Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed

“The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in a safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.”

I read and tried lots of solutions around the web, but most of them didn’t work. This solved it for me:

Ensure the Windows Installer service is not disabled by typing “NET STOP MSISERVER” and “NET START MSISERVER” at the command line.

To reach the command line in Windows XP, go to Start -> Run -> “cmd”

Source

For future reference, some instances of msi.dll are located in:

C:\Windows\system32
C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 (probably can leave this one)
E:\I386 (this too)
E:\Windows\System32 (only if I have trouble with the Windows on drive E, which should be F…)

20 Responses to “Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed”

  1. Sam says:

    Your solution worked when all others failed! THANKS!

  2. olu says:

    Your solution worked but fails again when you reboot/restart. Any permanent solution? I have to repeat the process everytime. I use Win XP SP2. Pls assist.

  3. Grim says:

    Well, it didnt work for me.

    Most of my programs work fine, installer starts up just like normal, but when I try to boot up the install for Maya 5.0.1 or 3DS Max 6.0, it gives that #[email protected]! message. I’ve tried various other solutions, but nothing seems to work.

    Any help here would be most appreciated.

    [email protected]

    -Grim-

  4. Annette says:

    Thanks, but even after your solution, as well as all the Microsoft “fixes”, I continue to get the same error message The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in a safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance. upon attempting to install anything (even a toolbar in explorer).

    I bought and used RegCure — no cure.

    Any other suggestions?

  5. Adnan says:

    THANK YOU so Much.

  6. Anwar says:

    This is the solution that worked for me, i accpet paypal donation if i save your day and avoid you a windows reinstallation :) any amount will be welcome.

    1. Click Start, click Run, then type Regedt32.
    2. For each of the registry hives, follow these steps:
    a. Select the hive.
    b. For Windows XP, on the Edit menu, click Permissions.
    For Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4, on the Security menu, click Permissions.
    3. Verify that the SYSTEM account has been added and that it has Full control. If it does not, add the SYSTEM account with Full control.

  7. Anwar says:

    after that you have to start the windows installer service as shown before and it will start without problem.

  8. Gary Zaydman says:

    this didn’t work for me :-(

  9. Eddy says:

    Hi. Go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319624
    Scroll down the page a bit, and you will find this. It worked for me with Windows 2k:-
    Method 1: Unregister and re-register the Windows Installer
    1. Click Start, click Run, type MSIEXEC /UNREGISTER, and then click OK. Even if you do this correctly, it may look like nothing occurs.
    2. Click Start, click Run, type MSIEXEC /REGSERVER, and then click OK. Even if you do this correctly, it may look like nothing occurs, or you may briefly see an hourglass. After you run this command, the operation is complete.
    3. Try your Windows Installer-based application again.

    • vijay says:

      thanks Eddy. your method worked for me. I haven’t restarted my machine but I think it should work even after a restart. It seems i my case the problem seemed to be due to a “suspended installation of safari” which screwed up the Windows Installer thingy.

      thanks once again.

    • Kenn says:

      I wonder if this work with, window vista (Home premium)?

  10. bsh says:

    perfect answers.
    I have been reading HP and MS sites all night , until I tripped over your site. Did I mention Thank You!

  11. philipg says:

    Nice advice, but my XP SP3 still gives me the same msg when trying to install (OFF2003). I download newest installer (4.5) I ran msiexec. I tried net start… nothing works…

    MS no help.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks,

  12. John says:

    Absolutely brilliant.

    Tried the above suggestions to the letter now windows hangs on booting [as far as wallpaper] and continues some minutes later – i.e. very slowly – then runs very slowly.

    I would suggest that people suffering from this or similar problems consult manufacturers or Microsoft rather than well meaning tinkerers.

    I just learned the hard way. . .

  13. ilykarshal says:

    just folow this instructions from microsoft support http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315353

  14. Geoff says:

    Solution worked for me, so cool.
    Thanks

  15. Stephanie says:

    It didn’t work for me. I typed NET STOP MSISERVER but then when I typed NET START MSISERVER is said the following: “System error 5 has occured. Access is denied.”

  16. Peter says:

    Thanks Eddy, this worked for me. I did not restart and don’t know if it will work after restart, but it installed my program this time!

  17. Sabrina says:

    None of this worked for me, I tried every solution and nothing. But it’s just for Windows Messenger Live, when I try to download something else it seems okay, help please?

  18. Diana says:

    As with others, so with me – THIS worked (net stop/start) when all others failed, to include a new install of the package. Even the page Eddy and ilykarshal are referencing did not work.

    Thank you!

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