Can't Repair or Reinstall Office 2003

Posted on 2010-11-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have been having many problems with our Office 2003 suite of programs so I attempted to repair it. When that didn't work I tried to uninstall it and then reinstall it. That didn't work either. I got the same error in both instances. -

"error 1402.setup cannot open the registry key hkey_local_machine\software\microsoft\windows\current version\run\optional components\msfs." It then tells me that I mayn not have the proper rights to do the installation. I am the only user on this computer as well as the owner and administrator.

How do I fix this problem?

Thank you!!

Question by:RobertEhinger

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Hello Robert,

Try to use Microsoft Fix it located here  :  (yours if of course 2003). Then reinstall.

If it does not work you can use MSI Cleanup and remove entries for Microsoft Office 2003 and reinstall.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Make a backup copy of your data. Then a format your hard drive and re-install everything!

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
This is usually a case where administrators do not have full permission to the registry.

Is this a Windows Xp or Windows 7 machine?

If windows xp, then try the following, assuming this is not a computer on a domain where domain security is being applied through Domain Group Policy Objects.

1. Entering the following line in Command Prompt will fix the problem for most people,

    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\deflwk.inf /db deflwk.sdb /verbose

2. For Windows 7 use the following command

Entering the following line in Command Prompt will fix the problem for most people,

    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

If this fails to fix it then open up regedit by typing regedit in the "run" box.

Navigate to the registry key and right click, select permissions, make sure administrator has full permissions. If administrators do not have full control then click on administrators, and check full control. you may receive and error that says you cannot do this because the key is inheriting permissions, in that case click advanced, then uncheck inherit permissions and click Copy, then ok. you should now be able to change permissions.

Once you change permissions then click advanced and check " Replace permissions on entries............" and click OK

Try the install again, you may find 7-8 keys that you will need to do this same procedure with. this is easier than downloading subinacl and trying to change your entire registry.


LVL 22

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
If the above advise fails, you may be able to solve this problem using the Office 2003 Removal Wizard designed specifically for this kind of problem.

The removal wizard is part of the Office 2003 Office resource kit and you can download at:

Please keep us posted with your progress.



Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Edit thh Windows Registry with:
Start-->Run, type Regedit, then Enter

Browse to the problematic key.

Right click--> Permissions
  1.  Add your current user to the list, and check Full Control
  2. Click the Advanced button
     - Permission Tab: Add your current user to the list, and check Full Control
                                 Check "Include Inheritable permissions..."
                                 Check "'Replace all child..."
                                 Click Apply button
     - Owner Tab: Add your current user to the list
                           Check "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects"
                           Click Apply button

  3. Close Regedit
  4. Try install Office again

  Note: Repeat the procedure in all the keys that Office fail to open, normally this happen a couple of time during installation over a damaged preinstallation.
Why You Should Analyze Threat Actor TTPs

After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.


Author Comment

Comment Utility
I tried every single suggested except reformatting and still have the same problem.

Author Comment

Comment Utility
The difference is, now I have no office program on my system at all.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

Comment Utility

You have tried everything advised above unsuccessfully and until now we have assumed through this thread that your system is clean and is not infected by any malware.... I guess we should have asked you: Have you thoroughly scanned for viruses, malware, root-kits, etc...?

If not... this would be a good time to do it.

Otherwise, the only thing that comes to mind is that your Windows registry is corrupt. If it is corrupt, we may be able to help. The procedure will be different depending on if you are using XP, Vista or Windows 7.

To get the Virus/Malware question/variable out of the way I suggest you follow this procedure (if you are using XP):

1.Go into Safe Mode with networking by pressing F8 while booting your computer.
2.Then go to this website and download this program: MalwareBytes Anti Malware:
3.Before download... Important: Rename MalwareBytes before saving its files to the desktop as malware can recognize the name and block it unless renamed.
4.While still in Safe Mode, Go to Start-Run and type: Msconfig
5.Once in the Msconfig application, go to the "Services Tab" and select:"hide all Microsoft services" select the remaining and disable".
6.Then go to the Startup Tab and disable ALL entries there as well. Close the window. You will get a prompt to Reboot..allow it.
7.After the system boots go into NORMAL will give you a warning regarding the changes made by msconfig: Select do not warn me again.
8. Now you can run the anti-Malware application your renamed and saved on your desktop above.
9.If viruses, spyware, malware, etc. are found allow the program to clean them.

You should also run a scan with Hitman Pro . It may detect the presence of a rootkit or  rogue proxy setting ...

If the problem persists...go to  and follow the instructions.

Keep me posted on your progress.....

Bits ...

Accepted Solution

RobertEhinger earned 0 total points
Comment Utility
None of the above suggestions solved the problem. I ended up installing Office 2010 and it works just fine.

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
None of the suggestions solved the problem.

Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

This article will guide you to convert a grid from a picture into Excel format using Microsoft OneNote and no other 3rd party application.
Outlook Free & Paid Tools
Learn how to make your own table of contents in Microsoft Word using paragraph styles and the automatic table of contents tool. We'll be using the paragraph styles in Word’s Home toolbar to help you create a table of contents. Type out your initial …
Excel styles will make formatting consistent and let you apply and change formatting faster. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Excel's built-in styles, how to modify styles, and how to create your own. You'll also learn how to use your custo…

771 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

10 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now