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Registry Problem - Unable to Register Program Files

I am installing Draw 6 SE. The install program gets to around 96% then comes up with the error "unable to register program files". The program may not have been uninstalled properly before. I have tried a few of the registry cleaners around with no luck. Can anyone help?


Jon Morris
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1 Solution
Is this an update version?  "The program may not have been uninstalled properly before" makes it sound like it is looking for some preexisting keys.  A registry cleaner can't fix that!  My suggestion is to try to find out what it is looking for, and manually add the keys, if there aren't too many.  
This  is my second use of Bud' excellent registry cleaning methods.
Please read all the methods all the way to the end !!

I hope this helps.

From: smeebud       Date: Sunday, March 26 2000 - 02:13PM EST

 Registry keeps deleted data too. It acts simmilar like MSDOS undelete. The data      remains in registry but it is not visible to you. So we use regedit to export    only visible   data and than rebuild registry from that data. (it helps us get rid of unwanted    data).
   Here's the procedure:

 1. Make backup copies of system.dat (and system.da0) and user.dat
 (user.da0). Be   carefull, if you use multiple user profiles than your user.dat is located in                        \WINDOWS\Profiles\user_name\USER.DAT, system dat is always in
 If you have multiple user profiles than backup both \windows user.dat
   (user.da0) and    \windows\profiles\user_name\user.dat user.da0)

  2. Do you have MS regclean? If not than download it from Microsoft. This is    very     important!!
Regclean cleans registry from all the trash, dead links etc. so  regedit can
  export it normally. I was not able to export registry untill I cleaned it with  regclean! Run    regclean and have it clean all the errors it can find. If you want to undo the      actions
 regclean did in registry just doubleclick on result file regclean makes (looks      like:         COMPUTER_NAME XX XX XX (date).reg) That will import all the changes    back to the     registry.

 3. Restart computer. When starting (when displays "starting Windows95"      message)
 press F8 and select "safe mode command prompt only" (should be the last       item in the  list)

  4. Go to \windows and enter: (I'll take for example that you have windows    installed in C  drive in directory Windows) In case you don't have multiple user profiles:
 regedit /L:c:\windows\system.dat /R:c:\windows\user.dat /E myreg.reg

   In case you have multiple user profiles: (change "user_name" with your user     name, name
  of directory under \windows\profiles where your user data are stored ex. ifyour user  name is John it will look like \windows\profiles\john\

  regedit /L:c:\windows\system.dat  /R:c:\windows\profiles\user_name\user.dat     /E myreg.reg

 Wait for regedit to return to command prompt. If it doesn't return to the
  command prompt,      than something must be wrong!

    5. Type (in c:\windows): attrib -s -h -r system.dat attrib -s -h -r system.da0         attrib -s -h -r
  user.dat (if use multiple user profiles do this in your user directory:
    \windows\profiles\user_name\) attrib -s -h -r user.da0 (if use multiple user     profiles do this     in your user directory \windows\profiles\user_name\)

   Now DELETE system.dat, system.da0 (in \windows) user.dat and user.da0    (OR from       \windows\profiles\user_name IF you use multiple user profiles, if that's the  case, LEAVE
  those in \windows directory. DO NOT DELETE THEM, delete only those from     your user directory. If you do not have multiple user profiles, than you need to delete   the ones from   \windows directory)

   6. Enter (in \windows directory)
  regedit /L:c:\windows\system.dat /R:c:\windows\user.dat /C myreg.reg

7. Reboot your computer (DO NOT START WINDOWS WITH "WIN"!!)

 8. If any kind of error happens, you can copy system.dat & user.dat files you have   backuped before, back to \windows directory.

  9. Now you can compare sizes of old system.dat & user.dat and new ones    (to view them   in explorer you have to turn on "show all files" option in Windows explorer  view menu)

                                 METHOD 2

 Here is a safe technique that can reduce the size of the Registry up to 10
 percent. Make  a backup of your system and especially the current Registry. Under Windows 95, use     the ERU program located on the Windows 95 CD. Under Windows 98, run  ScanReg by                   entering SCANREGW.EXE in the Start/Run menu. In Windows 95/98, open the Registry  Editor and export the current Registry to a REG file, such as    C:\MYREG.REG, by       selecting the Registry/Export Registry File command with the All button  highlighted.
                       Restart Windows in an MS-DOS Mode sessi on. Or reboot, press Ctrl at boot  time and  select Command Prompt from the Windows 98 Startup menu. Enter  SMARTDRV at the
 C: prompt to load the DOS disk cache. After the successful creation of the MYREG.REG export file, run RegEdit once more from C: as follows:
                       REGEDIT /C

  This will recreate a new compact version of the Registry in the \WINDOWS   directory.

