What to try when Office update can’t find SKU111.CAB

Yesterday I finally diagnosed a problem that a friend’s laptop has had for a while: whenever she tried to install Office 2003 Service Pack 1, it would throw up an error about not finding a file called SKU111.CAB.

A week ago I’d confidently tried to fix this by downloading the “fullfile” version of Office 2003 SP1 onto the laptop. The fullfile version contains everything needed for an update, as compared to the much smaller normal version which requires you to find your original installation CDROM (but is faster to download from Office Update). So I was pretty annoyed when it threw up exactly the same error: couldn’t find SKU111.CAB.

My next step was to try repairing the original installation first, from Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. This asked for the original installation CDROM, span it up and down a few times… and then complained about not being able to find SKU111.CAB. Ok, this was getting personal.

Which brings us to this weekend, and a lot of Google hits for other people with the same problem. Thankfully, Eric Longman’s post “Can’t find SKU111.CAB” pointed to the solution:

You've got the wrong install CD.

Voila! Turns out that my friend actually had three different installation CDs for Office 2003 (it’s a long story…). One session of CD-swapping later and the laptop was happily installing SP1.

Thanks Eric!

Comments (74)

  1. simon says:

    I have only 1 install disk Office pro 2003 and I get this after using it for 3 months WHY ??

  2. Mark says:

    Me too!

    I’ve also got Windows auto-update turned on. Worked one day, and not the next.

    Strange or coincidence

  3. Thanks Bob – that looks like a very useful tool for playing with all the cached installation files for Office.

  4. Ganesh says:

    what the hell is wrong with Windows!?! Loaded question, I know….. I also am having the same problem. Yesterday the laptop was fine, today, it keeps telling me that it can’t find that damn file SKU111.CAB! I have tried everything and my original copy of Office 2003 is a merchant copy that has mysteriously disappeared……..now what do I do? Is there a site that I can download the file? Can someone send it to me? HELP!!!!

  5. kvnrao says:

    I tried several times to download the LIStool.

    Unable to resolve the problem of sku111.cab files. can’t open my excel or word files!!! HELP GELP


    I even paid $35.00 to Microsoft to some support tech in India. I am also was originally  grom India.

    Does sku111 have any relation with SKULL?

  6. Jennifer Sparks says:

    I’m having problems today too.  It started with having a problem with excel on my home computer throwing up error messages when I just tried to type in a field.   I had been entering info all night -now it’s saying something about needing to down load some udpates – Went to microsoft.com, found 3 updates I needed, tried to download all and it failed.  I loaded two of the three but the service pack part would not install.  So ok no problem, went back to my very lengthy 2005 tax spreadsheet, worked fine, saved the document, got out, tried to get back in and it won’t let me cust it can’t find SKU111.cab   @#$%^&*(.  Now I can’t open my freakin file because I can’t find the CD (probably bootlegged) so I’m toast.  Anyone have any suggestions.  Can I copy the SKU111 file from another computer somewhere and save it on my home one?  As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a geek but at least I was able to find y’alls website for help.  thanks so much.

  7. Alice Campbell says:

    I’m having this problem too.  I uninstalled a totally unrelated program and then installed it again.  Suddenly windows installer was starting up evey time I ran the program.  When I tried to run Windows there was windows installer having another go.  I found my original CD and moved SKU111.cab into the appropriate place on my disc, cursing Redmond for this problem.  Not I can run the program I was working with without windows installer trying frantically to run.  BUT it still isin there thrashing whenever I run Word.  

    At this point, Norton (Systemworks 2005) comes iin and tells me that repairs are not allowed, I must uninstall and reinstall.  At this point I began frothing at the mouth and popped off a complaint to Norton.  They say they will get to me within 72 hours!!!  What if I’d found a virus???  

    So I’m angry with the original program whose uninstall and reinstall caused the problem.

    I’m angry with Microsift for not putting that file on my hard drive when it was obviously needed there.

