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Ever-persistent "Install hangs at Preparing to install"

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1. I used under Windows XP for many years.  Installed new versions quickly and flawlessly.  Quite satisfied with


2. More than a year ago, I purchased a new computer that had Windows 10.  Could not get to install.  Googled the problem, and found several people had the same issue: "Install hangs at Preparing to install".


Much to my chagrin, I was forced to give up  Settled for an inferior replacement that supports layers.


3. Today, I tried to install again.  I eventually succeeded.  Allow me to describe the major steps, which included another apparent "Install hangs at Preparing to install", so perhaps you can improve to alleviate this problem.


4. On my first attempt to install, I selected the "Custom" installation method.  The "Custom Installation Options" screen had all boxes checked except "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions".


Result: Install hung at Preparing to install


5. While trying to figure out the problem, I went to this page:


When I click on its link "Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.7.2", it takes users to a page for installing Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.1, not 4.7.2


When I look at your forum page "Common Install / Uninstall / Crash Problems and Solutions!" under Problems during Install / Uninstall, it says we should use .NET Framework v4.8.


Really wish the folks at would remove these inconsistencies.


6. Downloaded from a different source and tried to install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2.  Its install program told me that 4.7.2 or better was already installed on my computer.


7. Tried one last time to install  This time, I selected the "Express" installation method. installed without hanging.


8. Of course, the apparent drawback to the "Express" installation method is that was not set as the default image editor for common graphics file formats (PNG etc.).  Therefore, I was forced to use Windows 10's "Choose default apps by file type" to set each common graphics file format one-by-one to


I was very surprised that Windows 10 took an inordinate amount of time to make each change.


I wondered, "Does appear to hang during Custom installation because so much time is required to set as the default image editor for common graphics file formats?"  I futilely waited a *long* time for "Preparing to install" to go away, but who knows?  If it is the problem, then the developers of should atomize the process of setting as the default image editor for common graphics file formats.  Give users progress messages (e.g. "Set as default image editor for BMP files", then "Set as default image editor for JPEG files", etc.) so users don't just stare at a seemingly interminable "Preparing to install" message.

Edited by jbowyer

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