Windows Installer (MSIServer) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Adds, modifies, and removes applications provided as a Windows Installer (*.msi) package. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Default Settings

Startup type: Manual
Display name:Windows Installer
Service name:MSIServer
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Path:%SystemRoot%\system32\msiexec.exe /V
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer

Default Behavior

Windows Installer is a Win32 service. In Windows XP it won't start until the current user starts it. When the Windows Installer service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of msiexec.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Windows Installer fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the MSIServer service has failed to start.


Windows Installer depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Windows Installer

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Windows Installer depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt.

2. Copy the command below, paste it into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config MSIServer start= demand

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The MSIServer service is using the msiexec.exe file that is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows XP installation media.