Cannot Start an Office Program After You Install Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows 2000

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


When you try to start a Microsoft Office program after you update your computer with Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows 2000, you may receive any of the following error messages:
The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed.
This can occur if you are running Windows in safe
mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly
installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.
This application must be installed to run. Please run Setup from the location where you originally installed the application
This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package.
The system cannot open the device or file specified.
You may receive a prompt for the path to the Proplus.msi file. When you type the path, you continue to receive the same error message.

It may not be possible to start an Office program.


This behavior may occur for any of the following reasons:
  • The DCOM default impersonation level is set to Anonymous.
  • The SYSTEM account does not have Full permissions on a folder that the Windows Installer is trying to access.

    NOTE: This behavior is specific to the NTFS file system.
  • The windows installer version 1.x data information is not migrated to the windows installer version 2.x that SP3 installs on the computer. The windows installer does not see that Office is installed on the computer because SP3 updated your windows installer from 1.x to 2.x. Therefore SP3 moved all your windows installer data files, which include Office products from the 1.x windows installer registry keys to Windows installer 2.0.

    NOTE: This behavior is specific to the NTFS file system.
Version 2 of the Windows Installer that is included with SP3 for Windows 2000 does not work if the DCOM default impersonation level is set to Anonymous.


Use the following methods in the order they are presented until the issue is resolved.

Method One: Change DCOM Impersonation Level to Identify

Change the DCOM default impersonation level to Identify, remove the Msisip.dll file, and then reinstall SP3 for Windows 2000. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type dcomcnfg, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Default Properties tab.
  3. In the Default Authentication Level list, click Connect.
  4. In the Default Impersonation Level list, click Identify, and then click OK.
  5. Click Start, click Run, type the following command, and then click OK:
    explorer /select, %windir%\system32\msisip.dll
  6. Rename the Msisip.dll file to "Msisip.old".
  7. Install the latest MSI 2.0 redistributable package. To do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
  8. Restart the computer.
  9. Reinstall SP3 if it is not already installed. (You can use winver.exe to see whether SP3 is already installed.)

Method Two: Grant Full Control Permission to the SYSTEM Account

  1. Start Windows Explorer, right-click the computer's root hard disk, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click Add.
  3. In the Select Users, Computers, or Groupsdialog box, click the SYSTEM account, click Add, and then click OK.
  4. Click to select the Full Control check box under Allow, and then click OK.

Method Three: Apply Hotfix

You must install the hotfix Msiregmv.exe. This hotfix moves all the windows installer 1.x data registry keys to the Windows installer 2.x registry data location.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

More Information

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319624 PRB: Incorrect Default DCOM Settings Cause Windows Installer to Stop Responding