Windows Installer 4.5 is now available!

I am pleased to announce that the final release of the Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable and SDK are now available. There is also a KB Article published about the release.


New and improved features in Windows Installer 4.5

The following new and improved features have been implemented in Windows Installer 4.5.


Multiple package transaction

In a multiple package transaction, you can create a single transaction from multiple packages. In a multiple package transaction, a chainer is used to dynamically include packages in the transaction. If one or more of the packages do not install as expected, you can roll back the installation.


Embedded UI handler

You can embed a custom user interface (UI) handler in the Windows Installer package. This makes a custom UI easier to integrate. You can also invoke an embedded UI handler from the Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel. Or, you can invoke an embedded UI handler during a Windows Installer repair process.


Embedded chainer

You can use the embedded chainer to add packages to a multiple package transaction. You can use an embedded chainer to enable installation events across multiple packages. For example, you can enable install-on-demand events, repair events, and uninstall events across multiple packages.


Update supersedence resiliency

This feature lets you correct for changes in the FeatureComponent table during supersedence.


Shared component patching resiliency during uninstall

This feature makes sure that the most recent version of a component is available to all products.


Custom action execution on update uninstall

This feature lets an update add or change a custom action so that the custom action is called when an update is uninstalled.


If you have any questions about the 4.5 release, please see our MSDN Documentation or other topics posted on this blog about 4.5. Additionally, we will be monitoring and responding to the comments on this post.


Thanks to everyone who helped us throughout the beta program of this release!


[Author: Tyler Robinson]
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified at

Comments (31)

  1. Today TechEd North America started, and many companies use TechEd to announce new products and releases

  2. Windows Installer 4.5 is now available on the download center for a variety of platforms, including Windows

  3. As announced earlier today in this post on the Windows Installer team blog , the final version of Windows

  4. anony.muos says:

    Shared component patching resiliency during uninstall: Does this work with all previous MSIs or only new ones created using the 4.5 SDK?

  5. Why is WindowsServer2003-KB942288-v4-ia64.exe

    so big?

  6. SymGuy says:

    Will an updated darice.cub be supplied which implements the new ICE100 check related to the new embedded ui tables? There isn’t one in SDK.

  7. says:

    Windows Installer 4.5 Software Development Kit is now available!

  8. says:

    Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable is now available!

  9. Gary Hoffer says:

    Is there support for this new version included in the Visual Studio Install support?

  10. zhakim says:

    Hey all! Thanks for your comments …

    Someone – We design all our new features to be opt-in, so you need to have MSI 4.5 on the system *and* build the MSI/MSP package to take advantage of any new features.

    Christopher – There are some packaging differences with the IA64 package that do not effect the bits that are ultimately installed on the machine.

  11. zhakim says:

    SymGuy – A new darice.cub is installed with Orca from the new 4.5 SDK and will be included in future Windows SDKs

  12. Ilja Root says:

    Hi !

    i found a bug in MSI 3.1 and 4.0, it is still in MSI 4.5 for XP, but not in MSI 4.5 for Vista.

    MSI crash with only one line for eroordescription  in logfile:

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:735]: Note: 1: 2205 2:  3: _RemoveFilePath

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:750]: Note: 1: 2262 2: DuplicateFile 3: -2147287038

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:781]: Note: 1: 2262 2: ReserveCost 3: -2147287038

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:813]: Note: 1: 2262 2: TypeLib 3: -2147287038

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:828]: Note: 1: 2262 2: Class 3: -2147287038

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:22:844]: Note: 1: 2262 2: Extension 3: -2147287038

    MSI (c) (80:D8) [10:14:23:110]: Internal Exception during install operation: 0xc00000fd at 0x7C80A369.

  13. Koby Kahane says:

    Debugging symbols for the components of this Windows Installer release are currently not available in the Microsoft public symbol store. This impacts the ability to conveniently debug complex installation scenarios and custom actions.

  14. vrapp says:

    When will it be available at WSUS?

  15. zhakim says:

    Hey there vrapp —

    There currently are not any plans to release Windows Installer 4.5 through Windows Update like we did with the 3.1 release.

