A Fix for “Windows Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close”

Applies to Windows XP.

If you try to install a program, you may encounter an installer error popup that says “Windows Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience” as shown below.

Windows Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close.

Windows Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close.

This installer error is too generic and does not include enough detail to troubleshoot or resolve the problem. We need to open the event log to find out more details of this error.

To open the event log, do the following:

  • Click Start->Run and type in eventvwr.msc, then click OK.
  • When the event viewer is open, click on “Application” to open the application log.
  • Double-click on any line with a red X that says “Application error” as shown below.
Double-click the event log "Application Error"

Double-click the event log "Application Error"

After double-clicking the “Application Error” line, the Event Properties window should open, and it should show more information on what is causing the error as shown below.
Event properties window showing more details about the error

Event properties window showing more details about the error

In this case, the error was due to module mscoree.dll causing the Windows Installer (msiexec.exe) to crash.
So it’s a .NET component that is causing the Windows Installer to fail. Now that we know what is causing the problem, we can go about fixing it.
The first thing to do is to locate the mscoree.dll file, and then check the files’ version information which can be found in the Event Properties window.

The mscoree.dll file is located in C:\Windows\System32, and its version is 4.0.31106.0.

The solution is to rename the mscoree.dll file to backup_mscoree.dll, and download an older version of mscoree.dll, then place it into the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
You can obtain  an older version of mscoree.dll from here (version 1.0.3705.0)

After you have done the above, the problem should be solved, you should be able to install programs again, at least the .NET ones (in my case it was Office 2003 that failed to install).

 

3 Responses to A Fix for “Windows Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close”

  1. tuone says:

    what an awesome bit of advice. very nice. worked straight away it was apphelp.dll

  2. Matías Martínez says:

    Thank you so much.It really works! It’s so much good to find people that share their experiences like you.Good luck

  3. Anshuman Mohanty says:

    In my system the faulting module is msiexec.exe.verion 4.5.6001.22159

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