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Unable to delete empty registry key

mlsides
mlsides asked
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I am unable to install Windows XP SP3 on a Dell laptop because the installation blows up when attempting to update the registry.  The problem centers on this subkey:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl]

All attempts to delete, open, rename, overwrite or otherwise affect it produce error messages in the nature of "error reading registry".  This does not appear to be a permissions issue; the subkey itself and its superior key \Main have Full Control assigned to Everyone and to me personally.  An export of the \Main key does not show this subkey at all.

I have tried safe mode, the registry cleaners EUsing and RegSeeker, and RegDelNull to no avail.  I've also tried importing a reg file with this statement:

-[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl]

So far nothing has worked.  How can I get rid of this thing?

Thanks.
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LeeTutorretired
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Top Expert 2009

Commented:
That part of the registry might be loaded on a corrupted sector of the disk.  Try running CHKDSK.
LeeTutorretired
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Top Expert 2009

Commented:
mlsides, any feedback?

Author

Commented:
Not yet, Lee.  Workday just beginning and I need to get access to the workstation.  Will report back when possible; thanks for both suggestions so far.

Author

Commented:
Lee, CHKDSK ran clean and made no difference.

jss1199, you ring the chimes!  For the benefit of others, the correct syntax is

subinacl /subkeyreg "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\"
/setowner=YourUsername

I had to try several approaches, the working one was to log in as the local adminstrative account and grant that account full rights, at which the subkey opened up and permitted further rights settings.  Thanks very much!
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