  16. Frede says:

    Is the bug that prevent assemblies from being installed during a major upgrade fixed in MSI 4.5 or is it still a problem?

  17. zhakim says:

    Hello Frede – the issue discussed in that KB article is still present in MSI 4.5.

  18. A standalone Windows Installer 4.5 SDK has been released to the Download Center. This Windows Installer

  19. HolgerG says:

    MSI 4.5 redistributable package for Windows XP SP2 seems to require a reboot.

    I would like to install the redist as a prerequisite. Is it correct that MSI.dll would be hot updated on Windows XP to allow the use of MSI 4.5 in place until the required reboot? Can my Setup use 4.5 features in place until the reboot (like transaction processing)?

  20. Why are there no plans to distribute this update via WSUS?

    We have a huge number (20k) of systems that we might have to update, and using WSUS would seem like the most sensible way to do this.

  21. Tyler says:

    Hey Trevor —

    Thanks for your feedback. The decision on whether to deploy MSI 4.5 via WU/MU/WSUS may be revisited in the future based on customer and partner feedback, but for now we do not have any plans to change this.

  22. mhusen says:

    Help! – I have installed v4.5 for XPpro-sp3.

    For some reason, the Win Installer service does not start automatically even though it is set on "auto" in "services".  I have to start the service manually each time the Win Installer is required by going into the services, clicking on "properties" & then clicking on "start", it then works ok.  This problem was also encountered with previous version of the Win Installer – it started about 3months ago.

    Please advice how to rectify the problem so that the Installer service starts automatically on boot & re-boot.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

  23. Martina says:

    This window is very very great.

  24. tack says:

    @ Tyler

    for what stupid reason you develop a new version but you don’t publish it on Windows Update?

  25. tack says:

    @ Tyler

    for what stupid reason you developed a new version but you don’t publish it on Windows Update?

  26. Will says:

    Can windows installer 4.5 be uninstalled?  

    I’ve spent four solid 14 hour days trying to get the .NET frameworks unistalled and reinstalled after Visual Studio SP1 corrupted them all along with XPSP3.  Multiple attempts, multiple rollbacks, etc. finally had to go and manually delete EVERY .NET reference in the registry along with every file/patch/assembly on the hard drive.  

    Now I’m ready to start over, except… I remembered that a few days before I first attempted this install I installed Windows Installer 4.5.  Never had a crash nor corruption in 5 years since my XP install so would love to roll back to 3.1 just in case this is somehow related.

  27. Will says:

    Well, after manually deleting every single registry entry referring to anything .NET, deleting every file or folder related to anything .NET, and letting old regclean remove anything I missed, I finally got all .NET versions and Visual Studio thru SP1 to install error free.  

    Every Microsoft and third party .NET removal tool failed to clean the computer enough to get .NET to reinstall properly.  Wow, it took nearly 60 hours at the computer to get a functional install of NET and Visual Studio SP1.  This despite there only ever being one .NET install (and immediate uninstall) from when I first installed the Radeon video drivers 5 years ago.

    I wish I knew whose fault it was so I could yell at the right team, but someone obviously didn’t clean up fully after a .NET uninstall.  Whether it was from that one years ago or from the first failed Visual Studio install a few days ago is anyone’s guess.

  28. Harold Aptroot says:

    Hi I have a request.

    Very often, multiple things are being downloaded and installed (and this is all windows installer’s job, right?)

    Often there isn’t much of a reason to stall installing the first item until the last once has been downloaded – the first once is already complete after all, and does not depend on later items.

    The request is:

    Please start the installer as soon as possible (that is, after all its prerequisites have been installed) – this will often cut the total install time in half, or close to it.

    Thank you.

  29. says:

    Windows Installer 4.5 Software Development Kit is now available!

  30. It’s been a few months now since the Windows Installer 4.5 redistributable was released [ link ]. Over

  31. Hi all, It was recently pointed out to me that I had not yet updated my introduction post. So I wanted

Skip to main content