ikernel EXE Error
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What Is ikernel.exe?

InstallShield is a software tool that is familiar to most users of the Microsoft Windows operating system, used for creating software installer applications.

The overwhelming majority of the businesses behind the leading independent third party software programs use InstallShield to install their programs onto PC’s, as it is generally very quick and simple, and requires minimum input from the PC user.

That in itself reduces the chances for the user to mess up the installation, hence the popularity of using InstallShield.

The two primary types of installers that can be manifested by the "Windows version" of the typical InstallShield tool are also known as Basic MSI and also InstallScript.

MSI file projects are built into Windows Installer (MSI) packages, and InstallScript projects are created using an event-based script and built into setup.exe executables.

The InstallShield ‘engine’ that drives the installation process and procedures is the ikernel.exe application.

Now, as stated above, hundreds or maybe even thousands of different programs use the InstallShield system and application as the de facto installer.

For every different program that uses InstallShield, there is the potential for yet another different problem to occur with the ikernel.exe application.

Thus, it is no exaggeration to say that no single article could ever hope to cover every possible ikernel.exe error.

Having said that, however, it does seem to be true that the majority of ikernel.exe errors occur when using InstallShield to setup multi-media programs, either audio, video or gaming sites in the main.

We will, therefore, look at some of the more common errors that might occur in these areas, as this should allow us to establish some general guidelines for repairing and solving the more common ikernel.exe errors.

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Some Common ikernel.exe Errors

Multi-media files (especially videos and games) are very heavy users of PC memory.

Thus, if there are any problems with the memory of your machine, then it is quite likely that you will see an error message that reads something like this appear in a standard gray pop-up Error message box:

“ikernel.exe - Application Error. The instruction at "0x771c741a" referenced memory at "0x00163650" The memory could not be read. Click on ok to terminate the program”.

In addition to there being a genuine memory problem on your PC that might produce this error, there are a couple of other possible causes:

  1. The iKernel.exe file or one of its component files in \Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Engine folder could be damaged, or corrupt and possibly read-only.
  2. The iKernel.exe engine or one of its component files in \Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Engine folder was left on the system by an older version of the InstallShield installer (and is now incompatible with the current version).

Another possible ikernel.exe error link that you may encounter would read:

“The InstallShield engine ikernel.exe could not be launched. Error loading type library/dll”

Again, there could be several possible causes of this:

  • If another InstallShield process just completed, the file (ikernel.exe) will remain in memory for a few moments at the end of a typical install. Simply wait a few more seconds and try it again.
  • If you are running XP, then you must have administrative permissions to run an InstallShield setup program. This may mean that you need to change your permissions.

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Repair ikernel.exe

ikernel.exe runs for as long as it is necessary to install the programs that it is working with. Thus, it is a temporary application, and, when it is running, it should show up in the files in the temporary folders of Windows Explorer.

Go into Explorer, and remove all files from the C:\Temp, C:\windows\Temp or C:\WINNT\Temp folders if you suspect that ikernel.exe is already running (and thus preventing another install starting).

It may be that core Windows files may be missing or corrupted.

In this case, you would need to reinstall the latest Internet Explorer and all of the latest Service Packs.

Perhaps one of these critical Windows files is missing;


If so, copy the files from another computer running the same version of Windows, and install them into the operating system of your machine.

The bottom line is that there are literally so many potential problems that ikernel.exe can suffer, simply because there are so many different InstallShield installers in use.

It is probably impossible to discover what problems there might be manually, and all of the suggestions above whilst helpful, may in fact be little or no use to you!

The best thing that you could possibly do when you encounter an ikernel.exe problem is to run a free scan with a professional Registry scanning program like Error Repair.

This will highlight all of the problems that you currently have in the registry files and folders of the Windows system in less than five minuets.

Another few minutes and it can then fix them for you too!

With so many possible ways that ikernel.exe errors can occur, I would seriously advise that you do not waste either your time or effort trying to find the problems yourself.

Use Error Repair, and save yourself a lot of heartache and wasted time.

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