Recently I was trying to install SQL Server 2005 on a workstation running Windows XP Professional SP3 and for some reason the installation kept failing. The first item in the list that failed was MSXML 6.0. After combing through the log file I found the following message: “Product: MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 (KB954459) — Configuration failed.”
According to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968749, when SQL Server Setup tries to install MSXML 6.0 SP2, it detects that the version of MSXML 6.0 that is described in Knowledge Base article 954459 is already installed on the computer. Therefore, the validation process indicates that the current version of MSXML 6.0 should not be replaced. This stops the installation of both MSXML 6.0 and SQL Server 2005.
To work around this issue, use the Windows Installer CleanUp utility to remove references to MSXML 6.0 Service Pack 2. The Windows Installer CleanUp utility can be downloaded here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301. Once installed, simply run the utility, select MSXML6 Service Pack 2 (KB954459) [6.20.1099.0] in the list and click Remove. After MSXML 6.0 has been removed then you should be able to install SQL Server 2005 without any further problems.