Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Solution to “Cannot Find Proofing.en-us” Error When Installing Office 2007

July 12th, 2008 · 21 Comments · Printer Friendly Version


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I opted for a download only version of Microsoft Office 2007 for a discounted rate. Ever since I first tried installing Office 2007, the installer gives me error messages about not being able to find files. At first I wrote these off to a poorly designed conversion from the CD media Office normally comes on to the single files installer available for download. Unfourtunatly, a Google search revealed many people, using many different install sources, experienced the same problem. During the initial installation, or when doing a repair install, the Office installer will complain that it “cannot find proofing.en-us\proof.en\proof.cab”. It may also have problems finding “proof.es” or “proof.fr”. Anything you do results in either another error message or the install being cancelled.

The good news is: I’ve found a solution.

It’s actually rather simple. Here is what you do:

  1. When the installer pops up the error, ignore it. Don’t close or cancel the install, just let it sit.
  2. Perform a Windows search for “proof.msi”. You may need to select the “Search system folders” option.
  3. In the results, you will see “proof.msi” located somewhere in the Windows temporary directory.
  4. Copy, or write down, the path that is found.
  5. Return to the installer. You should still have the error message present asking you to enter a location. In the box at the bottom of the error message, type or paste the path from step 4.
  6. Now that you have the path typed/pasted, delete the “proofing.en-us\proof.en\proof.msi” part from it.
  7. Press enter.

The installation should now continue flawlessly.

I’ve only tested this method with the downloadable Office 2007 installer. If you have a CD/DVD installation media and encounter the error messages, please try these steps and post a comment explaining the outcome.

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21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dominic // Aug 7, 2008 at 7:09 AM

    Oddly, my proofing.msi was not there, nor could it find the temporary files. It was on the DVD I’d burnt having downloaded it from Technet. And yet, it couldn’t install…

    Solution – I re-downloaded an ISO.

    Oh well… c’est la vie.

  • 2 James // Aug 12, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
    should say “use drive that disc is in” or something like that(step 6 was not that clear)
    but thank you SOOOOO much.

  • 3 Luis // Sep 11, 2008 at 7:58 AM

    After try a lot of things, spells and other magic tricks I realize that there was only a .iso problem. Instead burn another dvd I mount my .iso with Virtual DAEMON Manager and works perfect. Anyway thanks for the help and I hope this info helps to you.

  • 4 Chase // Sep 11, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Doesn’t wanna work for me… what was the path you used?

  • 5 Ryan Adams // Sep 11, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    @Chase: Unfortunately, the path will be different on each computer. Did you not find any instances of “proof.msi”?

  • 6 Jane // Sep 16, 2008 at 7:11 AM

    I originally had this exact problem and was looking forward to using your “simple” solution. But now I have the error message “Cannot find Powerpoint.en-us\PptLR.cab” I cannot find this file on my pc (- but I can find it on another pc that already has Office 2007.)
    Any suggestions?

  • 7 Ryan Adams // Sep 16, 2008 at 7:13 AM

    @Jane: Are you using a retail CD version of Office, or a downloaded version?

  • 8 Jane // Sep 16, 2008 at 7:36 AM

    I am using a retail CD. But now, thanks for your helpful instructions and the comments of James (above) I found the files on the original disc (why did it not find these automatically?) and I am up and running!

  • 9 Dana // Oct 8, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    My computer could not locate the “proof.msi” (I do have a retail CD) – I noticed that other people said they downloaded an ISO (I have no clue what that is or how to do that – can you help?)

  • 10 Ryan Adams // Oct 8, 2008 at 6:47 AM

    @Dana: Microsoft has offered office as a download through some of its discount programs (such as for students). There is no way to get the downloaded version if you’ve bought the CD.

    On a side note. Try disabling any McAfee or Norton security products you have installed temporarily while you install office. One of your fellow readers reported this worked for him.

  • 11 Kimberly Cherrix // Nov 4, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    I have tried all the above steps. Though I can see the proof.mis the installer still says it’s an invalis location. I even tried to copy the .mis AND the proof.cab to another location but I still get invalid location. Any other suggestions. I am using a full version CD that has worked on every other computer.

  • 12 Ryan Adams // Nov 4, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    @Kimberly Cherrix: This post was geared towards people who have a downloaded version. With that said:

    Make sure your computer has all of the latest Windows Updates. Also, as mentioned before, some security suites seem to cause problems. Try temporarily disabling any security (firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.) software you might have.

  • 13 Kasey Cuyler // Nov 16, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    I have tried everything listed above (i have the downloaded blue version)…nothing will seem to work, even disabling security

  • 14 Ryan Adams // Nov 16, 2008 at 7:32 PM

    @Kasey Cuyler: Sorry to hear about your troubles. You may try installing with Windows booted into Safe Mode. Beyond that, you may unfortunately have to get in contact with Microsoft.

