"Access is denied" error when accessing any .msc administrative tools or .msi installer

Posted on 2008-06-10
Last Modified: 2011-10-19
Whenever I attempt to access any "Administrative Tools" (.msc files), I get an "Access is denied." error.

This includes:

Computer Management (compmgmt.msc)
Internet Information Services (iis.msc)
Services (services.msc)
Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc)... etc ...
I also get the same error when trying to run ANY .msi install package.

I can access the MSC snap-ins, if I go to an MMC console and add the snap-ins there, so I know that they are installed correctly.

I have given ownership and full permissions of the root directory and (Windows/System32) to my user login which is a member of the Administrators group.

I am using Windows XP Professional.  I am NOT in a domain.

I am at my wit's end, so I thank everybody in advance for their help!

Any thoughts?  
Question by:TwoHanded
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +5

Expert Comment

ID: 21753393
hi m8 do you have a good antivirus program and ant spyware as this is the normal behaver of a virus or spyware infection it looks you out of the admin tools so you cant disable it the bigest cause i come accross is a program named xp antivirus or vista antivirus both of them are spyware and will give you lots of headpain try downloading spybot s/d from
update it and run a full scan next do an online scan with this prog
post back when done
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 21753404

Expert Comment

ID: 21753432
one thing that you might check is if you go

Start > Run > gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows  Components > Microsoft management Console > Restricted/Permitted Snap-ins.  Make sure that nothing is disabled.  Just change it to not configured.

Also for the Installer follow.

gpedit.msc > Computer Configuration > Windows Installer and make sure the Disable Windows Installer is not configured.

Author Comment

ID: 21753569

andyms56:  I don't suspect that this is a virus, since I work as a developer and run a virus scan every day.   I am in the process of running SpyBot just in case.

orangutang: FixPolicies did not fix the problem.

jremy9:  Good suggestions, but everything is "Not configured" in both the Microsoft Management Console and the Windows Installer sections in gpedit.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 21753603
Can you send a screenshot of the error?

Author Comment

ID: 21753674
Why spend so long doing email signature updates?

Do you spend loads of your time carrying out email signature updates? Not very interesting are they? Don’t let signature updates get you down. Let Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 make managing email signatures a breeze.

LVL 22

Accepted Solution

orangutang earned 500 total points
ID: 21753736

Expert Comment

ID: 21754246
try this then
Run gpedit.msc
Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer and look to see if the following policy is enabled:
Hides the Manage item on the Windows Explorer context menu
You can also check in the registry for the following key:
Make sure the value data for NoManageMyComputerVerb is 0

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31465848
orangutang:  YOU THE MAN!! solved the MSC problem and solved the MSI problem!!

Thanks alot - nice work!

Expert Comment

ID: 22895477
I ran into the same issue and fixed the problem by re-associating .msc files with the Microsoft Management Console (mmc.exe).  Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder and right-click the eventvwr.msc file (or any .msc file).  Choose 'Open With'.  If you see the Microsoft Management Console listed at the top of the next window, click on it to highlight.  If you do not see the Microsoft Management Console, click Browse, navigate to C:\Windows\System32, and double-click the mmc.exe file.  With the Microsoft Management Console or mmc highlighted in the Open With box, check the box for 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file'.  Click OK and see if the issue is resolved.

Expert Comment

ID: 22898454
I too ran into this very same issue and was quickly fixed by following the advice given by grommet4. Worked perfectly! It had nothing to do with a virus, missing registry entries, access privileges nor permissions. By simply re-associating .msc files to open using the Microsoft Management Console fixed the problem!

Expert Comment

ID: 23067420
solution 110% works :) Nice Job

Expert Comment

ID: 23568761
Good Solution

Featured Post

New! My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi Mobile Storage

Portable wireless storage to offload, edit, and stream anywhere.

High-capacity, wireless mobile storage designed to accompany professional photographers and videographers in the field to easily offload, edit and stream captured photos and high-definition videos.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Need Command Line Sent to File 7 63
local administrator password solution 26 74
Doubt. 2 56
Batch file to convert a xlsx file to csv 5 37
Our Group Policy work started with Small Business Server in 2000. Microsoft gave us an excellent OU and GPO model in subsequent SBS editions that utilized WMI filters, OU linking, and VBS scripts. These are some of experiences plus our spending a lo…
If you get continual lockouts after changing your Active Directory password, there are several possible reasons.  Two of the most common are using other devices to access your email and stored passwords in the credential manager of windows.
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview of Windows DVD Burner through its features and interface. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…

911 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

15 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now