Internet Explorer 8 Won’t Install

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Installing Internet Explorer 8If you’re having trouble getting Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) to install, join the club. There’s a number of error messages you might be running into. Read the solution below corresponding to the error message you’re seeing to find out how to get Internet Explorer 8 to install smoothly. If your error message or problem is not listed, feel free to comment below and one of our community members can help you find a solution. And if nothing works and you’re getting frustrated, we recommend trying Firefox as an alternative browser.

Internet Explorer 8 Could Not Be Installed Error

If you’re seeing the error message “Internet Explorer 8 could not be installed. You must restart your system to confirm that any changes to your system are undone“, you will need to first reboot your system so that Internet Explorer 7 can be restored. Once you’ve done that you’ll want to log in to Windows Update to make sure that you installed all the latest updates and service packs (Internet Explorer 8 requires Windows Vista or Windows XP SP2 or SP3 (SP = Service Pack)).

How to Run Windows Update

There are two ways to run Windows update. The first is via Windows Explorer:

  • In the lower left corner of your screen, click on the Start button.
  • Select “All Programs” followed by “Windows Update.”

The second way to install Windows updates is by browsing to, and selecting the Express Update option. The Windows Update service will scan your computer and find the updates you need. Once your system is up to date, try reinstalling Internet Explorer 8 (incidentally, you should also be able to install IE 8 via Windows Update).

A Temp File Could Not Be Created Error

If Internet Explorer 8 appears to install successfully until you reboot, at which point the error message “A temp file needed for initialization could not be created or could not be written to. Make sure that the directory path exists, and disk space is available.” appears, you’ll need to make sure that antivirus or anti-spyware software is not blocking access to this director.

For example, if you’re using OnlineArmor (anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware software), you want to bring up the Programs dialog, unchecked “Hide Trusted”, sort by program name, select the entry “IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe,” and click Allow. You may also right-click the entry and select Advanced Options to grant specific access permissions. Another program entry you’ll want to allow is reg.exe (found in the path \WINDOWS\system32\reg.exe). Once you’ve allowed this program entry is in your antivirus software, reinstall Internet Explorer 8. This time, after rebooting Windows, Internet Explorer 8 should install and run successfully.

If Internet Explorer 8 Won’t InStall (All Else Fails)

There is one nearly fail-safe method of getting Internet Explorer 8 to install on your machine, regardless of the version of Internet Explorer (6, 7, etc.) you’re currently running. The solution depends on the existing version of your Windows O/S:

  • Browse to Start > Run > type “cmd” > hit Enter
    • Windows XP: Type the following command: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose
    • Windows Vista: Type the following: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
  • Make sure you leave whitespace exactly as indicated, and double-check spelling. Note that running these commands will take a while, and you may get an error message at the end – you can safely ignore it.

What these commands essentially do is restore the default security settings in Windows. Try re-installing Internet Explorer 8 now. The installation should proceed successfully. If it doesn’t, comment below

Troubleshooting – Lost User Accounts?

As a result of the default security restoration, you may lose control over user account selection (ie. if you log off or switch user accounts you won’t see a selection). If this happens, simply restore user account access as follows:

  • Browse to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (if you’re running Vista, right-click Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”)
  • In the command prompt window, type “net users”
  • You’ll see a list of user account names. For each one that’s missing in the Windows log on-screen, type the following: net localgroup users username /add, filling in your user name where indicated.
About The Author:

Alex has been involved on the business side of the internet since the early 2000's. He holds both a Management Science degree from the University of California at San Diego as well as a Computer Science degree from NJIT.

We Rock Your Web had its roots back in 2004 as the tech blog for a web design and development company Alex founded that has grown and evolved into the parent company of We Rock Your Web.

While his foundation is rooted in web development, his expertise today lies in content and digital marketing, SEO, organic and paid search, analytics, and publishing. Alex is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs.

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