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Such installation failures can occur for a lot of reasons.. I begin by visiting the machine and running a full scan with a secondary malware scanner using either or both of the tools below.. McAfee doesn't seem to catch some of the newer problems such as Antivirus 2008/2009 and other Fake Alert malware which can shut down onboard antvirus programs.
SUPERAntispyware Removal Tool
If everything comes up clean, then I perform a manual uninstall of the previous version of McAfee, just to make sure there aren't any remnants on the machine, then run Chkdsk, restart the computer once more time, and reinstall again with all other antimalware programs disabled. (ANY onboard, realtime scanner can cause issues when installing an antivirus program and as such, disabling it is a good idea.
Manual Uninstall of Virus Scan Enterprise 8.0i
Manual Uninstall Of Virus Scan Enterprise 8.5i
Hope this helps.