                       Bud's Win95 Win98 Tips and Troubleshooter
      try safe mode and run asd it shows most failures that could cause windows   not to finish load
                       This should clean it up without all the hassle.

                       Win95/98 Registry Rebuild

Rebuild the registry itself with REGEDIT. To do this, restart the computer
    in MS-DOS mode-REGEDIT will do only what you need it to in DOS mode  while    the registry is closed.

 1) Export the current registry into a text file by running the following
  from within the Windows directory: REGEDIT /L:SYSTEM.DAT
                       /R:USER.DAT /E
                       FULLBAK.REG This will force REGEDIT to parse the registry and dump its  raw    contents to the text file FULLBAK.REG.
  2) Make a backup directory and move your USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT
   into that   directory so REGEDIT cannot find them. (This step is just a precation. I've  never seen a situation where this trick doesn't work, but there's alway a   first, and now you'll have a backup.)

   3) Recreate the registry and running the command: REGEDIT

 4) Reboot and voila! A registry free of corruption (but not necessarily
                       free of dead wood).

 You can also in Win95 export the entire registry and later double click it
  to install it. But this only works on an already running machine.

 If you are doing this on a network, you can use your NT Server to backup     the registry via NET USE, then AT (time) REGEDIT /L:SYSTEM.DAT    /R:USER.DAT    /E FULLBAK.REG
    copy fullbak.reg to your backup area and copy it to tape or CD.
Is this a trialware or shareware program?
Did you have it installed before and the time limit ran out?
These programs sometimes hide an entry in the registry with no link to the program name, usally named something you wouldn't think to look for. Unless you used a program to track the registry changes made when the program was first installed then this may be hopeless.
Did you get this as an added promotion to another program or with a hardware purchase?

I guess we need some feedback to figure out what direction to go in.
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Do you have antiviral software - - disable it when you install and see if that helps.
"unable to register program files"
this doesnt meen its trying to access the registry. it meens that it was unable to add the icons in the start menu. are you running nt? do you have privilages to change the start menu?

I am running windows 2000, i get this problem when installing some programs becuase they are made for windows 9x. I just add the icons manually.

did it let you finish installing, goto the folder where it was installed to and try and run it from there.
MadJockAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the help guys!

The PC in question belongs to my mother and I wont be able to look at again for a few days. It has Windows 98 SE and LOTS of stuff installed on it - is there a limit to the entries on the START menu etc?

The last comment from Gunjitsu seems a possible cause of the problem, I have not 'searched' the 'Start' menus etc for entries yet. Nice advice from SysExpert on the registry - I may try the methods even if I can get it working!!

BTW The software is a 'Special Edition' of Micrografix Draw 6' which is a freebie, it does not include a lot of functions that the full version has.

I'll let you all know what fixes it eventually!

Actually registering program files is adding the appropriate entries in the registry.

DLL's and OCX's have embedded imfornmation which is entered into the registry (Typelib & CLSID's

You can use C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\Regsvr32.exe to register OCX Controls and some DLL's

If the install told you the name of the file it can't register, you could do it manually by using regsvr32.exe

I use a freeware called oleRegWiz.
Here's a link:

MadJockAuthor Commented:
Well Guys,

Thanks for all the info and help but I could'nt get any of it to work. I ended up re-installing the whole system (it needed a good clean-out anyway!)



but I think we all need to do a Window - Wahing once in a while!

Hi MadJock,

I think your registry on file C:\SYSTEM.1ST is corrupt,
so try to reinstall your Windows with this method :

1. Backup your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
2. ATTRIB -r-s-h C:\SYSTEM.1ST
3. Delete only file C:\SYSTEM.1ST
4. Reinstall your Windows
5. Restore your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
6. Reboot your PC.

Good luck.
You mentioned a lot of programs installed.
Here is something that will let you see and disable any program in any startup location.
Download the Startup COP a free pcmag utility from

 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup
places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.

I hope this helps !
Reviewing question.

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MadJockAuthor Commented:
Answer accepted
MadJockAuthor Commented:
As I have re-installed the PC I cannot check any of the 'proposed' answers. Thanks everyone for their advice/help.
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