Recently, a friend of mine tried to install a program on his Windows machine and the computer gave the blue screen of death error. After he restarted his computer, he tried to run a different program and he got the following message:

The Windows Installer service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed.

windows installer error

If you are getting this error in Windows, here are a few things you can try to fix it!

Method 1 – Make sure the Windows Installer service is started

Sometimes, if the Installer service is disabled, you will get this error. You can turn it on by going to Start, then Run and typing in Services.msc. In newer versions of Windows, just click on Start and start typing services.msc.

services msc

Then scroll down to Windows Installer and double-click on it. Set the Startup Type to Manual, click Apply and the click Start to start the service.

windows installer

You can also start the service by going to Start, Run and type in net start MSIServer into the Run box.

Method 2 – Delete MSIEXEC with no extension

Another strange thing that can happen is the creation of a second msiexec file in your C:\Windows\system32 directory. By default, there should only be one msiexec.exe file in that directory, but sometimes another one gets created with no extension and a size of 0 KB.

If that is the case, then you should rename the extra msiexec file with a .OLD extension. Once you rename it, then you can restart the Windows Installer service. Again, just go to Services and right click on Windows Installer and choose Restart.

Method 3 – Modify Remote Procedure Call Service

Sometimes the issue can be caused by another service called Remote Procedure Call. Go to the Services section again like mentioned above (Start, Run, services.msc) and right-click on Remote Procedure Call (not the one that says RPC Locator) and choose Properties.

Now click on the Log On tab and under Log on as:, choose Local System Account and tick the Allow this service to interact with the desktop checkbox. Then restart your computer and see if the problem goes away.

If that does not work, choose the This account: radio button and click Browse. Search for Network Service and click OK. The password will automatically be filled in for this account, so don’t change it.

remote procedure call

Again, restart your computer and see if the problem goes away. Note that if it goes away when you chose Local System Account, just leave it at that setting. Only change it to NT Authority\NetworkService if Local System Account does not work.

Method 4 – Reinstall Windows Installer Service

If that does not work, you can download the Windows Installer Service and re-install it! Kind of ironic eh!? Do this if you do not even see the service listed in the Services applet or if nothing else works.

You can download the MSIServer package from WinHelpOnline. Once you download it, unzip it and right-click on the .REG file and click Merge. Click Yes when asked to confirm. This basically adds the required registry keys for the Installer service to work properly.

Method 5 – Install the latest Windows Installer version

Finally, you can do a search on Google for “Windows Installer” and download the latest version from Microsoft. This will ensure that you are not running an older version that could be causing conflicts with other software, etc.

Hopefully one of these solutions will fix your problem! If you did it another way, please post a comment letting us know how! Thanks!

Comments [0]

  1. I have implemented all 5 methods except method 3, but I still get the message that the windows installer service couldn't be accessed. The only reason I didn't do method 3 was that the info on the Log On tab is disabled so I can't modify the information and I can't find a way to enable it. I am running Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit. I am trying to install the WMDC driver update for 64 bit, which I need in order to sync my smartphone to WMDC, but I can't install it because the windows installer service can't be accessed. Any guidance would be very much appreciated!

  2. I am in the same position as ninjamomm, my logon tab is also disabled. I can't download I can't run a program without the same old error message coming up. I have 3 important downloads stuck they download but I get the error message every time. This is so frustrating and of course nothing on the MS help pages works. I am running Windows Vista Home Premium and of course I can't use the DVD to fix it because MS didn't supply one!

  3. Had the same issues as ninjamomm and facdesteve. Running Vista Home Premium 64 bit and encountered this dreadful error.

    FINALLY found a fix that actually worked for me. Follow these steps:


    Type in: regedit

    Navigate the menu by clicking each of the following:






    Right click on WOW64 and select 'Modify'

    Change Value Data from 1 to 0

    then close this box

    Navigate to the Run dialog again (as we started with above)

    Type in: services.msc

    Scroll down to Windows Installer and STOP the service and then START it again.

    Then Reboot your machine.

    Hope this works for others. It finally did the trick for me! Good Luck.

  4. I'm getting the 1719 error when trying to install Nikon Transfer. I tried all the methods listed in the number of articles. They didn't help.

    I see here some new ideas – e.g. method #3 – but I'm afraid that it would make my computer vulnerable to security attacks, although I have Kaspersky Internet Security protection installed. Plus I'm using Windows XP, not Vista.

    I noticed one strange thing regarding msiexec file. I have 7 instances of it, not one! I understand that there is an .old one after using those fixing methods, but why do I have 5 more??? 3 of them are in uninstall folders, which may be OK as I had the windows re-installed about 2 months ago. One is in prefetch folder, one in servicepackfilesi386 and one in system32dllcache

    Is that OK to have so many msiexec? Can it be the reason I'm getting the 1719? I have the latest version of msi – 4.5.