    And I’m angry at Norton for refusing to let me ‘repair’ something that I want to repair.  Hello!  It’s ME, the computer OWNER, doing this!!!!

    Thanks you folks.  I just had to get all that off my chest!!!


  8. Frank Hughes says:

    I found the 111.CAB on my Office Professional Edition 2003 CD.  It wasn’t on my Publisher CD (duh).  SOmetimes they just make it so hard…

  9. Lee Yong says:

    Try to get the .cab from cojiviba.com/services/cojiviba tools as I’ve done.

  10. LC says:

    This is ridiculous! I have done evything that has been suggested and there is no info here tht can help. My whole work day has been disintegrated by this issue. Is there a .CAB file I can download from somewhere? I know the question has been asked, but it has not been answered. I tried the cojiviba site to no avail.

  11. Governor says:

    OK, here is what to do.  Quick fix.  Go to Costco if you are a member and purchase the MS Office 2003 Professional Upgrade.  Insert the first CD, open Excel and it will read the files off the CD.  Then return the upgrade (costco is one of the few organization that will allow this) and you’re done.  I actually did it in my car in the parking lot with my laptop.

    Took 20 minutes all said and done.

  12. vapor says:

    Here is what to do. The files are on the Microsoft Office Professional 2003 disk. But in order for the installer to find the files you need to allow the system to show hidden files, and also not hide extensions. here is how:

    1.Click Start, and then click My Computer.

    2. Click Folder Options on the Tools menu.

    3. Click the View tab.

    4. Click Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files and folders.

    5. Clear the Hide file extensions for known file typescheck box.

    Next run your office program that gives you problems. <heck the whole office suite does that> and then when you browse to show it the files, just select your cdrom/dvdrom drive where your disk is.

    Good luck


  13. Rocky says:


  14. Hey, my dad allso had that problem with his excel and I couldnt fix it , untill I stumbled on this site. Im not so sure is was anything to do with an update , but it had sumthing to do with SKU111.cab was missing.  

    I figuerd out that all I had to do was to do this:

    1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.

    2. Click Folder Options on the Tools menu.

    3. Click the View tab.

    4. Click Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files

       and    .   folders.

    5.Go to the place where you installed office

      (folder OFFICE11) and run the origanal EXCEL.exe

     Usualy the install file is

     C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOFFICE11

    6.Just insert the office CD


    Soz about the spelling and if it works for you then e-mail me @ campster723@webmail.co.za

  15. BRTKelso says:

    All this is OK but WHY does SKU111.CAB get lost in the first place?? Another typical microsoft product "never works quite like it should"

  16. donna says:

    I have read all the advice, but I am not trying to install an update of Office 2003.  This is brand new software I just received from Dell at the cost of $469.00 and I am getting a mite pis——–!.  During the installation process I am also seeing this sku111.cab file message.  Now what do I do.  

  17. wdhindman says:

    …by far the simplest solution on an XP OS system is to use a restore point before the corruption started …did it from SAFE mode and everything went back to normal …no reinstall required and no CD required

  18. dustyb says:

    Thank you Bob, the LIS Tool solved my problem.  I have the original cd’s it was just not locating the file until I downloaded the LIS Tool!

    Thanks again!

  19. marco says:

    i found that what Michael (13 years old) said worked:

    I figuerd out that all I had to do was to do this:

    1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.

    2. Click Folder Options on the Tools menu.

    3. Click the View tab.

    4. Click Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files

      and    .   folders.

    5.Go to the place where you installed office

     (folder OFFICE11) and run the origanal EXCEL.exe

    Usualy the install file is

    C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOFFICE11

    6.Just insert the office CD

    try it…

  20. polo says:

    Thanks!  It worked.

  21. Max says:

     The comment by Bob on 1/5/06 5:18 which included a link to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896866/en-us MAY have resolved my problem.  (I haven’t tested it yet.)

     In it is the comment that the SKU111 is in the Office Pro Retail, while the SKU011 is in the Office Pro Enterprise which is what I have the CD for.  I suspect there was a setup failure of our system by the supplier.

