“A Cabinet file cannot be trusted” – Why?
“A Cabinet file necessary for the installation cannot be trusted”
is actually the full message, and it results most commonly when folks are
attempting to download DirectX 9.0c for use with a new game, commonly “The Sims
Wow. Forget all the business uses of computers … just don’t get in between
a person and their game. Lots of questions, and no shortage of emotion to be
found on this topic.
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Unfortunately, in my research I’ve not been able to find the One True
Answer. But the problem seems to be reasonably well understood, and there are a
ton of things to try. Unfortunately, many of them are not simple.
The problem arises out of Microsoft’s attempts to improve the security of
Windows. The software is attempting to use digital signatures to verify that
what you’re installing is what you think it is and not some
virus, trojan horse, or other malware.
When it fails, here are things to try, in the order that I would try
Re-download the component you’re attempting to install, from a trusted
source. For example go to Microsoft’s site for the latest DirectX download.
I know you’re tired of hearing it, but it applies here also: scan
for spyware and scan for viruses. Make sure that the databases you use for each
tool are as up-to-date as possible. There have been reports of this kind of
problem being related to spyware or viruses.
Under Windows XP, ensure that the Cryptographic Services are enabled and
- Right-click on My Computer
- Click on Manage
- Expand Services and Applications
- Click on Services
- Right-click on Cryptographic Services
- Click on Properties
- Set the Startup type to Automatic
- OK and close your way back out.
This service is required for the validation to work.
Ensure that you are up-to-date with Windows Service Packs. There are
apparently specific fixes in the service packs that relate to the cryptography
service and could result in its failure. I recommend enabling Automatic Updates
Run chkdsk or scandisk on your Windows
drives. Certain types of file corruption can result in this problem.
Run the System File
Checker under Windows XP to detect and repair any corruption or system
On Windows 9x (95, 98 and Me), hit Start,
Run, and run the command “scanreg.exe
Review the two Microsoft Knowledgebase articles listed below. They have a
long list of steps that may help resolve the issue.
Perform a Repair installation of Windows, as outlined in How to Perform a Windows XP Repair
Some resources I encountered and from which some of the suggestions above
A comprehensive guide on fixing Cryptographic Service Errors
Microsoft Knowledgebase: Detecting
Digital Signing Issues in Windows XP
Microsoft Knowledgebase: You cannot
install some updates or programs
This thread on DirectX and SP2
problems out on ntcompatible.com
A thread in microsoft.public.directx.misc entitled “The cabinet file cannot be trusted (DirectX 9.0)/Service
A thread in microsoft.public.directx.misc entitled “cabinet file cannot be trusted“
The bottom line is that yes, this is a royal pain, and no, it shouldn’t have
to be this way. As I said at the outset, there’s apparently no One True
Solution, no simple tweak, that will make this problem go away. I’ve
prioritized the steps I’d take above so that hopefully your issue will get
resolved after a few easy steps.
Take your time and try not to get frustrated (OK, try not to get