The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete

For some really odd reason, a recent Firefox update on my Windows Vista computer resulted in the following error message when attempting to launch the program “The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete”

Based on the extremely long but very helpfull mozillaZine forum thread, Firefox may have an orphaned file(s) that prevents the program from launching after an update. On my computer, I had to delete both xpicleanup.exe and xpicleanup.dat Apparently the xpicleanup file is used to cleanup after an update or installation of Firefox. To resolve the problem the following steps may help:

  1. Restart your computer or end all running instances of Firefox or xpicleanup.exe
  2. Open Windows Explorer and ensure that you can view hidden files and folders
  3. Delete the xpicleanup.exe file from C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox
  4. Delete the xpicleanup.dat file from C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox
  5. Firefox should now start normally

12 Replies to “The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete”

  1. It may be worth pointing out that this sollution may only apply to a single user environment.

    I’m using a network in a school with 30 or so computers. I encountered this annoying problem. The | xpicleanup.dat | file is instead found in the Program Files/Mozzilla Firefox Directory.

    So to clarify, my sollution worked like this –

    1. Restart your computer or end all running instances of Firefox or xpicleanup.exe

    2. Open Windows Explorer and ensure that you can view hidden files and folders

    3. Delete the xpicleanup.exe & xpicleanup.dat files from C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

    5. Firefox should now start normally.

    I decided to switch to Firefox to maybe address some of our issues with IE 6 & 7. Did’nt expect to be resolving more probelms! At least we’re away from the grasp of MS now though!

  2. THANK YOU,THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

    I had uninstalled and reinstalled 4 times and I was getting ready to delete and recreate my account until I found your simple fix. Thank you for taking the time to put this out there.

    Mike

  3. Thank you, thank you!! 😀
    I was in exactly the same position as Michael Johnson.
    I wasnt sure if this was a Vista bug or not. I’ve just bought myself a new system with Vista and finding a few bugs with the OS.
    So big thanks to Leo for sorting this one out!!

  4. I am using windows vista ultimate, i face the same prob
    i tried your advise to solve, but still it gives me the same prob. i deleted the xpicleanup.exe from programe files.restarted my Pc, but same prob. Can anyone help Please.Thanks