     It also indicates that there are many versions of Office 2003, so you may have to look carefully to determine which version you have installed.  🙂

  22. doug says:

    Marco’s post on Aug 24 worked for me.  Just needed to tell it to show those hidden files.

  23. What if one lost his original Office install CD and  has a genuine version of Microsoft Office?  Is there a site where I can simply download the file?

  24. Jon says:

    I was trying to add an extension to Excel (analysis toolpak and VBA) and was getting this error. Every other office app worked fine, and excel was fine as well, except for adding my addin.

    I tried many ways near the top of this discussion to fix the problem, none worked.

    I tried looking for the sku111.cab file to download and couldn’t find it.

    I got my installation disk and reinstalled just the Excel program and it worked fine. This was a quick and easy process and is recommended. I’m guessing it repaired the missing file.

    Hope this works!

  25. Nigel says:

    I too suffered with the sku111.cab file is missing problem and i have misplaced the original installation disk.  I discovered that it was EXCEL that was causing the problem so using a new office 2003 disk i installed excel only and the problem is now fixed and all office applications now work fine.

  26. Lois says:

    I demagnetised my Office CD (out travelling and left the original back home).  So my question is the same as James Feinstein’s; is there anywhere I can download the file? My hidden files and folders ar eshowing and I tried Safe Mode, so I need the file.

  27. Hugewally says:

    I too have the missing SKU111.CAB problem, though mine is with Outlook 2003. Can’t move or delete emails now. Tried the detect and repair option but got stuck on the missing SKU111.CAB file. Can’t insert my installation CD as its 3000 miles away at the moment and I won’t be getting back to it for a couple of weeks.

    Now what???

  28. Lydia says:

    I am trying to install the converters (for Works into Word) and I am told this file is missing. I installed from the net originally. So now what??? I have no installation CDs to insert and it won’t go looking on the net for me.

  29. jimmy says:

    I wonder if someone can tell me where SKU111.CAB is supposed to go when it exists? I mean, what directory should I restore it to from the program disk?

    BTW, kindly excuse the rant, but I spent hours this morning trying to install Microsoft’s latest security updates and was thwarted by the missing SKU111.CAB file. Microsoft says these updates are critical, but at the same time it makes installing them impossible. I have no idea when SKU111.CAB went missing or why. Maybe it’s why my Automatic Updates stopped working. But now I can’t even install updates manually. The problem seems to be common enough that Microsoft really ought to make the solution easy enough for a technological caveman like me to figure it out. [Sigh.]

  30. Glenn says:

    I’ve just about come to the end of my teather with those idiots in Redmond.  It seems like all they do is write bloated useless software that doesn’t work.  I’ve had this for twenty years and I’m not taking it any longer.  I’ve finally moved to a Mac.

    However,  I need to develop in Visual Studio and need to edit Access files with Visio.  Great,  so I install Office Pro 2003 from one of the many CD/DVDs I have (MSDN, etc.) only to find this problem.  Arrgghhh,  may the fleas of a thousand camels infest their underpants.

    And they wonder why the world hates them.  Hello,  are you listening…. virtually everything you do doesn’t work – especially anything to do with Office.  

    Oh,  and just to let you know that Office 2004 for the Mac is just as bug-ridden as it’s inbread halfwit Windos cousin.  It doesn’t crash as much,  but it’s managed to rodger one of my werd files completely senseless.

    Roll on Open Office.


    I feel a little better now.  I wonder if I should just de-install office and re-install it.  The risk is that the licence (you have to activate for the SP install) has been consumed.

  31. Glenn says:

    Now this is interesting…

    Looking at the CD/DVD,  there’s a file SKU111.XML which looks as if it contains all the package details.  The *really* intesting thing is that though I can see it,  the Explorer search won’t find it.  Even if I copy the name of the file into the search field.  Odd.  Almost root-kit behaviour.

