Cannot setup Office97 on NT properly - PLEASE HELP

I tried to install Office97 to all my Lab computers running NT4.  The installation was OK.  But when users want to save their files in Word or Excel, they get the following error:
Microsoft Word - Error writing updated settings to registry (Error 6 Registry key software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft Word\Settings\Save As\Any Text MRU).

What does this mean? How to fix it?  If I logon to NT as an administrator, it works fine.  But if students login as a normal user (member of a user group - undergrad), they get this error.  The system and user profile setting are: all user accounts are on PDC (NT4).  All users use centralised *.man profiles.  Local cache profiles will be deleted by the system once the user logs off.  Office97 is installed entirely on the local HDD.  I tried all these: let everyone has full control of entire local hard disk drive; let everyone has full control of all files in server (PDC) \system32\config directory; user still get the same error.  It works only if I let user to use local profiles.  But obviously I don't want to do that.  Considering that we have hundreds of students use the lab,  I just cannot allow users to keep their profiles on each workstaton.  I also tried to set everyone full control to *.man profiles on the server, it still does not work.

I just don't know how to get rid off the error.  Please Help.

Some more info to comments from all helpers

Thank you very much for your help.  Here are some more information:

Connex and Cph - I tried to let the Students had full access to the above mentioned Registry-Key.  It didn't work.  Connex, can you give me some details about the knowledgebase you mentioned? Please.

Cph - They have roaming profiles.  It is OK with local profiles.

TSauer - The way I setup student user: I created a user group called undergrad.  This is the user group for all undergraduate students.  All undergrads are member of this group.  The member of this group has RX rights to all directories local directories and CHANGE to a local USER directory - a directory for them to keep their files.  They can also write their files to a server shared directory (PDC) so that they can access their files on the server no matter which machine they are goning to use next time.  They only have RX to centralised *.man profiles.  I tried to let them to have full control of all profiles.  It didn't work.

Freter - How to fix the bloody thing then.

Cph - I tried to let them to have full control of both local and centralised (*man) profiles. it didnt work, unless I let them to use local profiles.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Have you tried giving the Students write access to the
above mentioned Registry-Key?
We are working with Serverprofiles too and office works fine

connex is right, it looks like they can't write in the registry which is a safe thing. Unfortunately Office needs to write in it (from what you showed us).
The only cure is to give them partial right to write in the registry.
I forgot, do they have roaming profile or local profile?
Cloud Class® Course: Amazon Web Services - Basic

Are you thinking about creating an Amazon Web Services account for your business? Not sure where to start? In this course you’ll get an overview of the history of AWS and take a tour of their user interface.

We use roaming profiles, with some tuning to the registry rights.
I think i remember some knowledgebase articles about that

How do you setup your user.

In the case that it is not possible for a "Standard User" to setup Office97 with the NT Security, please describe in detail how you setup the users.
Well, I guess, it is due to the mandatory profiles, hm?

In that case, give them the right in the HK_CURRENT_USER for that specific entry if possible.
fanfAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
Your problem stems from the fact that Microsoft Office products store information in Most Recently Used keys in the registry.  There are several of these keys that are used to hold variuos pieces of information such as the last entries in a dialog, or the list of files that is at the bottom of your file menu.  

If you are using manditory profiles that are stored on the server you will have to allow the profile to be cached locally.  You can delete the locally cached copy when they log off.  When you specify a manditory profile it is considered read only.  The user MAY be able to alter the locally cached copy if you have supplied sufficient NTFS rights to the local profile directory. You should be sure that the Default User, All Users, and local Administrator profiles are secured.  This should allow the users to alter the locally cached copy of the manditory user profile.  Since the file in the profile is the current users registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) then you will still have to apply the required registry rights to alter any desired keys.

The undergrad group that you created is a global group on the server?  

Did you implement manditory profiles by putting the .man extension on the NTuser.dat file or did you put it on the Profile folder?

What are the permissions on the local Profiles directory?

First of all, great explanation of the problem. Good explanations like that make it much easier for people to get you the proper solution. I have experienced this problem some time ago and believe I remember how to remedy the situation.

Tbaffy has the best explanation here, but it may be a bit difficult to understand unless you are very familiar with profiles and policies, so I will expand on it and point you to some resources.

The key here is not permissions on the files themselves (as you discussed in your message), but on the registry keys within the files that make up the registry.

The reason you are getting this message is because Office 97 must be able to write keys to the registry and/or the keys must exist, or you will get errors like the one you describe.

In case you aren't familiar with it, the following link will give you a brief description of how to change permissions on keys within a profile (in your case, a mandatory profile):  This is not a great description of how to do it, but you should be able to figure it out from this info.

I would try these two things in this order:

1) Edit the permissions on the mandatory profile key: Software/Microsoft/Office and give the appropriate users and/or groups (or everyone) change access to all subkeys. Remember, they are only changing the locally cached copy, which gets dumped upon logoff. This should allow them to make changes to the keys to perform functions such as saving.

2) If you are still having trouble after completing #1, create a new user account locally on one of the workstations. Then, log on locally as that user. Then go into the Office applications and make sure you can save, etc. This should create the necessary keys for MS office in the registry (if you save a file, you should make it a dummy file that everyone can access, or remove it from the MRU list (more on that below). Then, log off and back on the same machine as a different user (you need the profile to be 'released' and written to disk). Then, while logged on as the second user, copy the local profile for the new user up to the network and name it as your mandatory profile. Then perform step #1 above on this new profile. Finally, give it a try by logging on as a user with the new mandatory profile. If you followed this carefully, you should now be able to perform the functions you did when you were logged on with the local account.

If you want some more info on MRU (Most Recently Used) lists and the keys associated, follow this link:
Although the link is for Word 95, you should get the idea.

I know this is confusing, but if you read it carefully a few times and go through the material I have linked, it should make sense.

-- Rob --

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.