system components required for iTunes are missing" but I could just click on Continue and iTunes opened and worked fine.


    Doublechecking something ... have you customised your windows installation in any way? In particular, at some stage, did you uninstall the Smart card service?

  • OldTim Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't know that the Windows installation was customised - but I didn't originally install it.  I checked (Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services) and Smart card is not there.  Thoughts?  Recommendations?

  • OldTim Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks b noir for pointing me in the right direction.  I now have iTunes 10.7 up and running and it works fine.


    After your question I was sure I didn't have a smart card service and searched for ways to reinstall it.  I also was advised by my computer literate brother to recheck Windows Updates for Smart Card services.  I found the (long ago hidden by me) Microsoft Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider Package (KB909520) and ran that update.  Then I retried the process I found at a web site named lazybit.  The specific URL for that one is

    http://lazybit.com/index.php/2007/12/19/windows_xp_re_install_smart_card_service  if anyone needs it. 


    I'm honestly not sure which piece did what but I now have a service named Smart Card Helper, and iTunes opens just fine.  Good enough for me - thanks again!!

  • b noir Level 9 (72,060 points)

    Excellent news!


    Assuming this is what I think it was, it's been ages since I've seen one of these. (They were more common around 2007-2009.) The mechanism seems to be that uninstalling the Smart Card service removes two of the security dlls associated with Cryptographic Services ... without those dlls in place, various versions of iTunes fail to launch (usually in an error-message-free fashion). An unexpected result of customising the OS.