iOS 5 is upon us, so I thought I would snag a copy and see what’s what. But, first thing’s first… I apparently needed to upgrade iTunes to 10.5. (Why? Why do I need a particular version of a media player to install a particular version of a mobile phone OS?)
I’m running Windows Vista (yes, really) Ultimate x64 SP2 with all current patches applied. After the obligatory unchecking of unwanted crap from the Apple software update tool (specifically, MobileMe and Safari), I settled in to watch the very slow download. I guess Apple’s servers are a bit overloaded right now. And then the very slow installation process begins. And then… the very slow installation process aborts.
Hmmm. Try again. At least it didn’t seem to need to do the download again. Same failure. No real error message. Just “failed to install” or something equally unhelpful.
A quick Google turned up lots of people having this problem. Some on Windows 7, some on Vista. All on x64. The typical advice was to try installing as an administrator, try downloading and running the MSI by hand, try both (manual install as an administrator). None of it helped. It did, however, reveal a more useful error message. “Service ‘iPod Service’ (iPod Service) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.”
Googling this turned up a year-old blog post by David Lesault which hit the spot.
Essentially, it seems the installer has issues uninstalling the iPod Service sometimes (I’ve never had this problem before, others seem to have had it since the genesis of iTunes 10.x). The service is marked for deletion, but not quite gone yet. Hence trying to install the new version of the service failed. This is similar to that funky Windows things where it can’t delete files that are in use by a process, but remembers them and deletes them when you reboot. Which, incidentally, is one of the primary reasons why Windows insists on reboots after various kinds of patches, although this is much, much better in Vista and later.
So, I slightly altered David’s process. I got myself to the error message and then simply switched my machine off (hold the power button for 4 seconds). When I restarted and tried the install again, MSI said that a pending installation was in progress and I would need to roll that back before continuing, which I duly did. I was a bit worried that the “rollback” would reinstall the old version of the service, but it didn’t seem to. And that’s that… the iTunes 10.5 upgrade successfully installed.
Now, only 7 minutes left of the iOS 5 download, and who knows how long it will take to actually upgrade the phone and what issues I will have…?
Thanks Apple. :-/