How to Fix Windows Installer Error


If you have ever encountered a problem while attempting to install an application, then it’s more than likely that you have come face to face with a Windows installer error.

These errors arise because of a number of different reasons; a Windows installer error indicates that there is a problem with the installer package which is prohibiting it from completing the installation process. Repairing this problem is possible, but the exact solution may vary.

The basic idea behind an installer error is essentially the computer systems inability to read a particular file or files that are required for the installation process to be run, this in term prevents the end user from installing the application. Fixing this problem firstly requires the end user to figure out, exactly what is causing the problem, and from there they can attempt to repair it.

That said there are a number of general fixes that you can attempt. All of which I have chosen to outline below.

Ensure Windows Installer Service is started

The first thing you’ll want to be sure of before anything else is that Windows Installer is actually running. Establishing this is relatively simple, just do the following:

  1. First, boot into your computer with administrative privileges.
  2. Then press Windows Key + R, to open the Run Command box and type Services.msc into it and click OK.Run Command box
  3. Once Services loads up, navigate to Windows Installer and double click on it.Windows Installer
  4. This will open up Windows Installer Properties; from here you can determine whether or not the service is running, under Service Status, if it is not, simply click on Start, then OK and attempt to install the application again.Windows Installer Properties
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Delete the MSIEXEC File

Another thing that is capable of causing Windows Installer to not work correctly is the creation of a second MSIEXEC file. Sometimes there will be a second one of these files located in the following directory:


By default, you should only have one of these files in that location; typically the second one will have a file size of 0 KB with no file extension.

If you find that there is a second file in your case, then you should rename the second MSIEXEC file to MSIEXEC.OLD. Once you have successfully renamed the file, you can restart the Windows Installer service, using the instructions above.

Update Windows Installer

Apart from the possible solutions above, it’s always a good idea to ensure you have the most up-to-date version of Windows Installer running on your computer. There is a good chance that your version of Windows Installer is outdated without you even knowing it. In this particular situation, upgrading it should be sufficient in fixing any installation problems you may be having.

Unregister and Re-register Windows Installer

Another method that has proven to be quite effective at fixing any problems with the Windows Installer entails re-registering the Windows services. To do this, simply do the following:

  1. First, boot into your computer with your administrative user profile.
  2. Then press Windows Key + R, type cmd into the Run Command box and click on OK.Command box
  3. When Command Prompt loads up, type MSIEXEC /UNREGISTER, and then press Enter.MSIEXEC /UNREGISTER
  4. Lastly, type MSIEXEC /REGISTER and press Enter.MSIEXEC /REGISTER

Now you can try installing the application you were having problems with.


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Run System File Checker

System File Checker is a built-in Windows tool designed for restoring previously damaged or erased Windows system files. Since Windows Installer is a system process, the integrity of the system files will determine whether or not it and many other processes will function optimally. Thankfully, System File Checker is available to both check these files and replace them where necessary.

Anyway, you can run this powerful tool by doing the following:

  1. You need to First
    boot computer with full administrative rights.
  2. Then press Windows Key + R, type cmd (into the Run Command box) and click on OK.cmd in run
  3. After the Command Prompt loads up, type sfc /scannow and press the Enter button.sfc /scannow

Note: If System File Checker is unable to replace a file using the cache folder on your hard drive, it will request you put the Windows CD into the CD-ROM drive in order to continue.

Modify Remote Procedure Call Service

Sometimes problems with the Windows Installer can be caused by the Remote Procedure Call service. To fix or rather eliminate this as a prime culprit, simply do the following:

  1. First, boot into your computer, with administrative rights.
  2. Then press Windows Key + R, type Services.msc into the Run Command box and click OK.Services.msc
  3. Once Services loads up, double click on Remote Procedure Call.Remote Procedure
  4. This will load up the Remote Procedure Call Properties, from here click on the Log On Tab, then select Local System Account for Log on as, and tick the box next to Allow services to interact with desktop and click on OK.Remote Procedure Call Properties
  5. Restart your computer and try and install the application again.
  6. If it still doesn’t work, then using steps 1 – 3, click on the Log On Tab, then click on this account, from here click on the Browse button.Log On Tab
  7. Then type Network Services into the Enter the object name to select box and click on Check Name, followed by OK.Network Services
  8. The password should fill automatically. So click OK, to close the Properties applet and restart your computer.Properties applet



Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website Compuchenna.


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