Thursday, February 4, 2010

error 1402: could not open key

dear blog:

there it is.

you've done it. don't lie, you've been fiddling about with your machine again. and now look what you've got yourself into. you cannot install nor uninstall whatever program it is... maybe office 2007, maybe adobe reader, maybe in your case it was like my case, native instruments kontakt. yeah, blog, remember me? i produce music, so i like things like kontakt. but i am a geek too... but maybe i think a bit more of a geek than i am? or maybe not, depends on what you take from what i'm telling you.

so, blog, you're in a bad spot. let me tell you first... these waters are not good waters to be in. changes you make to your machine might cause it to go into a state you can never recover it from... and for that, blog, i am sorry, but i cannot be responsible. too, i think you should know; this is not for the light at heart. if you're going to set yourself on this path, clear out some time (hours, not minutes), some space (you'll want to be comfortable), some coffee and some seriously good music to keep you sane (maybe you want to listen to some of mine?).

also, blog, you may have used the google to look around for fixes to this problem. you may have found articles about things like secedit, cacls, icacls, subinacl. if any of those things worked for you, you wouldn't be listening to me. not that you do anyway.

all that being said, here we go.

1. download this:

is the windows installer cleanup utility. i cleans up windows installer caches. it is seriously a pain and really messes up your system, but, given where you are, why not.

some people say don't use this for office. your choice. either way... it just takes a long time. don't expect this tool to be a click once and walk away type thing.

install and run the tool. in the list, check for the product you're offended by. select it and click cleanup, or whatever it says. then a dos process will kick off... and then maybe another dos process, and then maybe a dos process will hang.

if it hangs for a while, look at the window. if it says something like "Removed /Features", or "Removed /Patches", go ahead and close that little window and let the process kick back in. if it doesn't kick back in, go select your little offensive program and repeat. keep repeating until the program is gone from the list.


oh man, blog. now we're going to mess with the registry. this is very, very bad. very wrong. never, ever good to do. in fact... don't do it. but here is what you would need to do if you were going to do it.

there is a little registry setting that you can change to add a nice little feature to the right-click menu. that little feature is called "Take ownership".

you might want to try here to get that little registry setting in place:

you can also back it out if need be.

now, go to c:\Windows\System32\Config (or the respective directory on your machine, bloggie).

there is a whole lotta shite in there, eh? you wanna know what that is blog? it's your REGISTRY!!! yep, on the filesystem. you wanna know what it is if you cannot see it? a good reason not to be reading this at all!!!! blog, you are an administrator on your own machine, aren't you? don't tell me you're not... because if that's the case, you've already wasted your time and mine.

now, blog, you remember that the registry is important, right? very important. that's why you're not doing this. just listening to me rant.

ok, blog, here we go again.

there are a few important files we need to take ownership of. these are called HIVES... like bees! let's own a few of them, howbout!

right click SYSTEM, and select "Take Ownership". owned.

do the same for SECURITY (probably not necessary, but let's OWN things!), COMPONENTS (a biggie) and SOFTWARE (another biggie).

sweet. we are beekeepers owning hives and shite!

3. ok, ok, ok. so, hopefully you've taken a break now and are well readied up for step number 3. let the damage begin, blog!!!

there are a couple ways you might have to approach this, blog, and i'm sorry, but one of them is MUCH less fun than the other. both of them are related to registry keys that fall under the following key:


now, blog, 1-5-18 might look a little different on your computer. most likely, if you are the admin, it does not. for gigglies, let me tell you what 1-5-18 means. 1 means Administrators Full Access, 5 means Creator Full Access, 18 means System Read and Write Access. i hope that makes sense. and, if it were true, you probably would be having this problem at all. i hope you don't really NEED to understand that, but it is relevant to know if alternate measures (alluded to below) need to be taken.

if you recall your error message, it was most likely something like:

Error 1402. Setup cannot open the registry key UNKNOWN\Components\50130FD80FA97FC46B395E916BE6945C\00002109E60090400000000000F01FEC

(this specific error is from an office 2007 install gone bad)

UNKNOWN is the registry key i mentioned above. where that key ends, so begins the components section of your error.

here is the easy fix:

use regedit (your registry editor... something you should never use, blog, but i know you aren't going to, because this is only hypothetical) to navigate to:


right click on Components and select permissions. in the dialog that appears, click add. type your user account into the name field. click ok. when your name appears in the security box, click it and give yourself full control. click apply, click ok. the dialog box should close. if it does not, i do not know how you got to this point. i can still help you, of course, blog, but you'll have to ASK me for help. otherwise, proceed.

now, right click components again. select permissions again. this time, in the dialog that appears, select Advanced. if you're not already there, click add in the Permissions tab. Add yourself. regardless, select yourself (ensuring you already have full control listed) and click the check box that says "replace all child object perm" blah blah. click apply. woohoo!

now, click the OWNER tab. pick your name from the list, check the box that starts with "Replace", click apply, click ok. click ok.

all dialogs should now be closed. you should now be able to open the components registry key like a windows explorer folder. you already should have been able to do this too, but what i hope happened is the following:

under components, find the rest of the key referenced in the error message. in the case above, that would be:


open it up. you will see subkeys. now, if all is going to be easy, if you right click on the subkey or subkeys under the key listed right above us, you will have full perms on it (or them). if that's the case, you most likely have permission on all other 6214 keys you need permission on to install. so, go try your installer!!

did it work, blog!?

yes!!!! i'm so glad it did!!! we're done.

but, fuck's sake if it didn't.

if it gave you the exact same error, with the exact same key, LASH YOURSELF. YOU ARE AN EPIC FAILURE AND NOTHING I HAVE TAUGHT YOU HAS AMOUNTED TO ANYTHING AT ALL.

whew. i feel better now blog.

but, guess what? it's not going to get any easier.

go back to your registry and open components. there are a whole lotta registry keys there. go to every single one that has a plus next to it. look for the last 8 digits of the second key in the two part key that is failing. from the example we are using, that would be:


this will make the keys easy to find. once you find one, after clicking a plus sign, right click and set permissions on all subkeys as described before. this is going to take a long time. there are a lot of plus signs to click and a lot of relevant registry entries (matching the digits) you will need to change permissions on.

stay strong. keep focused. get through it.


wake me up when yr done.

OK, i'm awake. you're done. or let's hope so. because if your program doesn't install now, you're going to have to keep digging through that section of the registry and manually update those permissions as described.

but i'm sure it's all working now.

ahhhh, blog, you didn't even do this, because i told you not to.

if all else fails, don't worry. there ARE tools that will help. remember that 1, 5 18 stuff we talked about? well, go lookup a tool called regini.exe. it will explain those numbers and many more in detail. it will tell you how to create a file you can use to SCRIPT registry changes. you may even want to try this first... but blog, registry changes are scary stuff. so, maybe do it the dumb way.

and, of course, blog. i'm here for you. talk to me. if you're stuck... just ask me. i promise i'll have an answer for you. not that i've ever messed with my system, or ran into issues like this myself (or did i already shoot myself in the foot with that above... accch, who cares).

when you're done with this all, definitely look up that tool i mentioned before called secedit. you'll be glad you did. it will restore your perms back to normal... and hopefully you'll never have to touch them again.

i'm done. bye now!


Patrick said...

You are my hero!!! Thank you very much now I finally managed to install my office 2007 :D

eric said...

glad to have helped! such a headache, that one...