"Error 1913" while installing Office 2003 on Vista

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Windows

I would have supposed that installing Office 2003 on Windows Vista would simply work.
My assumption was so terribly wrong. Not soon after starting Setup it throws this error message at me:

Error 1913: Setup cannot update file
Verify that the file exists in your system and that you have
sufficient permissions to update it.

So, oviously an issue with Outlook (mapisvc) registering itself in the system.
Running Setup without installing Outlook was just fine. So was when installing Outlook without MAPI (the “Exchange” stuff…) features.
I hoped it to be simply a file permission issue causing setup to fail on updating mapisvc.inf. Looking at the file permissions showed me this:

C:\\Windows\\System32>cacls mapisvc.inf
C:\\Windows\\System32\\mapisvc.inf NT SERVICE\\TrustedInstaller:(ID)F

So, my permissions are inadequate? Setup does not account to TrustedInstaller Group?
Fact is: I could not edit the permissions in the first place. It was likely to be some sort of UAC (User Account Control) magic trickery.

So I decided to turn off UAC from control panel, not without needing to reboot the machine first of course. So be it…

This finally enabled me to set the file permissions on mapisvc.inf.
First I re-assigned file ownership from ‘SYSTEM’ to ‘Administrators’. Then I added full access permissions for ‘Administrators’.

After going through all these hassles, Setup did finally not complain any more and installed Outlook 2003 with MAPI features successfully.

38 Responses to “"Error 1913" while installing Office 2003 on Vista”

  1. John Says:

    Hey thanks for the info. Worked like a charm for me. +1

  2. TT Says:

    thanks so much! I have been using vista without office for 2 weeks and your post just made my day.

  3. Pcobiwan Says:

    As Tenessee Ernie For used to say “Bless your peapickin’ little heart!”

    I spent hours today trying to work around the #^^$ WRP. With your advice from above I finally got it!

    Thanks so much!

  4. Oksana Says:

    Microsoft has to publish your advice on their site !!! I have spent 2 days trying to install Outlook on Vista.

  5. MB Net Admin Says:

    I saw this issue before installing Office 2003, so I installed Office without Outlook and then ran Windows Update and installed all available Office updates. I then went back and installed Outlook without issue.

  6. Matt Says:

    Thanks! I was having this issue installing a critical Windows update on vista for Outlook 2007 with business contact manager. I did all of the steps you did but was missing assigning ownership to Admins first. Your help is appreciated!

  7. ade Says:

    after spending 5 minutes shouting and swearing at every permission denied i gave up

    outlook is consigned to the dustbin

  8. Gianpaolo Del Matto Says:

    @ ade

    You made sure you turned off UAC in the first place and rebootet the machine?

    And even if you did that, you will need to take over file owner ship.

    That means you locate C:\Windows\system32\mapisvc.inf in Explorer, open the context menu and go for “Properties”. From there select “Security” tab, click “Advanced” and then select the “Owner” tab.

    It will say that the file owner is “SYSTEM” so you will need to change this to “Administrator”.

    If you don’t you’ll never be able to change the file access permissions _even_ if UAC is turned off.



  9. Audrey Says:

    Thank you so much for your post. This was my problem exactly. Your instructions allowed me to keep my sanity and finish setting up my computer. Thank you!!

  10. Gregg Says:

    I was able to install office 2000, but when I tried to install office 2003 I got an immediate message “error accessing the system registry”

    Any ideas out there?


  11. Gianpaolo Del Matto Says:

    @ gregg

    I could imagine that certain registry keys were created upon Office 2000 setup, though with some special permissions.
    This is why they may not accessible for the Office 2003 setup (running with outher permissions, maybe even UAC stuff) which triggers this error message.

    On the other hand it might also be real registry corruption.

  12. Robert Says:

    Thanks for this it saved me too.

    Shoudl I return the File ownership to the ‘System’ after I finished the install?

  13. Gianpaolo Del Matto Says:

    @ Robert

    I didn’t try what happens when I set the file owner back to ‘SYSTEM’.
    Leaving it to ‘Administrators’ was just good enough for me.

    Maybe resetting it could lead to problems during Office update once in a while, but that’s pure speculation.

    As someone noted earlier it worked also without changing the file owner by running Office Update before installing Outlook + MAPI.

  14. Kim Says:

    Thanks so much!!! Thought that might be the problem but was hesitant to change the permissions until I saw it worked for you.

  15. JP Says:

    Many thanks! I was pulling what little hair I have left out!


  16. Ivaraa Says:

    Your solution is exact, Thanks a lotsssssss!!!

  17. Ed Ross Says:

    YES!!! Thank you!

  18. Alan Woody Says:

    I couldn’t find this anywhere on the MS website, but you saved my day. Thanks!!!

  19. Chris Says:

    That’s what I’m talkin bout.

    Great post, saved my day for sure.

  20. Mats Says:

    Saved my day also.

  21. Maxxx Says:

    Thanks. Great info….

  22. Carl Nunes Says:

    YES! I own the mapsvc.inf now! Muahahhahah!

  23. Ray Carter Says:

    Man you are a STAR!!!!! I have been struggling with this bloody error message for weeks!!! Did as you said and it worked first time. So now all is rosy in my IT garden once more. So thanks once again for imparting your timeless wisdom and knowledge to we lesser mortals.


  24. Alohakid Says:

    My hats off to you…. From an IT professional. Thanks

  25. Steve Says:

    I agree with all the above compliments – you are an absolute STAR! I only sat down to install Office on my new machine this morning and immediately encountered this problem. A quick search on the internet led me to you (having, as usual, failed to find the answer through Microsoft). 5 stars +++ and THANK YOU!!

  26. Rob Says:

    Must have been sloppy programming when writing Vista… =\

  27. Epifanio Pineda Says:

    Your advice was accurate, thanks for take the time to share it with the web community. Grate !!

  28. Scott W Says:

    Just came across this problem, quick google led me here to find a quick solution.

    Many Thanks!!!

  29. Lee Says:

    Really thanks!!! Worked and saved me TIME!

  30. Yang Says:

    thanks for ur helpness..

    i spend 2 hours … it’s so long to me..

    thanks ..

  31. Do Says:

    Excellent! I have struggled for hours before I found this forum. This really helped me to sort it out.
    Thank you.

  32. Chris Says:

    thnx, thnx, thnx… !

  33. Rich Says:

    Thank You! Unbelievable.

  34. conde Says:

    Thanks dude.

  35. Samsho_IV Says:

    Great, works fine!!

  36. SwissChad Says:

    Thanks for posting. It fixed my problem too. New to Vista (have been resisting). This is exactly why I am reverting back to XP.

  37. tom cauley Says:

    Can someone please tell me how to do this step by step? I’ve been trying all day and I am going insane.


  38. Anonymous Says:

    So basically it’s Outlook causing the problem right? Did I understand that correctly from your post? I don’t like Outlook (I prefer webbased email I can access from anywhere) so I’ll just run the install without installing Outlook and be fine. Cheers for the heads up.