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mailto in regedit is corrupt.  How do I fix it?

lor2rain
lor2rain asked
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
I have had problems when I click on an e-mail link in a web page.  I get 64 Internet windows opening and then I get told that my default e-mail is not installed properly.  When I went to regedit HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/mailto I discovered that I cannot open mailto to add a new string (URL Protocol).  I get an error message cannot open mailto.  Error while opening key.  I don't know what to do.  Can you help me?

lor2rain
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Commented:
Hi,

Multiple browser windows open when you click on a mailto: link:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/mailtoprotocol.htm

Check the last part:

<excerpt>

Important note for Windows 2000/XP systems
Make sure that the users have Read access to the above registry key. Administrators and SYSTEM group should have Full Control over the above key, and Users should have Read access. For more information on managing permissions, read the following article:

</excerpt>

For configuring the registry Permissions, check this article:

How To Use the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Registry Editor Features:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310426

Author

Commented:
Thank you for this information.  I had used the first document before I e-mailed you and that's why I found out that when I click mailto in regedit I just get an error message.

I went to the second document you mentioned and was able to change ownership of the registry key.  I still get the 64 IE windows that open and then say that my default e-mail is not set up correctly.  

I went back to regedit and tried to create a new string value named "URL Protocol" like it said in the first article.  But I don't know how to do that.  When I click on edit/new/string value it won't let me.  It says  "cannont create value.  error writing to the registry"

When I now click on mailto in the regedit I have default  reg_5z (value not set) showing on the right of the window.

What would be the next step?  Lor2rain
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Commented:
Lor2rain,

Download AccessEnum v1.32 from here:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/FileAndDisk/AccessEnum.mspx

Mention the location as "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto" and view the Permission entries for that key. Save the results to a log file and post the information here.

We need to ensure that there are no "Deny" Permissions set.

Author

Commented:
I will do that tomorrow - but you need to tell me how to do that.  If I go to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/mailto and then click on edit/permissions I get a new window that pops up.  Now walk me through each step to save the results to a log file.  I've never done that.  I do computer training and teach alot about programs, but I don't know anything about doing things with a registry.  I'm sorry but you need to walk me through what you said step by step.  Thanks,  lor2rain

Author

Commented:
Hi,  I'm sorry, but I never received an answer from you.  Does that mean you've given up on my questiion?  lor2rain
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Commented:
Sorry, missed this Q somehow. Will post the instructions using AccessEnum shortly.
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Commented:
1. Download AccessEnum.zip and extract AccessEnum.exe to Desktop
2. Double-click AccessEnum.exe to run it
3. In AccessEnum, type the following location:
     HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto
4. Click the "Scan" button.
5. When the results are displayed at the bottom, click "Save"
6. Give a file name "AccessEnum.txt" and save the file to Desktop
7. Double-click  AccessEnum.txt file saved to Desktop, and copy the contents.
8. Paste the contents in your reply.

Author

Commented:
I tried this.  But when I clicked scan I got that the handle is invalid.  I can scan all of the hkey_clsses_root button.  but not if I add mailto.

 I can try to just scan all of hkey_classes_root and then try to find mailto, but I'll bet it will say the same thing.
What would you like me to do?

 lor2rain
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Commented:
lor2rain,

See if taking ownership of the "mailto" branch helps.

1. Start Regedit.exe and navigate to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto" branch
2. On the Edit menu, click Permissions.
3. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
4. Under Change owner to, click the new owner (your user account name), and then click OK.

See if the problem is fixed. If not, try running AccessEnum again, after taking ownership.

Author

Commented:
Hi,  I did what you said and was able to get accessEnum to work.  Here's what I got,  Does this give you an idea of what is wrong?  lor2rain.  And Thanks!  

"Path"      "Read"      "Write"      "Deny"      
"HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto"      "S-1-5-21-2437861399-1873744052-881153405-1010"      "S-1-5-21-2437861399-1873744052-881153405-1010"      ""      
"HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\*"      "Access is denied."      ""      ""      
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Commented:
lor2rain,

Now open Regedit.exe
Navigate to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto

Right-click on the key and choose "Permissions"

Click "Add" button and type "Administrators" in the object names dialog, and click OK.
For "Administrators" group, set Full Control permissions (checkbox) to "Allow"

Similarly, add your user account to teh list and allow Full Control permissions.
And then add "users" group and give them "Read" permissions.

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Commented:
Forgot to add the following:

Click the Advanced button
Select the "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects" checkbox.
Deselect the "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here" checkbox.
Click Apply, and then click Yes when you are prompted to continue. Click OK, and then click OK again.
Exit the Registry editor.

Author

Commented:
I did the first part.  Right clicked and chose permissions.  I added administrators and set full control permissions.

NOW - when you say - add your user account to the list, do you mean each of my desktops (I have two) or do you mean my e-mail.  For example, if I were to use the one that I send this letter to it would be lor2rain@comcast.net.  Do I put in lor2rain?

I'm sorry - but I've never changed a registry and I want to be sure I'm doing this correctly.

lor2rain
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Commented:
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Author

Commented:
thank you!  I'll do that and the rest and tell you what happens.  Boy, you sure are earning your 500 points.  Can I up that to 1000?  : )  Lor2rain

Author

Commented:
Well I think you should get a million points!!  It worked.  And when I went online to test, I was able to use the contact us buttons on a few sites just fine.  With Symantec it said that the default mail client was not installed correctly, but I didn't get the 64 Internet Explorer Windows.  From what I've read on Microsoft's web page it sounds like that was because Symantec's e-mail address was too long.

I feel so good about this.  Thank you!!  lor2rain
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Commented:
You're welcome, lor2rain :)
I'm glad you got this issue resolved.

>>  Can I up that to 1000?

EE allows only a max of 500 pts for a question.
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Commented:
Update: I've now modified the article http://windowsxp.mvps.org/mailtoprotocol.htm

Author

Commented:
That's great.  I'm going to keep it because I'm sure someone will ask me how to do this.  Thank you again for the great help.  Your steps were perfect to understand and made changing the registry (something that is a little scary when you've never done it) very easy to do.  Thanks!  lor2rain
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