Troubleshoot Windows Installer Error

Windows Installer Error

Microsoft Windows Installer service is a built-in feature found in all Windows operating systems including Vista, 2003, XP and 2000. The software helps in reducing total cost of ownership by enabling developers to efficiently install and configure their products and applications on Windows systems.

You may receive a Windows Installer error if the concerned files are either damaged or missing. You may also receive the error if the program you are installing or removing is using the Windows Installer Microsoft Software Installation (MSI) package file—.msi. The error is quite common while you are trying to install one of the Microsoft office suits on your system and it tries to access the Windows Installer service. The error displayed is:

Error 1719: The Windows Installer service could not be accessed" error message when you try to add or remove a program

Methods to Resolve Windows Installer Error

To resolve Windows Installer error you must first try to re-register the Windows Installer Executable file—Msiexec.exe. It this method does not work, then you will have to reinstall the installer service. Let’s now have a look at the steps to execute each method.

Note: The methods described here follow the steps for the Windows XP operating system. They may vary a bit based on the operating system on your computer. Also, we have assumed that Windows is installed in the C:\Windows folder.

Re-register Windows Installer

To re-register Windows Installer, first find out the location of Msoexec.exe file. For this, select Start > Search > All files and folders. In the ‘Search Results’ window, select ‘All files and folders’. Next, type ‘Msiexec.exe’ in the ‘All or part of the file name’ box and click ‘Search’. The location returned should be C:\Windows\System32.

Now, open the Registry Editor by running the Regedit.exe file. In the Registry Editor navigate to:


Double-click the ‘Imagepath’ key. Verify that the Value Data box displays the following path:

Drive:\Windows\System32\Msiexec.exe /V

If the field carries incorrect information, then rectify it and select the ‘OK’ button to apply your changes, exit the ‘Edit String’ box. Finally, close the Registry Editor window.

Next, restart your PC in Safe mode by pressing F8 at system startup and then selecting the appropriate option. Next, select Start > Run and type the following in the ‘Open’ field and press ‘OK’:

C:\Windows\Syswow64\Msiexec /regserver

Finally, shutdown your computer and restart it normally. If the error persists and Windows Installer does not load properly, then proceed to the next method.

Reinstall Windows Installer

To reinstall Windows Installer, open command prompt by running the ‘cmd’ command. At command prompt type the following commands and press Enter to run each command:

attrib -r -s -h c:\windows\system32\dllcache
ren msi.dll msi.bak
ren msiexec.exe msiexec.bak
ren msihnd.dll msihnd.bak

The above steps enable you to rename the existing msi.dll, msiexec.exe, and msihnd.dll files. Exit command prompt after renaming the files.

Next, download the latest update of Windows Installer for your Windows operating system from the Microsoft Download Center. Install the downloaded installer on your system and shutdown and restart your computer. This method should rectify your Windows Installer problem.

Windows installer enables developers to install and configure their products and applications on Windows systems. If you receive an error related to Windows Installer then you can resolve it either by re-registering the msiexec.exe file or by reinstalling the Windows Installer. Be careful while working with the registry and always make a backup before making any changes to it.