Windows Installer Error 5: access denied

Recently my live mesh software stopped connecting so I tried to uninstall it so I could reinstall and fix the problem. I am now getting a message that the Windows Installer service is not available. When I go to Services and try to start the Installer I get an error 5:access denied. I have run scannow and it has fixed my msiexec.exe file several times but when I try to run msiexec /unregister I get "Windows cannot access the specified path, file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item" I have tried to run the Installer clean up utility I get an error. I have tried to install the Windows Installer (MSI) 4.5 and I get a message that the update does not apply to my system. I am running out of options and would like what do try next. And would like to know why this problem is happening now. Was there an update that I installed that caused this problem? I really do not want to reinstall windows and start all over so a workabnle solution would be appreciated.


Question Info

Last updated August 12, 2019 Views 25,856 Applies to:

Windows Installer Cleanup Utility has been withdrawn by Microsoft very recently because it was breaking too many other parts of Windows, it was only really supposed to be used with MS Office applications.  This explains it further.

How do I uninstall Office 2003, Office 2007 or Office 2010 suites if I cannot uninstall it from Control Panel?

Is System Restore an option for you or any Image Backups that you may have created?

How to repair the operating system and how to restore the operating system configuration to an earlier point in time in Windows Vista (or 7)

How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program generates in Windows Vista


Have you seen this document for troubleshooting the Installer?

This article was written for XP, a lot of it, but not all, also applies to Vista and Windows 7, you could use it as a guide to troubleshoot, if something fails to work, you have to adapt it for Windows 7 (things like Documents and Settings = Users folders). or move on to the next "Method" mentioned.

How to resolve Common "Windows Installer" Problems

IF you have a 64-bit operating system the 64-bit Windows files will be in System32, and the 32-bit files are in Syswow64.  "On 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system, 32-bit binaries are located in%systemroot%\SysWow64 folder. The 64-bit binaries are located in the%systemroot%\System32 folder."

In that case I'd register both versions, then you'll know you got the right one.

How To Reset Security Settings Back to the Defaults


See if any of these options will allow you to run the .msi with higher privileges?

MSI "Run as administrator" Context Menu for Vista

Try this from an elevated Command Prompt     msiexec /a  (and enter your full path to the .msi)

Can you extract the files and find a Setup.exe to right-click on and "Run As an Administrator"?

Howto: extract files from a .msi file using the Windows command line


Have you tried testing with another user?

Try running ChkDsk to check your drive for errors. Right-click your Drive icon/ Properties/ Tools/ Error Checking.  Try it first by not checking either box (this will run it in a Read-only mode) to see if it flags any hard drive or file problems.  If it does, restart  it by ticking both boxes, and rerun it to allow it to attempt to fix any found problems.

Have you tried eliminating third party programs such as realtime anti virus scanners as a possible cause?

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7


It may be time to save your valuable data and return the Windows installation to the Factory Settings from day one?


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