Can anyone advise a way, or utility that can extract the files from an MSI installation package.

We have some old patches that we want to get the files from but don't wish to spend the time installing them to a machine.

Much appreciated.

19 accepted

from Google, for Vista:

First, access an elevated command prompt, to do this:

  1. Click the Start button.

  2. Click All Programs.

  3. Go into Accessories.

  4. Right-click on Command Prompt.

  5. Select Run as administrator.

  6. When the UAC Prompt appears, click Continue.

Once you have your elevated command prompt, input the following:

msiexec /a filepath to MSI file /qb TARGETDIR=filepath to target folder

using the desired locations to fill the above mentioned filepaths. (Example: msiexec /a c:\testfile.msi /qb TARGETDIR=c:\temp\test)


There is also lessmsi which is completely free and open source: http://code.google.com/p/lessmsi/


you can use Orca this app is a part of Platform SDK, but you can also download it from here http://astebner.sts.winisp.net/Tools/Orca.zip


If you install Total Commander, there is a plugin to open and extract MSI files.


You can also try Heath Stewart's MSI Extractor.


Installshield .exe setups (as you call them) come in many flavors, and it is generally possible to extract files from them.

An Installshield setup.exe can contain old, legacy non-msi installers or new msi installers.

If the setup.exe is wrapping an MSI setup, you can specify setup.exe /a and the MSI's admin install will run, allowing you to specify and output location for the files.

If the setup.exe is a legacy Installshield setup, it may or may not support extracting files via the /extract_all:[path] switch. Please see here.

Also note that another way to get hold of these files is to clean out the temp folder on your system, launch the setup.exe interactively and then wait for the first dialog to show up. In most cases the installer will have extracted a bunch of files to a temp folder. Sometimes the files are plain, other times in CAB format, but winzip may be able to open these.


Try MSITOOLS.EXE hosted on InstallSite.org for a GUI extractor.


I would recommend UniExtract for making neoice's solution even easier. It does the same thing, just is more automated and allows several methods for extracting MSI files, not just an administrative install (as his solution is using).

UniExtract can also handle exe's packaged with WISE or InstallShield, as well as a variety of other compressed formats. Oh, and its free.

Universal Extractor is a program do to exactly what it says: extract files from any type of archive, whether it's a simple zip file, an installation program, or even a Windows Installer (.msi) package.


When I use the msiexec, i donīt find the files nor the new folder. Why?