    Then I clicked on the show advanced search options.  That’s the one where the stupid animated dog has obviously left a present – "search hidden files and folders" is unchecked by default.  Check this and voila,  the file’s found.  Note that this is different from the Explorer/tools/view options as outlined in a post above.

    I think most of the problems are because I need to be careful with disc space as I’m running Windos in a Parallels virtual machine (I just don’t need my OSX disc filling up with office files).

    Great,  now it’s kicked over http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297834.  To summarise:  de-install office,  then re-install office.  Words are really failing me now.  Must – – – think – – – calm – – – thoughts.

    Is this Redmond’s idea of a joke?  Maybe I should just format the %^&*()ing hard disc and start again.

    Just when will the nasty man stop?

    It’s funny,  but on the planet I come from – Earth – vendors are supposed to create products that work.  Obviously this doesn’t apply in the alternative MS universe.

    OK,  it’s all worked.  Apart from a mysterious speech recognition quesion (control panel > regional & language > language > remove handwriting and speech tools),  it seems fine.

    Now to get on with my life…

  32. RICHARD PATE says:

    I agree with all above. This should not be happening….but, it is.

    Microsoft…..where are you?

    Life…move on.

  33. Jana says:

    I was having this problem, too. The file wasn’t even there when I looked for hidden files, and Office had been pre-installed on my machine, so I didn’t have a CD.

    I followed the instructions in the second post on <a href="http://help.lockergnome.com/office/find-missing-sku111-cab-ftopict831981.html">this thread</a> and they worked like a charm. I hope this helps some of you…

  34. guigne says:

    Thanx!!! the tip with the hidden folders did it for me!!

  35. Adam says:

    Yep, thats all it is. your office 2003 comes with another cd. pop it in and bobs your uncle… sku111.cab.

    ps. finally got i right after a lot of "effing and blinding"

  36. Psypher246 says:

    I found the right CD, seems to be the OEM version, most of the VLK versions don’t have the 111 file. I’m ripping an iso of this baby for future problems!!

    In the immortal words of Adam Sandler. F U IN THE F’ING GOAT @SS Microsoft!!

    Use linux, less stress, 6 months on ubuntu laptop and no re-install!! A year running breezy badger on my workstation and no re-install!!

  37. Michael Kerger says:

    I had this problem arise with excel re SKU111.CAB and didn’t have access to original installation CD, I read these comments and used the restore point recommendation. Worked like a charm!

    They are great tools but can really chew up time when these software issues arise

    Thanks for the help

  38. joe says:

    all of these threads are completely worthless if we don’t have the icd?

    Is the bottom line… you need the cd?

  39. Kadyan says:

    I have lost file sku111.cab.  Could you held me to find out this file.


  40. Yvonne says:

    I lost my SKU111.CAB!  And I can’t get it back!  If you can help me please email at rhnsym@cox.net, also I’m getting error word 11.0.  I can’t solve these probs try as I might and microsoft has not helped, nor their service packs.  I have Microsoft office 2003 and windows XP – I’m so confused!


  41. Whats the common denominator here?  Did everyone uninstall McAfee and have this happen…  Maybe Norton…    You have to completely reinstall the damn thing

  42. bluecoast says:

    If you do not have the installation cd and want to solve this issue follow these steps: (works most of the time with all sku.cab files)

    1. Click on start==>run==>type "excel /s" without quotations and click


    2. Once Excel is up in safe mode with the error message in front, hold

    down ctrl+Alt+Delete keys on your keyboard to bring the task manager up.

    3. Click on the processes tab==>look for msiexec.exe (only the one next

    to your user name), click on it and end the process.

    4. Excel should be running without an error message now==>close Excel in

    safe mode==>reopen it one more time in safe mode to check if it is

    opening with no error message.

