So I am trying to install the pgfplots package in LaTeX on my Windows 7 machine. I usually did this by just running the LaTeX file with \usepackage{pgfplots}, and then the computer asks me if I want to install the packages. I click yes, but I look in my style files under the pgf folder and do not find the appropriate style file. My error message is

pdflatex.EXE: Cannot start MiKTeX package manager.
pdflatex.EXE: Data: Invalid syntax


! LaTeX Error: File `pgfplots.sty' not found.

Type X to quit or <RETURN> to proceed,
or enter new name. (Default extension: sty)
  • Can you give the output of mpm --version? – Sean Allred Oct 12 '13 at 4:12
  • MiKTeX Package Manager 2.9.4220 (MiKTeX 2. Copyright (C) 2005-2011 Christian Schenk – WetlabStudent Oct 12 '13 at 4:20
  • It seems that one solution is to reinstall MiKTeX and specify to 'install packages on the fly without asking', but there should be a way to simply change the setting. Can you start the package manager manually? (Should be under Programs > MiKTeX 2.9 > Package Manager.) – Sean Allred Oct 12 '13 at 4:26
  • I would poke around in the menu system of MiKTeX's package manager for the setting. What I think is happening is that pdflatex is interactively asking permission to install a package whereas TeXworks is expecting it to be a batch run (that is, not interactive). I unfortunately don't have access to a Windows box, so I can't walk though it myself. – Sean Allred Oct 12 '13 at 4:29
  • @SeanAllred TeXworks is fine with MiKTeX's 'install on the fly' method: it's only TeXniccenter that has a problem with that in general. – Joseph Wright Oct 12 '13 at 6:30

You should update your MiKTeX system. Your package manager version is MiKTeX Package Manager 2.9.4220 (I guess MiKTeX 2.8), but the current one is MiKTeX Package Manager 2.9.4620 (MiKTeX 2.9).

For me it seems that your package manager is not syncronisized with the database in internet. So it tries to load a package that is not longer available or the name has changed or ...

If you install the complete MiKTeX version, you will not have problems with the "install on the fly". Update your packages with the package manager once a month.

  • re-installing MikTeX did not work. I checked what package manager this gave me and it was 2.9.4497 (which is still a lower one that you mentioned) – WetlabStudent Oct 14 '13 at 18:13
  • so I opened up package manager and tried to sinc with the repository and got "Windows API error 5: Access is denied." – WetlabStudent Oct 14 '13 at 18:26
  • this is what I did using the website miktex.org and downloading the newest version (is that button not the "complete" one) – WetlabStudent Oct 14 '13 at 20:53
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    oh I think I just fixed it. The front page download does not recognize whether you have a 64bit or 32bit machine and hence I was using the wrong version. Not quite sure how this would screw things up but it works now. – WetlabStudent Oct 14 '13 at 21:29

In my case, it is because I installed the 32 bit version, while my Windows is a 64 bit system. After reinstalling the correct version of MiKTeX, everything works fine.

  • Downvoters should leave a comment explaining how the post could be improved. – Adam Liter Mar 28 '14 at 5:29
  • @Adam: This answer cannot be improved, because it is simply wrong. I run myself a 32bit MiKTeX on a 64bit Windows, and this has pgfplots included. I once have installed this with the Package Manager. – Speravir Mar 29 '14 at 1:14
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    @Speravir that's still information that could prompt either a revision or deletion of the answer, and it's information that would be useful for the user, in my opinion. – Adam Liter Mar 29 '14 at 1:17
  • @user1627187 This may have worked, but is not the real solution, because many others including me do not have any problem with the 32bit version on a 64bit Windows system. You should BTW know, that in 64bit MiKTeX biber is missing. – Speravir Mar 29 '14 at 1:17
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    @Adam: See my comment to OP of answer. We were crossing. – Speravir Mar 29 '14 at 1:20

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