You receive a "The Windows Installer service is already running on your system" error message when you run Office XP Setup

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Article ID: 298037 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q298037
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For a Microsoft Office 2000 version of this article, see 239584.
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Symptoms

When you run Setup for Office XP, you may receive the following error message:
The Windows Installer service is already running on your system. Please wait until it is finished and then apply this update.

Cause

You receive this error message if all of the following are true:
  • You run Setup by using a transform that was created by the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW).
  • When you create the transform, you specify an additional program to run with Setup.
  • The additional program that you specify in the Custom Installation Wizard is an updater that contains a Windows Installer patch file (.msp). For example, the patch file WRD1001.exe contains the following .msp file: Winword.msp.
When the updater is run during Office Setup, you are essentially running two Windows Installer Setups at the same time. You can only do this if you are chaining together two or more Windows Installer product installations (.msi files) by using a customized Setup.ini file.

Workaround

To work around this problem, do not include an updater that contains an .msp file in your transform. Instead, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Use an Administrative Installation

If you create an administrative installation for Office, you can update the administrative installation with Office updates. When you install Office on network client computers, the updates will be automatically installed along with Office. Also, you can update the administrative installation with more updates in the future and then use a simple command line on the network client computers to update them.

NOTE: You can only create administrative installations if you have an Enterprise edition of Office. For additional information about applying updates to administrative installations, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
301348 OFFXP: How to Install a Public Update to Administrative Installations

Method 2: Use a Customized Setup.ini File

Office XP can use a new section in the Setup.ini file for chaining .exe and .msi files onto an Office installation. Because of this, you can use Msiexec.exe (the main Windows Installer executable) to apply a patch immediately after you install Office. To create this new section, you can use the Setup INI Customization Wizard to modify the Setup.ini file.

NOTE: You do not need an Enterprise edition of Office to use this method.
  1. Expand the .msp files from the IExpress download packages by using a command line similar to the following
    path\WRD1001.exe /c /t:c:\Wordfiles
    where path is the path to the downloaded IExpress package. This command line extracts Winword.msp to the c:\Wordfiles folder.

  2. Copy Winword.msp to a network share.
  3. Install the Office XP Resource Kit to install the Setup INI Customization Wizard.
  4. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office Tools, point to Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit Tools, and then click Setup INI Customization Wizard.
  5. In the Specify an administrative installation point dialog box, type the path to an administrative installation or to a copy of the Office CD-ROM on a server. Click Next.
  6. In the Specify an INI file to customize dialog box, select Setup.ini and then click Next.
  7. Configure any options in the Specify logging and display settings to use during Setup dialog box, and then click Next.
  8. In the Select MSI and EXE files to include in your INI file dialog box, type the local path to Msiexec.exe in the Name and path of the MSI or EXE file to add box, and then click Add. The local path to Msiexec.exe will vary, according to the following table.
       Microsoft Windows version   Path to Msiexec.exe
       ----------------------------------------------------------
    
       Windows 98                  C:\Windows\System\Msiexec.exe
       Windows Me                  C:\Windows\System\Msiexec.exe
       Windows NT 4.0              C:\Winnt\System32\Msiexec.exe
       Windows 2000                C:\Winnt\System32\Msiexec.exe
    					
    NOTE: You might receive an error message that states that Msiexec.exe cannot be found. Click Yes to add the path anyway.

  9. Click Next in the Select MSI and EXE files to include in your INI file dialog box.
  10. In the Specify options for each package in your INI file dialog box, select the entry for Msiexec.exe.
  11. In the Command line arguments edit box, type a command line similar to the following:
    /p \\server\share\winword.msp
  12. Click Next.
  13. In the View the summary of your INI file dialog box, click Save As.
  14. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for your customized .ini file, and then click Save.
  15. Click Finish in the last dialog box of the Setup INI Customization Wizard.
  16. Install Office by using the customized Setup.ini file. The following is a sample command line that specifies a customized Setup.ini file:
    \\server\share\Setup.exe /settings \\server\share\files\setup\chainsetup.ini

How to Chain More Than One Patch

If you have more than one patch to chain onto your Office installation, follow these steps to include the additional patches.

NOTE: If you did not follow the preceding steps to include the first patch, please do that now.
  1. Open your customized Setup.ini file in a text editor like Notepad.
  2. Locate the [ChainedInstall_1] section.
  3. Copy the entire [ChainedInstall_1] section. The following is an example of how this section may appear in your customized Setup.ini file:
    [ChainedInstall_1]
    Path=c:\windows\system\msiexec.exe
    CmdLine=/p \\server\share\winword.msp
    TaskType=exe
    IgnoreReturnValue=0
    Reboot=0
    					
  4. Paste the copied section below the [ChainedInstall_1] section.
  5. Rename [ChainedInstall_1] in the copied section to [ChainedInstall_2].
  6. Change the CmdLine line to specify the second .msp file.
  7. Repeat these steps for a third and subsequent patch to add to the installation. For each additional patch that you add, increment the index number (n) in the [ChainedInstall_n] section heading by one.
  8. Save and close the customized Setup.ini file.
  9. Install Office by using the customized Setup.ini file. The following is a sample command line that specifies a customized Setup.ini file:
    \\server\share\Setup.exe /settings \\server\share\files\setup\chainsetup.ini

More information

When you create a transform by using the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW), you can add programs to your Office installation in the Add Installations and Run Programs dialog box. However, when you click Add, there is a warning in the Add Program Entry dialog box:
See the Office Resource Kit for information about adding a Windows Installer package (*.MSI, *.MST or *.MSP) or a program (MSIEXEC.EXE or maybe SETUP.EXE) that launches such a package.
If you ignore this warning, you will experience the symptoms described in the "Symptoms" section of this article.

For additional information about chaining together two Office product installations, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
281933 OFFXP: How to Deploy Multiple Products in a Single Installation
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Properties

Article ID: 298037 - Last Review: October 24, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office XP Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbsetup kbtshoot kberrmsg kbprb KB298037

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