How to Fix: Another Installation is in Progress Error

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'David' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have Windows 10, and the updates keep failing. Also, when I try to update Creative Cloud (to upgrade my Adobe Photoshop), it gets to 54% complete and then I receive a message stating that 'Another installation is in progress' error. I also received a very strange error message when attempting to install Classic Shell: 'User System has previously initiated an install for product (Microsoft Office). That user will need to run that install again before they can use that product. You current install will now continue.' I click OK and it will proceed for a bit, then I get the error that 'Another installation is in progress'. I am completely perplexed by this issue! Any ideas? "

My response:

I have personally never had that problem before, so I offered to connect to David's machine to take a look. Initially, I thought that his Windows installation (or one or more services) was corrupt. So, I attempted to install Macrium Reflect to backup the system before attempting to repair Windows. Of course, when I ran the Macrium Reflect installer, I was greeted with the "Another installation is in progress" error message. I decided to reboot, thinking that it might clear the issue, but it didn't work.

I did a bit of research and found that the "Another installation is in progress" error has do with the Windows Installer, also known as the "msiexec" task in Task Manager. One of the suggested solutions I came across online was to kill all tasks related to "msiexec" before attempting to launch an installer (such as Macrium Reflect) again, but that did not solve the problem.

Troubleshooting "Another installation is in progress" Error

Next, I launched the Windows Service control panel applet, then double clicked on the Windows Installer service to review its settings. Its "Startup Type" was set for "Manual" (which is correct), but under "Service Status: ", it said "running"; furthermore, the option to Start or Stop the service was not selectable. In comparison - on my own machine, the Service Status for the Windows Installer service was set as "stopped," and the option to Start the service was selectable. Since David's settings were different than mine, it gave me a clue that his Windows Installer service was most likely corrupt.

I came across another page online that explained how to set a Windows Registry bit to disable the Windows Installer service - hoping that it would stop it from continually running. I tried that and rebooted, but the service was still running. I then found instructions on how to re-register the Windows Installer service and that finally fixed the problem!

Below I'll explain all the steps I took, so you can replicate and hopefully fix the "Another installation is in progress" error.

How to Fix: Another Installation is in Progress Error

Here are the technical steps I took (explained in simple English). The steps should work for all versions of Windows, including: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.

  1. First, bookmark this page so you can come back to it. Following that, reboot the computer so you're working from a clean slate, then come back to this page to continue onto the next step.
  2. Next, kill all "msiexec" tasks in Task Manager if they are running. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL on the keyboard, then select Task Manager from the options. Click the "more details" button on the lower left corner if your Task Manager is not displaying tabs at the top; then, click the Details tab in Task Manager to view all processes that are running on the machine. Next, click the "Name" column so all the task names are sorted alphabetically. Look for any task(s) called "msiexec"; if you see one, left click it with your mouse to select it, then press DEL on the keyboard to end the task. Repeat until no more "msiexec" tasks are running.
  3. Now it's time to review the Windows Installer service settings. Click Start and type in "services.msc" (no quotes), then click on the "services" icon when it appears in the start menu list. When the "Services" window appears, scroll down the list until you see "Windows Installer," then double click it to open its window. On the bottom half of the Windows Installer service window, look for the Status heading, then note if it says "Service status: stopped". If it says "Service status: running", then the service is most likely corrupt. If you can, click the "stop" button to stop the service. If it is greyed out (not selectable), proceed to the next step.
  4. Now it's time to review some settings in the Windows Registry. A word of caution: be very careful when modifying the registry; adjusting the wrong registry key can seriously mess up the system. Click here to learn how to backup the registry before proceeding. Once you're all set, it's time to review some settings; scroll to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then to Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Installer. If you see an "InProgress" folder, left click once to select it, then press DEL on the keyboard to delete it. Next, right click the "Installer" folder and select Permissions from the dialogue menu. A window named "Permissions for Installer" will appear; under the "Security" tab (group or user names), look for "System" and left click once to select it. Under the heading "Permissions for System", ensure that "Full Control" and "Read" is selected. Once that's done, you can click OK, then close the registry editor.
  5. Now it's time to re-register the service. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd", then right click over "Command Prompt" and select "Run as Administrator." Next, highlight the text below:

    net stop msiserver
    REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msiserver" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f
    echo this is a dummy line
  6. Right click over the highlighted text, then select Copy from the dialogue menu. Go back to the administrative command prompt and right click in the middle of the window, then select Paste. The text you highlighted in Step #5 should now be output to the command line. If you receive a "permissions denied" error, then you are not running the command prompt as Administrator - you will need to repeat step #5 from the beginning. Any other error messages you can safely ignore.
  7. The Windows installer service should now be re-registered on the system. Attempt to launch whichever program you couldn't install before which resulted in the "Another installation is in progress" error. If it does not work, then restart the computer in Safe Mode and redo the steps outlined on this page.

That should fix it. If it does not, you can contact me for additional support and I will fix it for you.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If the above steps are over your head, or if the problem still persists, you can contact me for additional support using my remote desktop support service. Simply send me a message using the contact page and we can set up a time to meet online to discuss your issues.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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kitekrazy's picture

My guess is the upgrade of W10 was done via Windows Update.

myinfopackets's picture

My problem, in Windows Setting, the Windows updates, when I click checking for updates, it loading forever and never showed any updates.

When I used 360 total security software for patching, I met the same problem so I've followed all procedures you listed above. My PC packed with Win8.1 32bit. But something in my PC is different.

1) After I rebooted my PC, I didn't find any processing "msiexec" task.
2) No "InProgress" folder under the installer in the in the Windows Registry.

So I directly re-register the service (followed the step 5), and rebooted my PC again. The 360 software can patch the new updates. However, the Windows updates is still not working. It still checking for updates forever.

May I ask your help on figure out what's wrong with my PC?