    5. Close Excel /s and open Excel normally, it should work fine.

  43. RandiRushe says:

    All of these solutions sound fine – but none of them work for me – I am missing the sku111.cab file also when I try to run Access. No matter what I do, I am asked for the original CD and my IT person seems to be unwilling to "share" the original CD…


  44. Zach says:

    Thank you so much for helping me i was to the point of uninstalling the progeram but i desided to look on line one more time and you had givin that helpful tip agen thank you

  45. bigmac says:

    I’ve been trying to figure this out also for my daughter’s laptop and my wife’s. Both had done the same thing. Why does everyone put up with an os that loses files? I’ve used Word for Macintosh since the 80’s (yes I believe it was written for Macs before Windows) and Office since sometime in the early 90s. I’ve never lost a file, never had to reinstall anything. Well, back to wasting my time a little more to get Excel to work.

  46. Cathryna says:

    I’m so glad this kind of help is online.  It worked perfectly!

  47. Kai Ponte says:

    So when are they going to have a central repository for installation files like Linux does? I’ve been working with this for awhile now and very frustrated. I don’t bloody want to have to keep the original CD/DVD around, and MS should have the installation files accessible on a repository.


  48. Joyce says:

    vapor rocks. i was trying so hard to fix the damn sku.cab file yesterday.. ahh.

    waste of my time.

  49. khalid says:

    thanks for the following blue.  worked perfect

    # re: What to try when Office update can’t find SKU111.CAB

    Monday, April 30, 2007 4:43 PM by bluecoast

    If you do not have the installation cd and want to solve this issue follow these steps: (works most of the time with all sku.cab files)

    1. Click on start==>run==>type "excel /s" without quotations and click


    2. Once Excel is up in safe mode with the error message in front, hold

    down ctrl+Alt+Delete keys on your keyboard to bring the task manager up.

    3. Click on the processes tab==>look for msiexec.exe (only the one next

    to your user name), click on it and end the process.

    4. Excel should be running without an error message now==>close Excel in

    safe mode==>reopen it one more time in safe mode to check if it is

    opening with no error message.

    5. Close Excel /s and open Excel normally, it should work fine.

  50. gail mcgowan says:

    Thanks – worked for me! (safe mode!)

  51. Kami says:

    Safe mode! worked for me as well.

  52. John M says:

    I ran into this same sku111.cab problem after I was forced to run my casper XP hard drive clone backup. Latitude notebook got hot, 7200rpm HD fried. Now running 3rd party thermal management SW. The problem I’m having is with Outlook, I have not tried running other SW in the MS suite. Will try outlook /s.  

    "it hurts my motor to go so slow, DAM"

  53. Jeff says:

    Same error message.  don’t have original cd.  Error only pops up when I try to install the 2007 upgrade.  Other than going and buying another copy of 2003.  Is there any option for installing 2007!

  54. Eric says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked!!!! I just did what was said under [Saturday, June 09, 2007 3:45 PM by khalid].


  55. smitty says:

    I was successful with [Saturday, June 09, 2007 3:45 PM by khalid]’s suggestion as well. My problem cropped up when I instituted a new user logon. I saw it in both Word and Excel (just about all I use Office for) but fixing it exactly per Khalid’s instructions (through Excel) repaired both locations.

    – Smitty

  56. J.R. says:

    Here’s my problem… please email me directly with any helpful responses:  jrlebert@gmail.com

    I am trying to uninstall the Microsoft Outlook component of my Microsoft Office Professional 2003.  The software came pre-installed on my laptop, so I have no install cd.  Also, obviously, no sku111.cab file.  How can I uninstall Outlook?  Please help.  This is incredibly frustrating.

    Again… jrlebert@gmail.com.  Please email me with any solutions.

  57. dom says:

    I do not have the installation cd and want to solve this issue and tried to  follow your steps:tried to run Excel /s but I added a new user and I get a pop up box that states Microsoft excel has not been installed for this user Please run setup to install application. Help I am tired of Microsoft and want to pull out all my hair. Thank you for any help that you can provide. Thanks my email is militaryinterest@hotmail.com. Thank you

  58. nd says:

    I had the missing sku111.cab error pop up when I tried to open MS Access.  No problems with and other MS Office programs (so far).  Any suggestions?  My disk is in Florida and I am in Michigan.  I need access to my Access data now, not when I get back to Florida next month.

