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Registry Permissions - Ownership Denied

Posted on 2013-12-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
Hello EE,
I'm working on a Windows Server 2008 R2.  I was delayed installing some proprietary business applications. The installers could not access important registry keys.

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components… etc. etc.

Simply clicking the reg keys in question produced access denied messages. I tried to take ownership of the keys and I was met with additional denied messages.  Over time I realized that the denied message was incorrect or partial.  I was finally gaining ownership.  I simply had to quit the propertied dialog box and open it again.

Then I was permitted to add a user. After I added my user multiple users were revealed to have prior security permissions.

Some keys parents/grandparents required multiple attempts to gain ownership of all children. Eventually I got it.

How can reg permissions be hidden/suppressed and then uncovered again?

Does this reveal anything about the server as a whole?  Prior virus activity?  General corruption?

The server is running and the new software is running. I'm viewing with skepticism.
KG
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Question by:kengreg
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LVL 6

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donnk earned 500 total points
ID: 39697549
trusted installer can tinker with permissions as you have found.

Sometimes we use "psexec -i -d -s c:\windows\regedit.exe" as the big gun method which overrides permission issues.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kengreg
ID: 39716383
I did not use the psexec solution mentioned above, but I'm still awarding points because it's a valid option under difficult circumstances. It's also the only feedback received.

In my case I repeatedly tried to take ownership of the difficult reg tree.  After four or five tries something finally completed and I had ownership.
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