An .msi file is a database of all the files, settings, and configuration information for the associated application. When you install Office on your computer, the .msi file is saved in a hidden folder. Without this file, Windows Installer cannot update your configuration, install optional features, or apply software updates. Office cannot be installed, repaired, or updated if the .msi file is not found.
Why is the .msi file missing?
The most likely reason for Windows Installer to require the installation CD is because the saved version of the .msi file for Office has been inadvertently or deliberately deleted from your computer. It is also possible that the file is damaged or corrupted.
Occasionally, changing the drive letters associated with partitions on your hard disk can cause this problem to occur — such as changing drive C: to a different letter or moving the hard disk drive from one computer to another. Other possible causes are a damaged or corrupted hard disk or registry file.
What to do when prompted for a missing .msi file
If you are prompted for the location of a missing .msi file, you must provide the original installation CD used to install Office on your computer.
- Make sure that you have inserted your Office installation CD into the CD drive of your computer.
If you installed Office from a network, browse to the network location from which you installed Office.
- Click Retry.
In most cases, these steps should resolve the problem and Office can complete the installation and configuration of the needed component.
I don't have the installation CD
Without the installation CD — or for computers purchased from companies such as Dell, HP, Compaq, or Gateway — you need to provide a repair CD to reset the installation created for your computer by the manufacturer. For information on how to apply the repair or installation CDs, you might need to contact the support representatives of your computer supplier.
In many cases, the files that you need are compressed on the repair CD and must be run by using a special program provided by the computer manufacturer. In some cases, the computer manufacturers might have customized the .msi file or changed the file name.
In situations where you cannot obtain the installation CD, your options are the following:
If you do not know which version of Office you have installed, the name of the .msi file requested indicates the Office version you have. A table that correlates .msi files to Office versions is provided later in this article.
- Continue with the existing installation of Office without updating. This is not recommended. Your documents and computer might become compromised from security threats.
- Remove the installation and reinstall Office by using another installation CD. Removing the previous installation may not be possible in severely damaged systems where the registry is corrupt.
- Run a repair CD provided by the computer manufacturer. For information on how to apply the repair CD, you might have to contact the computer manufacturer or consult the documentation provided with the computer.
Office 2003, Office XP, and Office 2000 provide the Detect and Repair
command. You can find the Detect and Repair
command on the Help
menu of almost all Office programs. Using this command corrects identifiable problems such as missing files, corrupt files, registry omissions, or damaged registry entries. It replaces the .msi file if it was deleted, damaged, or is the wrong version. Using the Detect and Repair
command usually requires you to provide the installation CD for the version of Office currently installed on your computer.
How to prevent similar problems in the future
To help avoid this problem in the future, use the following guidelines:
- Do not delete hidden folders or files from any drives on your computer.
- Do not move drives or change their disk identifier (for example, C: to D:).
- Install all needed applications as Run from My Computer instead of using Install on Demand (available from custom installation within Setup).
- Occasionally run the Windows Disk Defragment program to repair cross-linked files, recover lost clusters, and remap bad sectors on your hard disk. Any data present in a bad portion of the hard disk is usually lost and commonly associated with physical damage to the disk. This is most likely the result of high-vibration environments, such as the computer being struck, dropped, or kicked.
If you have Microsoft Windows XP as your operating system, consider using the System Restore option to restore your system to a previous configuration. Consult the Help and Support option of Windows XP for more information on System Restore.
Office 2003 .msi files
If you do not know which version of Office you have installed, the name of the .msi file requested indicates the Office version you have. The following tables tell which .msi files go with which Office versions.
Microsoft Office Access 2003 Developer Extensions
Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack (one for each language)
Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack
Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components
Microsoft Office Project 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack Wizard
Microsoft Office Project Standard 2003
Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003
Microsoft Office 2003 Proofing Tools
Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack Wizard
Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003
Office XP .msi files
Microsoft Data Access Object (DAO)
Microsoft Office XP User Interface Pack (one for each language)
Microsoft Office XP User Interface Pack Wizard
Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit
Microsoft Office XP Professional Edition
Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage Edition
Microsoft Office XP Proofing Tool Kit
Microsoft Publisher 2002
Microsoft Office XP Small Business Edition
Microsoft Office XP Standard
Microsoft Office XP Standard for Students and Teachers
Microsoft Office XP Web Components
Office 2000 .msi files
Microsoft Office 2000 Premium Edition (all Office products)
Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Edition (similar to Premium but does not include Microsoft PhotoDraw)
Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition (includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Outlook)
Microsoft Office 2000 Standard Edition (includes Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook)
Microsoft Office 2000 Disc 2 (includes Small Business Tools and Publisher)
Microsoft Office 2000 Web Components
Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit
Microsoft Office 2000 Proofing Toolkit
In Office 2000, the file name data1.msi does not clearly identify which version of Office you have. In this case, you need to inventory the installation of Office programs on your computer by examining your Start menu entries or click Add or Remove Programs
in Control Panel and scan through the list of entries to determine the version of Office that is installed.