MSI (MicroSoft Installer)  -  Windows Installer 1.0 or 2.0

*** how to fix with the "Windows Installer Cleanup Utility ***

*** run MSIzap in a DOS box ***

Sometime the MSI (Windows Installer) can become corrupted.  Actually, the MSI, for the most part, adds info to the registry - and it is the registry that is corrupted.  This is a VERY COMMON PROBLEM !!  The fix is to download and run Microsoft's "Windows Installer Cleanup Utility" . . . MSIcuu and MSIzap.

The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility does not:

The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility does:

Now, read this part carefully !!  

The two files - Microsoft released two files to remove the Windows installer and all associated files for any particular MS application.  One file calls the other, based on your selection of which application you want to "zap".  

NOTE: Previously the first file came in two versions . . . MSIcu for Win95-98  and   MSIcuu for Win2000-XP.  Now there is just one file, MSIcuu that works for all 32-bit Windows versions (except Win95 which is 16-bit).  MSIcuu is a Windows shell.  You run it, select the app you want zapped, and it passes info to the 2nd file (MSIzap) which is a DOS-based utility that does the actual removal.

Forget MSIcuu, and just run MSIzap !!  Well actually, you can try MSIcuu - but personally, I have had problems with MSIcuu (WinXP), so I prefer to run MSIzap directly, in a DOS box.  It is just a bit more tricky, because you have to know the product ID (Product ID (Product Code)), which must be typed into the command line.  But you can find this Product ID (Product Code) very easily in your registry as we will show you later.

The Problems that Clue you in to a Corrupted MSI

With the thousands of components involved with applications - when problems crop up, it is difficult to know whether it is the application, the registry, or other.  A common problem occurs when you try to "Detect and Repair" - this requires a good, working MSI - and you may get the message:

"patch package could not be opened"

The "patch package" message comes up when you try to:

Usually, your application problems can be solved by un-installing and then re-installing the application, so try that first.

But what if you can't uninstall??  Then your MSI is very likely corrupted.  The fix is fairly simple - first, re-register MSI, and if that fails, remove the MSI registry info for that particular application with MSIcuu.  

Most MSI problems involve Microsoft Office !!  However, MSI is used by many 3rd-part vendors to do their installs, so it could be another application such as Adobe Photoshop.

The Steps

Very rarely will you need to go past step 2 - but steps 3 through 6 may be necessary in extreme instances.  This page only describes Steps 1 and 2 in detail, since that should fix your MSI problem.

  1. re-register MSI
  2. run MSIcuu, which calls MSIzap to do the dirty work  -  or run MSIzap directly - test to see if your problem is FIXED, and if it is, then STOP HERE !!  Otherwise continue . . .
  3. run "sfc /scannow" in a DOS box to check for missing files and retrieve them
  4. reinstall WinXP SP1
  5. reinstall XP over existing installation
  6. do a clean reinstall XP by deleting the Windows directory


Steps 1 and 2 Detailed

1)  Re-Register MSI

If you get a message that Windows cannot access the Windows Installer or other - you can reset it.  Run this registry fix utility and then simply unregister and re-register MSI:

1) download and extract out the file, wi.reg
2) double click WI.reg to add the info to your registry and click "Yes"
3) reboot into Safe Mode
4) Start/Run . . . MSIEXEC /unregister
5) Start/Run . . . msiexec /regserver


2)  run MSIcuu (WinXP) or MSIcu (Win98) - or run MSIzap;en-us;290301

If you want to sun MSIcu or MSIcuu, you will also need MSIzap  .  .  .  

MSIcuu  -  you can use MSIzap alone in a DOS box, but it is very tricky - so use the front end, MSIcuu (MSIcu for Win95-98-ME) !!! It can selectively remove the MSI registry info for any application that you are having trouble with.  

MSIzap - the DOS version of the corrupt Windows Installer fix tool - this version works with all versions of Windows and MSI 1.0 and 2.0. 

Here are the downloads for the two files:

                   MSIzap & MSIcuu (all versions of Windows except Win95)


You can also download and read about the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility at:
2) you can do the following too - but no need since I supply the newest version on the download link above.  On your Windows XP CD - extract the file from \SUPPORT\TOOLS\
        (use Winzip or WinRAR to extract the file)

OR on the CD in \SUPPORT\TOOLS, run setup.exe, select Typical, and the two files will be installed with a bunch of other tools into:
   "\Program files\support tools" - a path will also be create so that you can run the DOS MSIzap in a DOS box without entering that path to it !!


How to Use

Method1 - Windows GUI

  1. make sure that both MSIcuu and MSIzap are in the same folder
  2. run MSIcuu to install the "Windows Installer Cleanup"
  3. the program should now be in D:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up
  4. run the utility
  5. select the Application/s you are having problems with removing or changing 
  6. click "Remove"
  7. now the DOS-based MSIzap will run.  You will see a quick series of commands in a DOS box, which will then immediately close
  8. You can now reinstall the application

NOTE:  the fix utility creates a log file, msicu.log - each product removed by this tool is recorded. The file is located in:

Documents and Settings\<local_user>\Local Settings\Temp\ directory


Method 2 (my favorite way) -  Run MSIzap in a DOS box

*** sometimes with a corrupt system, the Windows version will not list the Application you are trying to zap/reinstall.  In this case use the DOS version:

1) open any Office Application and write down the Product ID (Product Code) (Help/about) - then uninstall Office
2) if you already uninstalled Office, find the Office Product ID (Product Code) (the GUID) in the registry :

Office XP
look for folders with the value "Product ID (Product Code)"
double-click Product ID (Product Code) and write down the Product ID (Product Code)

Office 2000
double-click Default and write down the Product ID


go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
search for the word "Office" - you should be taken to a key called Display
double-click the key - if it is Offixe XP then the folder number is your Product ID
if it is not XP, serach again for the work "Office" - until you find the right folder

3) select the Product ID and hit CTRL-C to copy it to the clipboard

4) Start/Run . . .cmd

4) run the MSIZap command using the syntax:

msizap t {Product ID}

For example: MSIZAP T {1080B04F-11E8-494E-9603-41168D4PF198} 

NOTE: enter "MSIZAP T and then click corner of DOS box and select Edit/Paste to past the Product ID

*** make sure you use the braces !! 
*** upon execution - you should see a stream of text fly up the screen

5) reinstall Office