Overcoming TurboTax 2011 Unrecoverable error during install

16 01 2012

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I got TurboTax this tax season but was greeted with an error message before I could even get the install past the first step. TurboTax  reports an error

Turbotax installation has encountered an unrecoverable error. Would you like more information on this error?

Clicking on the more info button take you to  an Intuit knowledgebase, where they acknowledge that this error occurs sometimes and one can register to be informed when a a fix is posted.

(Update 2012-02-04 Intuit have indentified the problem – read more here)

I really needed to get a jump on my taxes this year. H&R Block Taxcut software did not contain the forms necessary for me to claim my Electric Vehicle credit, so I turned to TurboTax only to get this error. Rather than wait for Intuit to post a  fix, I overcame the error by installing the software instead onto a XPMode virtual machine. If you encounter the TurboTax error and have Windows 7 Professional or better then XP Mode is your workaround.

To install XP Mode visit the following Microsoft website using Internet Explorer. (Microsoft websites work better with internet explorer). The XP Mode download is over 500mb so make a coffee while it downloads. Follow the steps outined on the website, a reboot or two will be required. Once everything is installed click on the start menu, choose all programs and you will now see a new start menu entry called  ‘Windows Virtual PC’. Open that entry and click on Windows XP mode. This will launch a virtual windows XP computer. Once it is runnning insert your Turbotax disk and it should install in the XP computer without any issues.

To save having to spool up the virtual machine each time you want to launch Turbox Tax, visit the Windows Virtual PC entry on the start menu again and look for an entry called Windows XP Mode Applications. Inside this entry you will see Turbotax. Open Turbotax entry and copy/paste that shortcut to your Windows 7 desktop. Now you can launch TurboTax directly from your Windows 7 desktop.

Once you have prepared your taxes the turbotax file can be save to your Windows 7 computer, when saving don’t save to the C drive, look instead for a network drive called ‘C on xxxx” where xxxx is the name of your Windows 7 computer. A PDF copy of your return can be saved here also so that you can prnt your return from your Windows 7 computer.

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4 responses

16 01 2012
Anna

Thank you so much for the info.. I too got the unrecoverable error when i went to install turbotax.

4 02 2012
jpwhitehome

Intuit have discovered the issue, however their fix is complicated and doesn’t always work. Instead use the quick fix I posted here http://jpwhiteblog.net/2012/02/04/turbotax-2011-unrecoverable-error-the-better-fix/

11 02 2012
Correcting TurboTax Update Error ‘File cannot be found in cabinet file TurboTax.cab’ « JPWhite's Tech Blog

[...] electric vehicle credits. I got a refund for TaxCut and purchased Turbo Tax instead. Then my install of TurboTax failed, requiring some fancy foor work to overcome until Intuit posted a resolution. That was followed by [...]

23 01 2013
Al

Thanks so much for the tip on how to install Turbo Tax after getting the “unrecoverable error when it would not install. Installing the 2 fonts worked quick and easy. I’m not very computer sophisticted. And you don’t know how frustrated and disgusted I was! Turbo Tax listed 4 solutions that I could not get to work. Was this their problem or Windows?

I feel like I should pay you for this help. Anyway, thanks.

Al R.

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