  • 15 Darryn // Nov 23, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    I had this error come up when installing from CD all i did was clean the CD and it loade fine

  • 16 Ryan Adams // Nov 23, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    @Darryn: Always a good troubleshooting tip. Thanks for posting.

  • 17 Gary // Dec 26, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    I too had the received the same error (Proofing.en-us\Proof.en\Proof.cab) when loading a new copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007. After reading through all of the blog entries, I decided to try each suggestion, one at a time. The first one I tried was to search for “proof.msi”. My computer came up empty on that one. Next I tried disabling my anti-spyware software; still no luck. Finally I disabled my firewall and at the same time, took out the CD to clean it up. As it turns out, there was a “smear” on the CD, so after cleaning it (and like I said, disabling the firewall, I reloaded it and the installation went just fine. Ultimatley, I don’t know which one cured the problem, but hey, no complaints here.

  • 18 Matte // Jan 21, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    I found step 6 a bit unclear. What must be done on that step is: paste the path in the path finding window, (in my case: “E:Proofing.en-usProof.frProof.msi”) then remove all you just pasted, except for E: (in my case, but it depends on where you’re file was)

  • 19 Ryan Adams // Jan 21, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    @Matte: This guide is geared towards users who have a download version of Office. You are apparently using a CD (in your E: drive), which makes step 6 result to the letter of your CD drive.

    As discussed above, if you are having troubles with a CD version of Office, these instructions may not help.

  • 20 JoeDmonyo // Feb 11, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    I’ve tried all the suggestions/procedures but didnt work for me, what i did is install MS VISIO 2007 then install MS Office 2007 it will not show any error or path to search proof.cab. Thanks!

  • 21 Ryan Adams // Feb 11, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    @JoeDmonyo: When you install Office (or any of the components of Office) some of the install files are cached to the hard drive. Installing Visio automatically copied the proofing.cab to a location on your drive, and made your computer aware of its location. When you went to install Office 2007, your computer knew it already had this file available locally.

  • 22 Anthony // Mar 25, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    I was having all the problems mentioned and tried all the proposed solutions with no success (at least 6 attempts). A friend of mine said that the proof message was something to do with the default language. When I originally installed vista I had chosen English (UK) against the US option. What I did was go into the control panel and change the locale back to English US, and after restarting my pc attempted to install again. Worked first time!!!! Confused, but not complaining!

  • 23 Jason // May 29, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Weird… I tried everything on here and nothing worked, until I cleaned the CD

  • 24 Audrey // Jun 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Hi All,
    I also had this error – and tried everything – and nothing worked! Until I read to clean the disk… after I cleaned the disk IT WORKED!

    Thanks All, especially Darryn – your post saved my life.

  • 25 Tara // Jul 3, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Well I feel like an idiot….I was going crazy trying to figure this out and I followed all the steps from above. I have the CD and when I couldn’t get the proof.msi thing to work I closed out of this window and searched somewhere else….I should have just scrolled down and saw that all I had to do was enter E: (where my cd was in) and it worked like a charm! Thanks so much for posting this!

  • 26 Ross Thomas // Jul 11, 2009 at 1:04 AM

    Try removing IE8 – have had all sorts of problems installing MS Office 2007 from different sources – remove IE8 and problem disappears!!

    Once Office 2007 loaded, you can reinstall IE8.

  • 27 Amy // Aug 12, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    Success! I had this problem as well–cleaning disks didn’t help me, nor did pointing to the file correctly. Even though it clearly was RIGHT THERE, lol. So frustrating.

    But I tried Anthony’s approach (from 3/11/09 above), and in Control Panel (XP) changed my Region/Location to English Canada. Install via CD ran without a hitch, I have reset myself to United States and I’m good to go! Hope that helps other people. =)


  • 28 Mike // Aug 30, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    I too had the same problem where it could not find proofing.en-us. It turns out after I tried everything, I “cleaned the disc” and it worked. During the remainder of the installation, there were several more files that couldn’t be found. I noticed that I didnt have to actually clean the CD, but all I had to do is eject it and load it back in, then click on E: drive to locate the file. I did this 3 or 4 times over the installation, and now its installed.

  • 29 $incere // Sep 20, 2009 at 1:36 AM

    I was installing from a mounted ISO and had the same problem. After reading you steps over and over again, I realized all I had to do was enter the drive letter of the drive that the ISO was mounted as. (ex. My mounted ISO was drive letter F, so I typed in “F:\” when it asked for the files and it worked.