MSI Installer for 2003 Server

I'm working with a Windows 2003 server that I didn't set up (and don't know specifics about the setup options used).  It was built specifically for our group on a VMWare server.  We've used this setup before with no problems, but haven't tried this particular pathway before.  

We can't seem to install .msi files.  They aren't recognized in explorer as a known filetype, and when we open them, Windows complains that it can't find an application to run.  

I've tried downloading various incarnations of the Windows Installer, but the installation quits early on, saying that the specified patch is already installed.

I've also tried installing .Net Framework 2.0, after reading that MSI installation was included in that package.  No change.

I tried clicking "let Windows access the web to determine an action for this filetype", but, bizarrely, Microsoft hasn't heard of .msi files.  

There is an msi.dll in \winnt\system32 that reports version 3.1.4000.1830, and is dated 3/25/06.  

Any ideas?  Thanks in advance...

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

See if anything here will help:

No use posting something already in print.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.