Windows Management Framework Install Failure and Investigation

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Since Windows Management Framework was released Oct. 2009, our customers have been excited about using PowerShell 2.0 on down-level OSes. Meanwhile, we also received feedback from both internal and external customers about our product issues. One of them is WMF install failure followed by the mysterious “The update does not apply to your system” error message. It is a blocking issue for some customers since they cannot get WMF successfully installed and the error message does not help much with a fix.


1. Reinstall. In some cases WMF(KB968930) had already been deployed on the machine by the system administrators through Windows Server Update Services, but the customers were not aware of it. A more accurate error message here should be “The update already installed”. Therefore, it is a good idea to check if the computer has this KB installed before manual installation.

2. Mismatch between OS and KB package. In this case, the error message is precisely the cause for install failure. On our download page, there is a list of WMF supported OSes. In addition, you need pick the right download package for your OS and processor architecture. Few months ago, we had a PowerShell expert complaining to us about not being able to install WMF in his Vista machine. We found the root cause was that the OS, Windows Vista without any SP (Service Package), is not supported. After SP got installed, WMF can install without any problem.

Although almost all the WMF install failures can be traced to the above two causes, you might encounter install failures beyond the reasons we are talking here. Then here is a good resource to get started.


Xin Li

Windows PowerShell Team

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  • Please put out a single package that installs PowerShell.  Make it redistributable like .NET framework.  I don't see why you guys don't do this...  Why would you want to put up such a barrier to entry both for end users and for 3rd parties that want to build applications on PowerShell.  

    1. YOu must know that Windows Management Framework == PowerShell 2.0.

    2.  Have you seen how many packages you guys have on that PS2 download page?  Its no wonder people download the wrong one.  What if they are running on VMs or other test machines... They probably don't even know what platform /arch they are on.

  • Please support MBCA/MBCA 2.0 (Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer on Windows XP). There's no version for XP and if it's supported on Server 2003/XP x64, it should be supported on 32-bit XP as well. We also have PowerShell 2.0 on XP now.

  • WinMF/WinRM 2.0 is also supported on XP. Please support MBCA.

  • Ive also noticed that the version number does not get changed in the registry but the update shows as installed.

  • windows update , windows power shell 2.0 & winRm2.0 for vista failed..the installation fails..the update took place many times..trigger by windows updates n run the updates manually but failed.

    please help his been going on for 2-3 weeks..many user seems to be affected ,plz provide fix.

    btw, im running on windows vista starter (SP2) on 32 bit machine.

  • M$ figures if you are smart enough to use PowerShell, you should be smart enough to download the right package. Problem is, I've triple checked that I'm on Windows Server 2008 Enterprise SP2 64-bit, and ensured I downloaded the right package, but I get the does not apply error. I also tried removing the PowerShell feature altogether and re-installing Windows6.0-KB968930-x64.msu but same error.

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Windows Management Framework Install Failure and Investigation