[Fixed] The MSI Failed – VMware Workstation Uninstall, Repair and Update on Windows 7/8.1/10

You may face this problem if you have the older version of VMware Workstation. Today I faced a strange problem in updating VMware workstation to latest 8.0.1, “The MSI failed” error on Windows 7 host. Later, I fixed the issue and updated successfully, it was due to a minor  Windows OS problem but took some time to figure it out. So, I decided to share in this small guide about how to fix The MSI failed on VMware workstation while uninstalling, repairing and updating on Windows client OS.

Normally while updating VMware product to the latest version, it uninstalls the existing product and starts the upgrade. Therefore, the uninstallation process should go smoothly to start the update.

When I tried to install VMware workstation 8.0.1 top of 8.0.0 in Windows 7 host, during the uninstallation process is running I get “The MSI failed” error and installation quit immediately.

The msi failed error

The Below Steps Did Not Help Me

1) I thought it was a problem with installation .exe file, so downloaded and tried again.

2) Uninstalling the existing version from the control panel in Windows 7, it returned the same error.

3) Repairing the existing version from the control panel.

4) Repairing the existing version by running the 8.0.0 installation .exe file (which will bring the same options (Repair, Modify and uninstall) as from control panel)

5) Restarting several times between each above steps.

So, What is Next?

I found a useful article on VMware official site regarding this issue and it made me think that I’m not alone with this problem. MSI failed while installing, updating or uninstalling is a general issue with VMware products per the article.

Windows OS temporary files in your local user profile are the reason for the error.  Normally, any installations on Windows OS extract its files to a temporary location and run the installation from there. Some programs leave these temp files and folders after the installation to use in the future.

VMware says, “This is not a VMware issue”

The Resolution is Simple on Windows

1) Go to ‘Temp’ directory which is located under the user (profile folder) who does the installation/uninstallation in your computer.

Type %TEMP% in Run or search field in Windows 7 or Windows 10.

2) Make sure none of the VMware installation or uninstallation process is running. Select and Delete all files and folders in this location.

delete temp files

3) Restart the computer and try now. It should work and you should be able to upgrade VMware workstation now.

The original VMware KB article on The MSI failed issue is available here.

You can follow other mentioned steps in the above article if only deleting Temp folder contents did not help.

Remember, it is just a Windows OS problem, so do not try anything else on VMware workstation settings. Additionally, you can run full disk cleanup and scan disk to get some space, delete unwanted temp and installation files to solve this issue on Windows 7/8.1/10.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

16 thoughts on “[Fixed] The MSI Failed – VMware Workstation Uninstall, Repair and Update on Windows 7/8.1/10”

  1. I’m using windows 8 dev build and had a similar issue. Silverlight, VMware, and Virtual box were all failing to install. Same issue as in this article.

    I had to do a few things to make it work. I took ownership of the temp folder, and I went up to appdata and saw that it was set as read only (….well some kinks are expected in a dev build but…really?) I took off the read only and applied that to all the sub folders. Then I deleted all the temp data as stated above. And now all those programs install just fine.

    Now this was for windows 8, but perhaps someone is having a similar problem with 7.

  2. Nothing here or anywhere else worked for me, until I tried Revo Uninstaller and chose the “deepest” uninstall option. Now my uninstall of 8.0.3 works and installation of 8.0.4 works!

  3. Same here, nothing worked until I used MS Fixit to uninstall 8.0.3, downloaded the installer for 8.0.4 from the VMware site and ran that.

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