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.