Add / Remove Windows components doesn't work (because of an inf-file)

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So Add / Remove Windows components from Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs doesn't open, which is accompanied with the following error:

Unable to open information file custom.inf Contact administrator.
Specific error code - 0x2 at line 2011777033

I faced with this in LonerXP Dream Lair 2010 distro and the first that came to my mind was creating a minimal inf-file in Notepad with C:\Windows\Inf\custom.inf path and the following content:

; This is the Setup information file to install optional components
; Copyright (c) 1996 Microsoft Corporation


Although the trick was successful — Add / Remove Windows components began to open, I started being interested in the root of the problem. In the Net I found out that inf-files used by this applet are listed in another inf-file, C:\Windows\Inf\sysoc.inf, in Components section. You can edit this file and remove a link to an absent file:


Maybe the two methods described above are OK if an absent inf-file is not very critical to you. In case if it's necessary to restore such files as multimed.inf, games.inf, or pinball.inf, you can copy them from an other Windows installation.

Also it's possible to restore them from a Windows CD with the help of expand command line utility (here I assume that your CDROM is D and system partition is C, so change letters in the following command if you need):

expand D:\I386\pinball.in_ C:\windows\inf\pinball.inf

If the above command has been executed successfully, then something like the following will be printed:

Microsoft (R) File Expansion Utility  Version 5.1.2600.0
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation, 1990-1999. All rights reserved.

Expanding d:\i386\pinball.in_ to c:\windows\inf\pinball.inf.
d:\i386\pinball.in_: 1506 bytes expanded to 7190 bytes, increase 377%.

I wish you success.

18 April 2012

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