Geek Stuff

Windows Live Installer Catastrophic Failure Fix

Windows Live Logo ::

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.



  1. EarlZ

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

  2. MrGroove

    If error, Call Catastrophic Failure ;)

  3. the answer is

    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

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

  5. MrGroove

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

  6. N00B

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

  7. Dennijr

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

  8. Sasuke

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

  9. Prashant

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

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