  59. Joepa says:

    Found a similar problem when installing Office Full Edition (2007) over a pre-installed version (2003).  When installing the full edition, there is the option to upgrade…. which brings up this sku error.  In this situation, it is best to uninstall the previous version of office and then install the new full edition.  No errors when this occurs.  

  60. SHERRY says:


  61. Peter says:

    if found another way. No restoring, no cd’s, no downlading files.

    Simply Go into Registry Editor (Start, Run, "regedit"). Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Office, 11.0, Delivery. There should be only 1 directory under Delivery, which is your DownloadCode (mine was 90000409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9). Select that directory. On the right side of the screen, right-click on CDCache. Change the value to 0.

    Then open up any office product eg word and no more prompts for sku111.cab

  62. Jason Judge says:

    My problem is the other way around: SP3 cannot find SKU011.CAB and the Office 2003 Professional *original* CDROM contains only SKU111.CAB.

    Anyone want to do a swap of my SKU111.CAB for their SKU011.CAB?

    It pains me so say, that my only solution seems to be a visit to a torrent site to get various copies of Office 2003 in the hope that one of them will be accepted. It seems that earlier service packs have somehow disconnected the current installation from the CABs on the original CDROM.

  63. ey says:

    Thanks bluecoast!  The safemode solution fixed my problem.  The other solutions did not work.

  64. Ryan M says:


    Here’s how you do it:

    First put in the office 2007 Disc.

    Then when you get to the Error 1311 Screen hit retry.

    When you do this, simultaneously, hit the eject button on your DVD drive. Once the disc pops out, put in the previous version of microsoft office that you are using. Then while standing on one foot, and with your left hand click the install button of your previous software. Chant the words "this is ridiculous" over and over. Then go to the support page on microsoft’s website where you will find some related articles to your problem that are outdated or do not work. When you are done, use the new hologram office 2007 cd as a coffee coaster, or a shiny rear-view mirror ornament.  In the end you should have less problems with the previous version of the software that you were already using. If we can get the entire world to perform this same procedure, we should not have any version-compatibility problems. Cross your fingers! and Good luck!

  65. yvonne says:

    I’ll have to try System Restore. None of the other options worked for me.

  66. Adri says:

    Thanks Peter for your solution!!!!

  67. jbenn says:

    This thread is three years old, and still no info on a download point for sku111.cab?

    I was trying to export my Outlook contacts to Google mail via .csv file and ran into the whole problem.  It seems as if I should just be able to run to microsoft and download the file, but I’ve been at this for 2 hours now and no dice.

    Apple, here I come.

  68. james says:

    This worked for me!

    In start / execute : Regedit

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Office -> 11.0 -> Delivery

    You should have this key 90000409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9

    clik on it and (at the right of your screen), right clik on CDCache key.

    and type 0 as new value.

    Reboot computer.

  69. umax says:

    thanks for the instructions without the CD. I tried it and it worked.

  70. George T. says:

    I’ve been working on this for hours and have gone all the way through this thread trying everything.

    FINALLY!  The "regedit" solution posted by Peter and James worked for me!

    Whoever figured that out is a regular Einstein!

    Thank you so much.  I have no idea what it did other than that it worked!!!  Just wish it had been one of the first things listed instead of the last!

  71. David A says:

    Way down here at the bottom — two days of reading — but finally, PETER works!  YEAH!

  72. Skyppy says:

    The "regedit" solution worked for me going from Office 2003 to Office 2010 when I needed to keep Office 2003 on the machine.

    Great info–THANKS!

  73. CurtisH says:

    Im trying to install office 2003 and get the same damn missing files. Ive tried allowing access to hidden files, and I can see the file when I browse the CD, but it will not work. I tried the RegEdit, but I don't have that file in directory. Now what?

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