1. gökhan

    best solution, thank you

  2. Travis

    Thanks so much for posting this. Worked for me as well.

  3. Daniel

    Just used above steps and it worked. Thank you.

  4. Vamshi


    Its worked fine we are able to install SP2 on server 2003 also with the above concept

  5. sammie

    Thanks. Worked great for me for getting past the “catalog files” error when updating from XP Home SP2 to SP3. I was getting other strange errors with XP SP2 (lost network card, auto login of Skype, loss of ability for user login (but OK in safe mode). Now all OK. Don’t really know if deleting (corrupt) Cat stuff or the installation of SP3 was the cure, but either way, I’m a Happy Punter. Thanks again for posting fix.

  6. Kilgore Trout

    Well, that seems to have worked. Thanks for the solution. I was having a really frustrating time with this. :)

  7. Debbie

    Thank you for posting this solution. I’ve struggled with trying to get a machine upgraded to SP3 for over a week. This solution was the one to finally take care of the problem.

  8. PaulM

    We used this to install updates KB961118 and KB967715. This was an issue for hours of troubleshooting. No other solutions were working. Thanks so much!

  9. Steve Berlin

    WOW! Wish I had found this site 6 hours ago! You rock!!!!! THANKS!!!!!

  10. webster

    Q; i have an hp nx6125 which is refusing to see the hard drive at times,if i try to load win xp2 it passes an error which says”failed to install catalog files xp” and @ times it say setup did not find any hard disks installed.i am not a technical person.Plzzzzz help

  11. Bob

    Excellent work. Help me load SVC pack 3 on a clients computer that had this issue.

    Added to my list of XP fixes.

  12. e.r.lehmann

    Nice solution… the link and soltion by Microsoft suggests that the error lies with corruption relating to the Cryptographic Services

    key: ‘you cannot install some updates’

  13. e.r.lehmann

    Along the same vane, I’ve seen perfectly good installs totally blown because of permission errors in the registry…

    key: ‘When you try to install Windows XP Service Pack’

  14. Misty

    Thanks so much. This is the only thing that worked for me. :)

  15. Mike Fisher

    Boy, I followed your suggestions to the letter and still got the error again. Do you have any other ideas for a wayward nearly time to fresh install situation?

    Thanks, mike fisher

  16. Deb

    I was excited to find your suggested solution and the positive responses. Unfortunately, after following all steps, I still get the “failed to install catalog files” error. Tried the fix twice now and no go. Will have to keep looking. Thanks.

  17. Arnel

    To delete the CatRoot2 folder without using FileASSASIN, disable the Cryptographic Services or run “net stop cryptsvc” in the Command Prompt, delete the folder, then start it again or run “net start cryptsvc” in the Command Prompt.

  18. hill

    Thanks a million

  19. Amigo

    I tried deleting catroot2 but nothing happened, deleting catroot worked, so I reinstalled windows again and went to catroot and I looked at the .cat files and found that the update I was having fails to install was already there so I just deleted its .cat file and it worked smoothly without any futher actions, yes why did windows wanted to download it when it had a .cat file ? my image of windows was custom made so anything is possible. my problem was with KB975558 and it .cat file in catroot is KB975558.cat.

    Also guys, try MS page, they have like 8 solutions and you can click on “Fix it” option on MS page and you will get a file to download and it will try the 1-5 soultions for you, if that didnt work try 6-8 manually.

    MS page:

    So evry person has different problem thus same error for all, thanks for the info dude.

  20. Amigo

    I don’t see the link in my post so here it is: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798

  21. Exter

    your a lifesaver !!

  22. Sanjib

    Thanks a lot Dear!! Worked like a magic.. God bless..

  23. Miglen

    worked like a charm! thank you, kind sir

  24. symbianfreak

    worked like a charm. :) just a thought… I couldn’t find any tmp*.cat files in the mentioned folder so I simply skipped this and went to the next step.

  25. brandon

    i may be late but this still works! thx man. had me stumped!

  26. Jimmel

    after following all the above mentioned steps……i still got the same old service pack in my laptop…why is that?

  27. Sergey

    Andrey, You saved my day with this advice. Your persistence and determination to get to the bottom of things is incredible. I just want to say thank you

  28. Jeri

    I have to add my thanks as well! I Googled the problem, found your instructions and dove right in. Worked perfectly! Thank you so much for taking the time to help others.

  29. Me

    Nice post. Worked great on Windows Server 2003. Also, an easy way to delete the windows files is to boot from the Parted Magic bootable CD. Parted Magic can browse the file system and delete any files from within it’s GUI.

  30. Josh

    I was getting this access denied error on a machine I had just imaged over from an old P3 box to a somewhat newer core2 box. I thought something had possibly gone corrupt during the image. Contradictory to my previous experiences with installing SP3, sometimes you just have to let windows do what it thinks is best. In my case, that meant not forcing SP3 on the os until windows updates thought it was ready for it. My guess is a previous update was required before SP3 could install successfully, though I have never seen that before when running the offline installer.

  31. Darren

    Not sure when this page was created, but still working for me (25/09/11).

    Many thanks for posting this, trying for several days for a solutions that worked!

  32. Dan

    Thanks man ! This is really usefull information :D !

    Where is the donate button ?

  33. pasadenapal

    Hey Rarst, dude I’ve been looking for a solution to this for 2 months, I wish i came upon your post before, don’t know how I missed it. followed your directions and worked like a charm, thanks again.

  34. Shane

    Got this problem after a Windows Repair.
    Your solution worked like a charm. You Rock.

  35. Joro_D

    Very very helpful!

  36. venkat

    I am trying to install SP3 with CD. I get an error with Flash.ocx registering at setupderr.log. “Setup is being restarted” keeps looping. Any idea how to exclude flash from install sequence?

  37. Aries

    I can’t thank you enough… Without each other, We’re nothing.

  38. Jeff

    Thank you very much for your solution. I also struggled for over a week trying to get XP SP3 installed (after downgrading my machine from Vista to XP). There were two more suggestions on Microsoft’s site that looked very involved (certificates and stuff). I was so happy to see that your solution was easy and did the trick. Thank you again.

    I’m hoping to enjoy XP on this 2006 computer for another year or so until Microsoft stops supporting it altogether. Time to ghost the machine while it’s clean and running Win XP SP3.

  39. Vince

    Rarst, thanks very much for your solution. It works!!!
    You just made my day great! Bless you!

  40. Alex

    Thanks Rarst!!! your instructions above for resolving the “failed catalog files” while installing SP3 worked like a charm. thanks again for taking the time to post such detailed steps to follow.


  41. Dan

    Your solution worked perfectly for me.
    Thanks for doing the work.
    To others – Don’t forget to reboot after the listed steps and before running the SP3 update/install.

1 pingback

  1. [...] to Windows XP service packs installation issues decline by now… But according to stats on my failed to install catalog files post it only increased lately.Among numerous comments on that post e.r.lehmann had mentioned that [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe to followup comments via RSS