MSI: Troubleshooting Package Installation
Published Mar 15 2019 08:55 PM 2,875 Views
First published on TECHNET on Jun 07, 2009


Description: Microsoft Windows Installer Service is an installation and configuration service included in Windows.  It allows you to add, modify, and remove applications provided as Windows Installer (*.msi) packages.  Note, this service is set to Manual by default, and only starts when needed (On-Demand).

Scoping the Issue: There are a number of steps to carry out that will help to more clearly define the nature of the issue:

  1. If you have not done so already, re-try the package installation while logged on as an account that is a member of the local Administrators group

  2. Attempt to install a different .MSI package (or two).  This will help to narrow down whether the problem is package-specific

  3. Confirm that no services are stuck in the “Starting” state.

    • Launch the Services Applet (services.msc)

    • Sort the Column header labeled “Status”

    • Scroll through the list – the entries should say “Started” or be blank.  If any are not, make a note of the service name and the status

  4. Check the Event logs for any Errors or Warnings.  You should note any events with the Source of MsiInstaller.

Data Gathering: In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done.  Additional data required may include the following:

  • Use Process Monitor to gather a log while trying to install the package

  • Capture a verbose MSI log that we can use to troubleshoot the issue:

    • Open a command prompt (on Windows Vista and later operating systems, run an Elevated command prompt)

    • Change directories to the location of the package that we are troubleshooting

    • Run the following command: msiexec /I <name of package>.msi /L*v c:\<directory to save log file>\msilog.log – this will create a log file for that specific installation attempt

  • You may elect to enable verbose logging for all MSI activities.  See Microsoft KB Article 223300 for more information on configuring MSI Logging

  • We’ll also need to identify what version of the Windows Installer running on your machine.  To capture this information, click on Start, Run and then run MSIEXEC.EXE.  This will bring up the Windows Installer information box (shown below).  The version number is on the first line:

Troubleshooting / Resolution: There are several steps that you can take:

  • Review the Event Logs for errors, and address where possible

  • Review the Process Monitor logs – if there are “Access Denied” errors, you may have an issue with permissions.  Before resetting or altering permissions, contact Microsoft Product Support for assistance as unintended consequences may occur if you alter permissions incorrectly

  • For package installations that require network resources, ensure that the system / accounts you are working on are able to access the required locations

Additional Resources:

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‎Mar 15 2019 08:55 PM
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