Sunday, January 2, 2011

Access denied Installer 3.1

Access denied Installer 3.1

Troubleshooting windows installer 3.1   KB893803v2 setup access is denied

 I had the same problem - I Repair-ed WinXP Pro using an intergrated SP2 CD, after which Windows Installer 3.1 wouldn't install, which means you can't get any updates.

Here's how I solved the problem:
Download  windoes Installer 3.1 v2 from

You can try running it, but most probably will get an "Access denied" error and it will roll back the changes. If it installs fine, then you are set and don't need to do anything more, if not, look below.

Make sure Automatic Updates are turned off, or set them to "Notify me but don't automatically download or install them."
Also make sure Windows XP  CD is not inside  CD/DVD drive.

Check in the Services app (services.msc) that Windows Installer service isn't running, stop it if needed.

Open the X:\Windows\system32\dllcache\ folder (where X: is your system drive) and delete these three files (if they exist):

After that, from this Symantec article
do this:
On the Windows desktop, click Start > Run.
In the Open line, type cmd and then click OK.
At the command prompt, type the following, depending on your version of Windows, and then press Enter after each line.

cd \windows\system32
ren msi.dll msi.old
ren msihnd.dll msihnd.old
ren msiexec.exe msiexec.old

(Notice that after each rename you will get a prompt from Windows that system files have been replaced, and it asks for the WinXP CD in order to restore them. Do NOT put the WinXP CD into the drive, click Cancel, then choose Yes in the other dialog box that appears.)

RESTART the computer.

Run the Windows Installer 3.1 EXE installer (downloaded in the beginning).
Follow the prompts to complete the installation, it will install fine.
Restart the computer.

You might get dialog boxes with errors about msi.dll missing.
I got such a dialog box from my anti-virus software.
Start the Command prompt (cmd) again, and rename the three files back.
Go to Windows Update. It will say it needs to install Windows Installer 3.1, and will say the installation failed, but it will actually succeed.
Do not restart the computer, click the link to Windows Update Home on the left to go back to the main Windows Update screen with the "Express" & "Custom" buttons.
Click the Express button, it should show you all post-SP2 updates (around 40-50 MBs). They should download quickly (if you are not on dial-up).
After the updates install, restart your computer.

You can now change the Auto Updates setting to the one you like.
To check if Windows Installer has been properly updated, follow this link 

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