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Permissions problem in add/remove windows components

Posted on 2003-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have several symptoms that I think are all related to the same problem, some sort of permissions problem.  All of the symtptoms occur even when logged in as the local administrator of the machine.  When I click on Add/Remove Windows Components in the add/remove programs applet of the control panel, I get an error:
"The program cannot start, probably because your user account does not have permission to modify the system registry.  For more information, view the application event log."
When I click ok, it is followed by the error:
"The application could not be initialized"

When I look in the application event viewer, I see the message:
"Windows could not unload your registry file.  If you have a roaming profile, your settings are not replicated.  Contact your administrator.
DETAIL - Access is denied. , Build Number ((2195))."

However, the entry in the application event log does not correspond to the time I got the error, but occurs at each login. In fact, there is no entry in any of the event logs that occur at the time I receive the error from add/remove windows components.  Also, I have several machines in our company with this problem, and some of them do not show the event log above.

Another symptom is that when visiting a web page (using IE 6 SP1) that requires a flash plugin, it prompts you to install flash, then seems to install ok, but it will ask you again every time you visit a page with flash.  Reopening the browser makes no difference.  I do not know what other plugins work or don't work.  Normal applications seem to install fine.

I have scoured microsoft's support documents, done google searches, and I just cannot find a solution to this problem. I am not certain that all of the above symptoms are related, but they seem to all be related to some sort of permissions problem.  I have reset permissions on all registry hives using regedt32, recreated profiles with administrator rights, nothing seems to work.  Some documents on the web pointed to hotfix q329170, but I tried both uninstalling and reinstalling that to no avail.  Thank you for any help, and I welcome any follow up questions.
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Question by:rolfejr
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Author Comment

by:rolfejr
ID: 8219139
Note: The machines with this problem are all W2K Pro SP3
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Author Comment

by:rolfejr
ID: 8239263
HA!!!  After weeks of agony I have solved this problem.  You can run the following command to restore corrupt security settings in windows 2000:
secedit /configure /cfg x:\winnt\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb

This has saved my bacon.

In case anyone is interested, I think this problem happened because of a customized default profile.  We had 12 machines to rollout.  I modified the default profile (so that the Internet connection wizard wouldn't run on first launch of IE and other things), then ran sysprep, then imaged the machine and copied the image to all 12 machines.  I'm not sure, but I suspect that somewhere along the way in creating the customized default profile the security settings were corrupted.  Just an FYI to anyone else out there who may have a similar problem.
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Author Comment

by:rolfejr
ID: 8239274
I forgot to mention the x: in the secedit string listed previously refers to the drive where the OS is installed - (in almost all cases c:)
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Author Comment

by:rolfejr
ID: 8239282
And one more thing - reboot after running the command.
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