One more post about MSXML6 SP2, XP SP3 and SQL Server : I've been duped!
March 20th, 200917
One more post about MSXML6 SP2, XP SP3 and SQL Server : I've been duped!
March 20th, 200917

Microsoft delivered a KB article about this whole MSXML6 problem with XP SP3 (which I talked about recently here and here), but it is NOT the KB article I was hoping for, nor anything resembling the article I had been promised.  Instead of finally supplying and documenting the mythical registry fix required to let SQL Server setup bypass the MSXML6 problem, they simply made official the workaround of using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to clear the path for setup to lay down the same bits again.  You can check out the article here, but there really isn't any news that hasn't already been broken elsewhere:

Maybe they just really want you to upgrade to Vista (or make the wait for Windows 7 that much more intolerable).

By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.

17 Responses

  1. an says:

    remove registry key for msxml product in installer branch
    find it by name in regedit

  2. wilma in winnipeg says:

    I have the MSXML 6 SERVICE PACK KB973686—VERSION 6.20.2003.0 AND WHEN i TRIED TO REPAIR IT,IT TELLS ME THAT THE FILE IS not AVALABLE..nOW i DO NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT COMPUTERS,BUT FOR SOME REASON,i AM PRETTY SURE THAT THIS IS A PROBLEM.i THOUGHT ABOUT DOWNLOADING THE SEVICE PACK FROM THE SUPPORT WEBSITE,BUT AM KINDA SCARED TO MESS AROUND WITH MY COMPUTER.iT ALSO TELLS ME THAT THE INSTALLATION SOURCE FOR THIS PRODUCT IS not AVAILABLE,-what the h*ll does that mean? It also says to VERIFY that the source exists and that I can access it..WELL, if I don't know what it is or where to look for it,how can I verify ANYTHING? I am so confused…Also I have the Windows XP service pack 3 on my computer.Do you have ANY ideas as to what I can or should do?
                                        Thank You,WILMA

  3. JohnK says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for your helpful information you provided here!  I was trying to install StarTeam 2008, which installs SQL Express 2005 as part of its installer.  I ran into the exact problem described in Knowledge Base article 954459.  I used the Windows Installer CleanUp utility, removed the install of MSXML 6.0 SP2 and was able to successfully install SQL express 2005 and StarTeam.
    Thanks again!
    John K

  4. Anthony says:

    All of the articles I see on this issue concern SQL Express and WinXP Pro SP3. I've seen a situation where the O/S is WinXP SP2 and SQL Express was already there. It appears that updating from IE6 to IE8 put the MSXML6 SP2 on the system. Now the SQL Express instance will not start.  Any ideas??

  5. Joe says:

    Almost forgot – it's always a new machine that's shipped with XP SP3 where we've seen the problem. We haven't seen the problem on machines that have been upgraded from SP2 to SP3.

  6. Joe says:

    MsiZap has worked pretty well for us, too, however we're starting to see PCs where we've removed MSXML 6.0 SP2 using MsiZap go into a continual reboot loop – both AMD and Intel procs. This is a total mess.

  7. Chris Wood says:

    Something similar is now fixed in SQL2008 SP1
    This one talks about installing SQL2008 with a different language from the O/S language. MS might be starting to get this right and have a fix.

  8. BFritz says:

    John, I think the only automated solution is this what I posted earlier: Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is just a front end for a little command line app called MsiZap (which is packaged in the install) MsiZap uses the product code to uninstall MSXML6SP2 which is "MsiZap T {1A528690-6A2D-4BC5-B143-8C4AE8D19D96}" no more broken installs! we had to add that and package MsiZap.exe into our InstallShield process before SQL2005 install. glad we didn't wait for MS to fix this as our product is now shipping and previous versions suffered from this issue and we had non stop support fixing MS issues!

  9. AaronBertrand says:

    Some unsupported workarounds that might be a better approach than the cleanup utility:

  10. Joe Wiemann says:

    Deployment of SQL 2005 Express and this issue are absolutely killing our company. We are looking for a workable solution to this issue.
    Every one of these that fails causes a support call to our software help desk.
    It would be greatly appreciated if we could find a workaround as we ship around 400 copies per month of our software…

  11. John says:

    The workaround is an unacceptable solution for those of us who embed SQL 2005 Express Edition into custom software distributions.  

  12. AaronBertrand says:

    RKWilliamsII, no, I am saying the KB article they published (which tells us how to uninstall MSXML6 SP2 using the Windows Installer cleanup utility) is not the one they told me they were going to publish (which was supposed to tell us the registry edit to make in order to allow setup to ignore the fact that it can't install MSXML6 again).
    If I knew the registry update I would have published it.  I know enough about it to know that it isn't what a few people have guessed (altering the version of ).  But that's it.

  13. RKWilliamsII says:

    Aaron, are you saying that the article you discussed here ( /blogs/aaron_bertrand/archive/2009/03/16/more-info-good-news-installing-sql-server-on-xp-sp3-with-msxml6-sp2.aspx ) is not going to be what you had originally thought? I am hoping to find some official statement by Microsoft saying they are aware of the problem.
    The registry entry you mentioned would be EXTREMELY helpful for me, as well as my associates. If Microsoft does not include it in a Knowledge Base article, are you aware of anywhere I could find said key?

  14. James Luetkehoelter says:

    I second that Aaron – I have yet to run into the problem just applying to SP3 – it certainly bound to the SQL Server installer…

  15. AaronBertrand says:

    Jason, I believe the problem is when installing SQL Server.  Or at least, I haven't consciously noted any cases where the problem happens when installing a service pack.

  16. Jason L says:

    Does this apply to the SP3 release?