Error Install MS SQL Server Express in Windows XP SP3 / MSXML6 SP2

If you are trying to install SQL Server 2005 Express edition in Windows SP3 environment, it will most likely fail unless Microsoft has done something to fix this. Read through this blog to find how to get around with this issue.

Symptoms include SQL Server Express edition installation return error and the error log mentioned MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 (KB954459) — Configuration failed. I am not really sure what the root cause is, but it looks like Windows XP SP3 or MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 protects the MSXML 6 configuration file from update and changes. As a result, the setup fail to continue.

There are some ways to solve this, including

  • Uninstall Service Pack 3, install Microsoft SQL Server Express edition, and reinstall SP3.
  • Disable the File system protection temporarily using regedit.

But, in my opinion the best way is

Hope this post may help more people. I have received much gratitude from visitors all around the world regarding this post. Please continue to spread this post and share the good via bookmark. Cheers

185 Replies to “Error Install MS SQL Server Express in Windows XP SP3 / MSXML6 SP2”

  1. I was able to install SQL Server 2005, after uninstalling XP SP3. After that I just install XP SP3 back and everything is working fine. Thanks

  2. Hi,
    The normal Control Panel Add/Remove was giving an error when I tried to uninstall MSXML6 SP2, but I uninstalled it using the Cleanup Utility and reinstalled SQL Server Express. Worked perfectly. Many Thanks!!

  3. I’ve been struggling all day with getting SQL Server Express 2005 to install on my XP SP3 machine and finally found your blog. I removed MSXML 6 SP2 using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility and SQL Server 2005 installed with no problems! Thank you!!!

  4. I too was struggling the last week getting SQL Server Express 2005 to install on my XP SP3 machine and finally found your blog. I removed MSXML 6 SP2 using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility and SQL Server 2005 installed with no problems! Thank you very much!!!

  5. Hi,
    The normal Control Panel Add/Remove was giving an error when I tried to uninstall MSXML6 SP2, but I uninstalled it using the Cleanup Utility and reinstalled SQL Server Express. Worked perfectly.Thanks!! Thanks!! Thanks!!

  6. I have the same problem, but when I tried to uninstall MSXML6 SP2 using the CleanUp Utility I had problems because MSXML 6 SP2 is still there.
    What Can I do? 🙁

    I didn’t know to use the CleanUp Utility.
    Problem Solved 🙁

    :):) I’m feeling stupid haha

    thanks for all

  8. Ran the cleanup utility and was able to install SQL Server Express 2005 after several attempts at a fix. Cleaned up the MSXML6 problem and the error code 1603 SSE 2005 problem went away. Thanks!!

  9. We have just realized that MS has released SQL Server Express Edition SP 3, we have tried to install it on 3 computers, and they are failed, at one point installation just restart computer.

  10. Hi,

    Thanks for the information. I am runing Windows XP SP3 and I have the same problem. In Add/Remove Programs, I get “Fatal error during installation” when I try to remove MSXML 6 SP2 and the little utility program doesn’t remove the MSXML 6 SP2 either! It seems that I am stuck for installing SQL Server Express 2005…

    If anybody has any suggestion…

  11. ErrorMessage:-
    The SQL Service failed to start. For more information see the SQL online books…

    This error appeared under installation of SQL on a machine running XP Service Pack 3. This was because the BuiltIn NetworkService does not exist on the Access Control List of the hidden Windows “Protect” Folder object, and therefore has no rights to run the SQL service.

    The fix is as follows…

    Browse to the following location:- (remember that this is a hidden location in Windows, so you cannot browse to it with explorer even if you select to “show hidden files and folders” :-

    C:\Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\Microsoft

    Right click on the “Protect” folder and select the security tab…Note that no NetworkService exists. Click on add and select the correct location select the NetworkService BuiltIn object and add it to the ACL (or you can browse the domain for the network service.)

    Thereafter, update the policy on the local machine by typing “gpupdate /force” into a run command, or from DOS.

    Run the SQL install again, and it will install as normal.

  12. I located the “Protect” folder and when I right-click the folder there is no security tab (Sharing and security…) and the “Protect Property” window appeared. What am I missing?

