1. "Q. Every time I launch my application, Windows Installer performs an installation. How can I determine the cause of the on-demand installation?

A.

An easy way to determine the cause of an on-demand installation is to look in the application event log for MsiInstaller log messages of the form:

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MsiInstaller
Event ID: 1001
Description:
Detection of product '{000C1109-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}', feature 'Example' failed during request for component '{00030829-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}'
Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MsiInstaller
Event ID: 1004
Description:
Detection of product '{000C1109-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}', feature 'Example', component '{00030829-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}' failed. The resource 'C:\Progam Files\example\example.exe' does not exist.

The first message (with event ID 1001) states which component was being installed. The component listed here is the component named in the Component_ column of the Shortcut table for the particular shortcut.

The second message (with event ID 1004) indicates which component failed detection. Improved event logging in Windows Installer 2.0 has updated the message so that in most cases, the message identifies the actual resource that resulted in the failed detection. The component with the missing or damaged keypath is the component that is triggering the reinstallation.

In the example above, the reinstallation is triggered because the resource 'c:\Program Files\example\example.exe' does not exist. You would then need to find out why the keypath does not exist?in this case, the user deleted it."
And more at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/community/centers/management/msi_faq.mspx

2. "See if "Detect and Repair" feature of Office helps. If not, see:

Windows Installer Cleanup Utility - Description:=20
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/msiclean.htm"
from http://www.pcbanter.com/showthread.php?s=4aac44bd2eba212665ee71b6346ebc7b&p=1804900#post1804900
(a widely noted tool...)

3. http://computercops.biz/postp377041.html
Not an answer, but Spyware can be one of the suspects.

Bob