troubleshooting Question

Unable to delete empty registry key

Avatar of mlsides
mlsides asked on
System UtilitiesWindows XP
5 Comments1 Solution1178 ViewsLast Modified:
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?


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