    Thanks in advance for any help.


  5. same problem like AamLVI17. Can't see WOW64 entry there…….what to do now??

  6. Method 5 worked for me. I could not install anything in Windows XP Mode inside Virtual PC running on a Win7x64 enterprise workstation.

  7. Thanks.

    All works.


    Please right click – new – DWORD Value – then, rename with WOW64 and set value.

  8. YES!! Just trying to install a part of iTunes (don't need iTunes on this system) called Bonjour and was getting the same dreadful message. I have an HP Ultimate Vista 64 machine. cminniect's advice worked for me after many other failures. Thank God!!! – and cminniect of course. :)

  9. I'm running Vista Ultimate 64 with all the software updated. I tried to fix this problem and after exhausting all of the above recommendations and still experiencing the problem, I downloaded iTunes to a folder and installed it successfully from there.

    I've visited several websites with most of the recommendations here also found on the other websites. However, the presentation here is simple and easy to follow. Thanks "" for making this frustrating experience go down easy. I hope my info is of help to others.

  10. Thank you . I was running Windows Server 2008 R2 (64bit) with Remote Desktop Services and the Installer Service would not start. I tried sfc /SCANNOW – did not find or fix the problem. I tried booting from the Windows 2008 CDROM and try a repair "X:sourcesRecoveryStartRep.exe" did not find any errors. The Reg fix – fixed my issue in step 4. Thanks again.

  11. I can’t edit the RPC service – all of the tabs relating to the service are greyed out. How can I enable them?

  12. Hi there,

    For those that are having this issue and Windows Installer not being listed within the Services.msc I’ve managed to get mine working. The entry appeared to be missing or corrupt or something within the registry.

    Step One

    Download –

    If it asks you to merge, you must already have the msiserver entry in your registry. For me it didn’t ask if I wanted to merge so I’m assuming the entry wasn’t there.

    Step Two

    It’s important to restart your computer after doing the above as for me I didn’t notice a difference and installations still failed until I restarted. Once I’d restarted it was showing in Services.msc and allowed me to run my updates and install programs.

  13. Method 4 edit. I fixed mine through this method but when doing merge, it just opened with notepad and did nothing. Do this. open regedit and click file> import> and then browse to the file you downloaded in method 4 and import it. No more failed program installs and no more failed windows updates. I works :)

  14. Hi Aseem, your method 4 worked, but I had to modify it. The right click and Merge didn’t do the job. I found out on another site that I could import that file and merge it in Regedit and presto! it fixed the problem after I struggled with it for days, including manually changing the Registry entries.

    Robert, I had a similar problem. This is a nasty error, and it took me days to fix it, and I tried everything. You’ll probably have to go into Regedit and add it. Fix It didn’t work at all for me, and I also ran up against access denied errors for a lot of solutions. I’m going to assume you’re running Vista, although I don’t know that for certain.

    Here’s what I did that finally worked:

    1. Grab Aseem’s file from Method 4 above and unzip it.

    2. I renamed it to Reset.Reg, but I don’t think that’s necessary

    3. Go to Start, type in run, and then click the run icon

    4. In the small pop up Run windown, type in Regedit, then hit ok.

    5. In Regedit, click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand it

    6. Then click System, then CurrentControlSet, then Services

    7. I manually added the MSIServer key, but I don’t think you have to do this. The less painful way is just to

    File (on the top menu), then Import, then find your file you got from Aseem, whether its’

    called MSISERVER.REG, RESET.REG, or whatever it is.

    8. Click on the file

    9. You should get a message saying that the keys from that file have been successfully added to the registry.

    10.You must restart your machine

    11.Once you’ve restarted, go to Start, Search and search for Services

    12.Click on that file, once it comes up in Search

    13.You should now see Windows Installer in there and you should be able to start it

  15. After suffering for over a year being unable to install new programs, program updates or Windows updates, I was successful in fixing this with Method 4. Reading the notes from others here was VERY helpful in being reminded to RESTART!!!

    After about 45 min of trying the different methods here, it was fixed, and the 16 missed Windows updates took longer to install than the actual troubleshooting and repairing. THANKS to everyone here who helped out, when the Microsoft “knowledge” base was worthless.

  16. This is what fixed my computer:

    To resolve the problem:

    Click on Start
    Select Run
    In the “Open:” field, type cmd
    Click OK

    An MS-DOS Prompt window will come up on the screen with a blinking cursor at the command line. In this window you will need to do the following:

    Type msiexec /unregister and press Enter
    Type msiexec /regserver and press Enter

    After you have run the second command, it will return you to a new line ending with > and a blinking cursor. When you see this, you may safely close the command prompt, and try installing the software again.

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