Most antivirus programs identify msi.exe as malware—for instance Kaspersky identifies it as Trojan.Win32.Scar.cfo, and TrendMicro identifies it as TROJ_Generic.DIT.
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Description: Msi.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file msi.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files".
The file size on Windows 8/7/XP is 52,736 bytes.
The file is a file with no information about its developer. The program has no visible window. The software starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\RunServices, MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows core file. Therefore the technical security rating is 64% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify msi.exe related errors
If msi.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, the security rating is 100% dangerous. The file size is 230,373 bytes. There is no description of the program. The msi.exe file is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\RunServices, MACHINE\Run). The software listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. The msi.exe file is not a Windows system file. Msi.exe is able to hide itself and monitor applications.
If msi.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 50% dangerous. The file size is 131,072 bytes. The program is not visible. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\RunServices, MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows system file.
Important: You should check the msi.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with msi. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.
Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.
To help you analyze the msi.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.