MSI 5.0 in Windows 7 Beta

Windows Installer version 5.0 is included in Windows 7 Beta. The MSDN documentation section "What's new in Windows Installer 5.0" has been updated accordingly and available for online viewing. In addition, all functionality provided with the MSI 4.5 redistributable release is included on Windows 7. Over the next few days, we will do a series of deep dive posts on some of the newly added feature areas. So please use the comments to let us know your thoughts and questions.

I also encourage you to take a look at the scenarios published at and provide your feedback. The Application Setup related scenarios are under Setup and Deployment section.

[Author: Zainab Hakim]

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 (7)

  1. Mike Diack says:

    Are you willing/able to say if Installer 5.0 will be backported to legacy OS’s eg Vista/XP as 4.5 was?


  2. zhakim says:

    Dear Mike, presently there is no plan for an out of band release. Some of the functionality included with MSI 5.0 is specific to Windows 7 and would not make sense to port down-level. All MSI 4.5 features are also included in MSI 5.0 in Windows 7.

  3. Joe says:

    When will windows installer support updating c:documents and settingsdefault userntuser.dat?

  4. Greg Lambert says:

    It’s a shame that we could not use some of the new Service Install and Configuration functionality that ships with Windows Installer (MSI) 5 on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003. To many custom actions are still required to get a service to install – and be able gracefully potential failure scenarios.

  5. jason_ruz says:

    MSI 5.0 still stops working when a zero kb file called "C:Windowssystem32msiexec" (no extension) gets created — i.e. you have both these files:



    The Windows Installer service fails to start and you get a "Windows Installer Service could not be accessed" error. This problem would be so easy to fix for you guys; just add .exe to the path you use to start the Windows Installer service — i.e.

    C:Windowssystem32msiexec.exe /V

    instead of

    C:Windowssystem32msiexec /v

    So what are you guys waiting for?

  6. zhakim says:

    Dear jason_ruz,

    You will be happy to learn that this issue has been fixed for Windows 7 RC. So now if there is a situation where a dummy msiexec gets created under %windir%system32, the windows installer service would not be affected. Thank you for your comment.

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