  13. You’re a hero! If only I had found this blog many many hours ago! MSXML cleanup did the trick to remove MSXML6.0 and finally got SQL Server 2005 Express reinstalled correctly. Cheers buddy!

  14. I had the same problem Gon had, so to be super specific for the retards like myself:
    Download the program from the link
    Run the program to install it
    Select MSXML and click remove. Answer the standard dialogs

  15. Add my thanks to all the others.

    But, for my own enlightenment, how did you figure this one out? We all spend so much time looking for ways to fix “voodo” problems like this. What was your method?

  16. Thanks a Jillion!!! Words cannot express how i feel for the solution you offered. I can now work from my servicePack3 XP. Thanks once more.

  17. Wasted almost whole day for this problem. Using the clean up utility it works soft as butter. Installing a SP can create such a problem…. that’s really bad.

  18. Is it because the fact that it’s “free” express edition that they don’t really look after? Or it is suppose to be installed before the SP3, since SP3 comes after the express… Well I am still happy, as long as there is still a way to solve.

  19. I have this problem on MIcrosoft Windows server 2003 standard edition SP2.
    Can i just uninstall MSXML 6 sp2 with out any issue? Will uninstallling msxml 6 sp2 effects other microsoft product on the server?

  20. I have attempted to use the uninstaller but it does not give me a list of options to uninstall and I still have that dreaded msxml 6 in the list of programs which can’t be uninstalled! Arrrrggghhhhhh! Anyone have any ideas of what I can do now?

  21. I have the same problem, but in my case there is no mention of MSXML 6 or any other parser, for that matter, in the Setup list when I run Windows Install Cleanup. Thus, I cannot install it. If I do a search in the registry for anything like msxml6, it comes up empty. Yet, when I try to run msxml6.msi, it gives me the nonsense of a higher version of the parser that is already loaded, which is not correct.

    I would sincerely appreciate any help you guys can give me on this issue.

  22. the recommended way worked great! bad side was one of our apps used msxml6 – but a reinstall of the full app AFTER installing sql sp worked great, and the sp revision was kept, it wasnt downgraded. this replaced the xml, and life is good!

    awesome fix! worked flawlessly, and was simple! outstanding!!

  23. Hey, Excelent solution. I had uninstalled the msxml 6 sp2 with the Windows Install Clean Tool and everything work great.

  24. Worked for me too, after many previous futile attempts to solve this problem. Thank you so much for publicizing your solution!

  25. I had spent whole day to find out what was causing the problem. and with your help i was able to finish that setup. Thanks very much.

  26. Well, this looked promising, but the tool doesn,t work, the program is still there…

    I will post an update when I get it solved, though, thanks.

  27. I’ve been figuring 2 days why installation failed. Thanks for the solution mentioned by removing the MSXML and it works fine for me. Brilliant!

    screw MS…

  28. I’m here on a Sunday, listening to the Lions lose(again) because of the MSXML issue. Thank you for this. I didn’t want to face my boss on Monday morning.

  29. my God!! this is really what I’m looking for…i’ve deleted msxml..and now I can install server really works…thank you…God Bless You……

  30. Hi all,

    I am facing the same problem even after cleaning up.
    Still its giving a fatal error message can any one help me.
    Thanks in advance

  31. Removing the MSXML file using the cleanup utility worked wonderfully. Thanks so much for sharing this. A baseline MSXML v6 is automatically installed with SS Express so it goes right back on. I haven’t tried installing MSXMLv6 Sp2 on top of it to see if there are any side affects of that, but I wouldn’t think so.

    Thanks again!

  32. Was installing using local service account. Followed direction to remove xml parser using clean up utility. Reinstalled and it received same error. But it did reinstall XML parser itself. Changed to Network Service for the service account and installation worked. Thanks for the help.

  33. You rock !!!! Many thanks, you saved me hours of work …….. It is working perfect after I had done the steps described (removing the MSXML)….

  34. 1) Uninstall all versions of MSXML, by using Windows Installer Cleanup Utility
    2) Restart computer
    3) Install MSXML6 SP2
    4) Install SQL Server 2005 Express edition successful.

