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Windows Live Installer Catastrophic Failure Fix

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Ouch…  That took WAYYY to long to figure out 🙁

Today I installed a new Microsoft LifeCam (I think they call it.) In any case, once installed, I wanted to play around with the Video Conferencing.  However before I could, it told me I needed the Windows Live Messenger.  Conveniently, once the Camera was installed, the LifeCam 2.0 software provided a link to the Windows Live Installer – WLInstaller.exe (here’s where the problem hit me.)


When I launched the Windows Live Installer, I received the error Windows Live Installer System Error code: 0x8000ffff - Catastrophic failure Message:

There was a problem with the installation.  Windows Live Suite was not installed.

System error details

Code: 0x8000ffff

Description: Catastrophic failure


Wow, that doesn’t sound good at all.  Hmm, I wonder what the problem is?


After 30-40 minutes of messing around, it finally dawned on me that I have the Windows Live BETA for Windows Live Writer installed on this XP box.  I confirmed this by looking in my control panel.

Control Panel, Windows XP, Installed Apps, Windows Live Beta (all programs)

I confirmed my suspicion after doing some testing.  The only way to get Windows Live Messenger installed would be to grab the .  Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to find.


In retrospect, it would have been nice for MSFT to throw me an error message with a little more info.  I’m not asking for much.  Perhaps a simple “Beta Installation of Windows Live Detected, unable to continue the install.”  Am I asking too much?


Hopefully, this helps out a few readers who run into the same problem.

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10 Responses to Windows Live Installer Catastrophic Failure Fix

  1. EarlZ December 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm #

    Seems like its easier for the devs to write catastrophic failure.

  2. MrGroove December 30, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    – If error, Call Catastrophic Failure 😉

  3. the answer is January 7, 2009 at 5:08 am #

    if you had a previous install on your pc you should remove it before you install the latest.
    if problem persists then get help.

  4. Nezzy January 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    I hate this thing. I am trying to fix it for an hour and a half!!! I hope this will help me…

  5. MrGroove January 19, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    @Nezzy – Keep us updated! This was just what fixed it for me. Good Luck!

  6. N00B February 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Thx for the help got this problem while installing windows live lol

  7. Dennijr October 24, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    awesome, my problem was fixed, msn 8.5 is now installed instead of 9 🙂

  8. Sasuke January 10, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    hey is there any stand-alone(offline) set up for Windows Live???
    thanks in advance

  9. Prashant June 24, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi, can any body suggest how this issue got fixed….

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