MSI Won't Install

By John Mitchell

MSI is a self-executing Windows Installer file. Its primary function is to install new software on your Windows computer. Windows Installer is an installation and configuration service offered by Microsoft for use by software developers and publishers. When running an MSI file you downloaded from the Internet, you may sometimes encounter problems where it won't work. The software may not install as intended. It can be avoided by running the MSI files as an administrator or resolved with a few troubleshooting steps.

Step 1

Run the MSI installation file as a Windows system administrator. In Windows Vista and 7, right-click the file, then select the "Run as administrator" option from the drop-down menu. Some software installations require administrator privileges to execute properly and fully install.

Step 2

Check if the Windows Installer engine is properly functioning. Click the "Start" icon, then type in "cmd" in the search box. From the command prompt, type "MSIExec" and hit the "Enter" key. If the Windows Installer engine is working, then no error messages will display.

Step 3

Verify if the Windows Installer is enabled. Click the "Start" menu, then type "services.msc" in the search box. Press the "Enter" button to open the Windows Services. Right-click the "Windows Installer" service, then select "Properties." The Startup Type box should be marked as "Manual" and not "Disabled." Make the change, if necessary, then click the "OK" button.

Step 4

Start or restart the Windows Installer. Select the "Windows Installer" service from the same dialog box. Then click the "Start" option. The services should load without errors.

Step 5

Register the Windows Installer service again. Click the "Start" icon, then open the "Accessories" folder, and click "Command Prompt." Type "MSIExec /unregister" at the prompt. Then type "MSIExec /regserver." This will re-register the Windows Installer service.

Tips & Warnings

  • After each troubleshooting attempt, try running the MSI installation file.
  • If none of the troubleshooting methods work, then it could be corrupted. Try downloading the file again or contact the software publisher for a replacement disk.