  35. Thank you so much,

    un-installing MSXML6 solved problem

    I have wasted days on and off trying to install SQL… (as a part of Siemens HMI package) – endless tech support, using Microsoft manual uninstall advice, etc…all worthless
    (while sticking pins in my Bill-Gates Doll….)
    Even purchased registry clean up SW in desperation (waste of time of course)

    Who ever you guys are I wish you the very best.


  36. When the tool brings no help you may try to search in the registry for the KB954459 and export the entry and delete it aferwards. Before deleting the whole folder – please find out where the uninstalling path is looking to – to move this folder away. After doing this – have a look at the add and remove software, if the xml6 sp2 is still there. if not – feel free to install sql…



  37. I wish I was smart enough to find your site a few days ago. But it took me a while to whittle down to what was causing the problem. THANKS SO MUCH! If we have another kid, I’ll suggest naming him or her Ferolen to my wife.

  38. This blog is very useful. I was having problem installing SQL 2005 Express edition due to MSXML 6. And then uninstalling it added to my problem. Until i found this blog, all works fine now. Thanks a lot for your help 🙂

  39. Just like to add my own thanks to the growing list – this solution worked a treat. If only Microsoft had been as succinct and straightforward, I wouldn’t have wasted several days trawling their tech pages!

  40. 1) Uninstall all versions of MSXML, by using Windows Installer Cleanup Utility
    2) Restart computer
    3) Install MSXML6 SP2
    4) Install SQL Server 2005 Express edition successful.

  41. i ran into this after deleting msmxl6

    The SQL Service failed to start. For more information see the SQL online books…

    i went to
    C:\Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\Microsoft

    but i cant find the “Protect” folder

    please help 🙂

  42. Hiiiii
    Thnx a lot for ur help. Windows clean utility fixed my problem and i hve succsflly installed sql server now. Tnx really.

  43. i cannot locate the file MXML6 SP2 in the the utility cleanup software. There is a MXML4.0 SP2 and another MXML6.0 Parser. I am using windows xp sp3 and need to install sql 2005 express edition x86. What should i do?

  44. I didn’t have a MXML6 SP2 to remove, but I did have some MXML4’s and removed them. It still didn’t allow me to install SQL express. I finally renamed the Microsoft SQL Server folder (I supposed I could have just deleted it) and then I was successful in installing SQL Express

  45. Life is easy when you know what to do! Thanks for providing the solution. If only I cam across this site several hours ago!!

  46. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve needed to install SQL Express 2005 for several projects and each time I just work around it an a labor intensive fashion. But I really needed to install Microsost CRM 4.0 for Outlook Offline and this totally fixed the issue. Thank you for what is such an easy fix!

  47. what is this error in SQL 2005 Setup wizard: 1706–> CD ROM or internet connectivity
    How can i fix it? pleaseeee

  48. ************************************************************************
    I found I had to delete registry keys relating to previous failed installs location below:



  49. Thanks a lot. You the man !!!
    🙂 I got frustrated because of this MSXML 6 SP2 and had no way of uninstalling it. You solution worked for me.

    God bless you!!!

  50. Thanks a million, saved my bacon. Struggling the whole day with installation, removed MSXML 6 SP2 and SQL Express installed just fine.

  51. hi,
    i have just installed SP3 Express edition on windows xp SP3…
    My system is continously rebooting after 30 -40 seconds…
    can anyone help me out quickly

  52. I spent hours trying to fix this i.e. tried MS installer cleanup, deleting .dll files etc. The issue was clearly MS Service Pack 3. Once I deleted that I was able to Add/remove MSXML 6 and then successfully install SQL express 500. Thanks a bunch.

  53. Excellent!!! Blog.

    I was struggling lot to install the SQL Server 2005. After reading this blog, I uninstalled MSXML 6 SP2 and now things are fine.

  54. Windows Installer Cleanup Utility is not available from MS anymore. I found a link to the download here: That however did not work for me. Someone above comments that they delete a key in the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products. You will have to search through all the keys to see which one is related to MS XML6 SP2. Once I delete that I was able to install. Hope that helps someone else. This was a frustrating one!

  55. As andy states alot of the links no longer exist or are valid. Is the solutions still valid? I have an XP installation with SP3 already on it so I can not remove it. Any updated help would be great.

