Redistributable version of Windows Installer 3.0 is available for download

Hey, I was browsing around and found that Microsoft released the redistributable version of Windows Installer 3.0 a couple of days ago.  Check out for info about new features and some of the key bug fixes.  Most of the new features are related to patching (patch sequencing, patch uninstall, better patch install performance and management).  I remember the first feature that I noticed when I was trying out prerelease builds though - running msiexec /? will actually display the command line parameters now!!  So I don't have to dig into the help docs each time I forget what the exact parameter name is for something I want to do via command line.

Note that Windows Installer 3.0 ships as part of Windows XP SP2 also, so it has been out in the field for a little while, but the redistributable package brings 3.0 to other platforms as well.  There are a couple of pretty big caveats though - Win9x is not supported (meaning Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, and Me).  Also, you have to have Windows Installer 2.0 already installed before you can install the 3.0 redist package.  That is why you see the published system requirements of Windows 2000 SP3 or higher (since SP3 contains Windows Installer 2.0).

Anyway, I encourage you all to try out 3.0 and let me (and others at Microsoft) know what your experiences are - what is good, what is still broken, what features would you like to see in future versions?


Comments (8)
  1. juanda says:

    Just installed 3.0 and 3.1 in two PC’s and windows installer doesn’t work! 997 Error.

    So be carefull with it!

  2. Hi Juan – this error should not happen in most cases. Can you try the following steps and see if it will resolve this:

    1. Go to the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd

    2. Run msiexec /unregister

    3. Run msiexec /regserver

    4. Reboot

    5. Try using Windows Installer again

    Hopefully this helps….

  3. LoadGame says:

    997 error is fixed, does not need reboot.

  4. Marco says:

    Dear Aaron,

    thanks for your hint.

    re-registering the installer works perfectly.

    Run msiexec /unregister

    Run msiexec /regserver


  5. a says:

    where can i get it

  6. Hi A – this blog post is very old, and Windows Installer 3.1 is now available.  You can find information and a download link for it at

  7. steve says:

    need it to run systems

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