  56. It seems that microsoft has removed the uninstall utility. If you check the page related to the uninstall utility: you will see that they have removed the tool. I have no idea how to fix this problem now.

  57. Does anyone have a copy of this file you can send me? It is no longer on the Microsoft site, and I can’t seem to find the right download anywhere!

  58. Just though I would share this, msicuu2.exe can be downloaded from majorgeeks website. I did this but still having problems with the installation..

  59. I was having this problem…I just downloaded the unistall tool from the brother site(listed above). SQL installed now; after deleting sp2. It worked great. Thanks a million.

  60. Hey, thanks man!! It worked nicely!! I had a very hard time installing it. Was trying for last 5 hours!! Got headache too!! 🙁

    But, your solution worked for me. I am now listening songs!! Headache gone!!

    Thanks mate!!

  61. delete a key in the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products. You will have to search for MSXML6 (with Values and Data options selected) to see which one is related to MS XML6 SP2 then delete this node. Install SQL Server Express again

  62. I have been stuck with this sproblem for hours and I happened to come across your post. So downloaded the utility from the Brother website and the SQL Server installation worked like a charm….thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  63. An alternative to messing with the registry for error this can be found at since the cleanup utility cant be downloaded any longer. It explains the root cause of the issue with MSXML 6 SP2 issue and contains a download to fix.
    Worked like a charm to correct the install error.

  64. Before installing MS-SQL 2005, just run Windows Install Clean Up utility, select MSXML 6 and remove it after that installtion of MS-SQL will happened very fine.

  65. had a user trying to install sql server express on Windows XP sp3, error 1603, Googled it, found you….cleanup util removed msxml 6sp2. worked like a champ. Thanks guys!!

  66. I am from Czech Republic and I was trying to solve this problem so long (at least 3 days). I really really thank you man! You saved me!

  67. when System Configuration Check screen appears,some features are not being installed.not installed properly how can i do it .it is giving error of some file missing of office/1033.plz tell me how can i remove this error

  68. Oh my god! my problem has been resolved by uninstalling MSXML 6 SP2 (KB954459)in Control Panel\Add or Remove Programs.The following error “The following program could not be installed. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP2. Setup cannot complete the installation. Unknown MSI Error Code: 67” no longer appears.

    Thanks for your help

  69. was installing autodesk inventor 2009, had problems with installing the vault….

    after searching on sql server 2005 1603 xp sp3, this site came up.

    You really saved my day!!!!!

  70. Hi,
    Had the same problem everyone here seesm to be having. Anyway, I ran the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility and it’s all fixed. Thanks.
    Sanjay… do a Google search for msicuu2.exe to find a copy of it. Cheers

  71. Deleting this reg entry fixed the issue for me HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products96825A1D2A65CB41B34C8A48E1DD969

    Thanks for the post

  72. Unfortunately for me the cleanup utility (downloaded from softpedia did not work for me). It just hanged for too long checking the disk requirements so i canceled it. What worked for me was the Microsoft fix at

    Go to “Workaround” > “Let em fix it myself”. This uninstalled MSXML 6 sp2 without any problems.

  73. I had the same issue while isntalling MSSQL 2005 -standard edition. This solution worked for me. Thank a bunch

  74. Thanks for the post. I got stuck in the same problem for two days and suddenly found your post here. Could not uninstall MSXML 6.0 pack which I doubted the reason that prevented me from installing MSSQL Express 2005. This is because I had removed all realted packages from MSSQL Express 2008 before reinstalling MSSQL Express 2005 and still got stuck somewhere. Had tried to search for related registry entries of MSSQL but never thought about MSXML. 😀

    At the moment, Microsoft proposes to use Fix It. I chose “automatic fix” but I think either choosing “automatic” fix or “fix it myself” will work very well.

    Again, many thanks for the very useful post!

  75. This works for SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition as well, but the links to the Cleanup Utility are no longer hosted by Microsoft. I ended up getting it from somewhere by googling for “msicuu2.exe” Worked like a champ, after five hours of fighting with the install over MSXML6 not installing correctly.

  76. Thank you so much! I wasted one day trying all I could to solve this issue but couldn’t then I visited this page and wooohooo I am working on SQL server now. Thanks a lots! KUDOS!

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