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Windows 7: Deleting a registry key that won't be deleted


15 Nov 2011   #1

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 
Deleting a registry key that won't be deleted

Hi - I am ripping my hair out here.

I recently got a program install package (ThumbsPlus, so reputable.) that will NOT install. Cerious support, BTW, is tragic, but at one point in this ongoing saga they suggested getting the MS Install CLeanup utility - ran that, and the original install error was then replaced with one about a registry key it apparently needs to open but can't. I located the offending key from the error message, but it can't be deleted (or opened). I have tried everything - given myself full permissions, added a new Admin account using the elevated command prompt and so on, as per another thread. I couldn't follow the MS information referred to in that thread.

Anyway, short question: how can I delete a squatter key that is determined to live in my registry? Any advice greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

What was the previous error? If it's not as bad it might be worth going back using a restore point.

Also on their requirement page I see no mention of 64 bit. May not mean anything but usually paid software makes a note of it if it works on Windows64.

edit: Registry is also an issue with 64 bit as stuff gets echoed due to 32 bit emulation. SysWow64. I would verify somebody is actually using this in 64 bit Vista or later before killing yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #3

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
What was the previous error? If it's not as bad it might be worth going back using a restore point.

Also on their requirement page I see no mention of 64 bit. May not mean anything but usually paid software makes a note of it if it works on Windows64.

edit: Registry is also an issue with 64 bit as stuff gets echoed due to 32 bit emulation. SysWow64. I would verify somebody is actually using this in 64 bit Vista or later before killing yourself.
LOL - thanks for that. I can't remember what the error was - it was just some generic error code number, which I sent them. I have had this version of Thumbsplus (on my x64 Home Premium) installed before; this problem one is a service pack. I had to uninstall the previous version to install the service pack. Don't worry, I won't kill myself over their crappy software, just pull out a few more hairs. I have some sneaky system backups I can easily restore (my data is all separate on d but no restore points. Thing is, I migrated my User account to my d: drive after this stuff up (I think) and don't feel like restoring an older backup then redoing all that just for one program I don't use that often. Easiest just to get over the $$s I spent on ThumbsPlus. So, it's not that I NEED the program, more that I hate letting some apparently trivial glitch beat me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I know what you mean. Seems weird to issue a "service pack" for a program rather than an OS. Sounds a bit pretentious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hoods View Post
...MS Install CLeanup utility - ran that, and the original install error was then replaced with one about a registry key it apparently needs to open but can't. I located the offending key from the error message, but it can't be deleted (or opened).
I'm confused. You're trying to open or delete a key deleted by the Cleanup utility?

Most Registry utilities will create a ".reg" file of the deleted keys. Find that, right click it, chose Edit. It will get re-installed. Then you/we can work on the original problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Never mind. I didn't recognize the MSI Cleaner. Never needed it.

"The Windows Installer CleanUp utility deletes all files and registry settings associated with a program's Windows Installer configuration. It's important to note that the tool does not remove the program's actual installation files or registry settings. Nor does the tool replace or supersede the Add/Remove Programs command.

Rather, you would resort to this utility if you can't uninstall or update an application through Add/Remove Programs or other methods. By deleting the Windows Installer information, you should be able to reinstall the application. You can then leave the program installed as is, update it, or even remove it."

I see that the utility has been retired. You should instead go here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2438651
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #7

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hoods View Post
...MS Install CLeanup utility - ran that, and the original install error was then replaced with one about a registry key it apparently needs to open but can't. I located the offending key from the error message, but it can't be deleted (or opened).
I'm confused. You're trying to open or delete a key deleted by the Cleanup utility?

Most Registry utilities will create a ".reg" file of the deleted keys. Find that, right click it, chose Edit. It will get re-installed. Then you/we can work on the original problem.
No, the key in question is preventing me from installing ThumbsPlus, which apparently needs to open it to install. Persumably a prior install put it there in the first place.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components\0B0651F73DE8EB748A648E071725D5CC]

After an install error, I ran the MS Utility (at Cerious software's suggestion) to remove all ThumbsPlus entries from the registry, then tried to install again. This time it didn't get as far into the installation before it returned an error about not being able to open the above key. The MS utility is no longer any use because the ThumbsPlus installer now doesn't go far enough to add anything to the registry. So I am trying to delete that key. I have also tried various registry cleaners to no avail - presumably because they can't delete the key either.

I have manually created a .reg file and reinstalled it, as per your instructions, but it is still not possible to open it in Regedit. Where do I go from there? Any help in baby language for an old woman would be appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #8

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
I know what you mean. Seems weird to issue a "service pack" for a program rather than an OS. Sounds a bit pretentious.
LOL - I suppose it is pretentious!

Maybe they have delusions of grandeur that prevent them from hobknobbing with the disgruntled rabble these days. Way back when, Cerious used to give great support on the rare occasions it was necessary. I've been really disappointed by their response to my requests. I had to send about 4 emails before anyone even looked at the support ticket. This has been going on for a couple of months now because it takes them a week or more to answer anything. Which is why I am in here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

I guess I'm still confused. When you say you can't open the key, does that mean you can't run Regedit or you can't find the key. Click the Orb, type "regedit" (without quotes) in the search field. In the file pane, right click Regedit and click on Run as Administrator.

That's an OS SID (S-1-5-18). What did you add back for the key's data?. It most likely was pointing to the folder where the old program(s) are located. The "service pack" installer may have it's own uninstaller or it needs to know where the programs are located to apply the patches. The folder name would have been following the key as data. It may have pointed to a program as well.

I'm not sure how to get that installer data back except to re-install the original program. You might point it to the program folder and try that.

The data type would be String Value and the data would probably point to Program Files or Program Files (x86) depending if the program was x64 or x86 respectively. (The entire path would need to be specified.)

Example: "C:\Program Files\ThumbsPlus\" (Without quotes)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #10

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Well, I don't want to "open" the key as such, just to get rid of it, since it's a problem. My logic was: let's assume I had never previously installed ThumbsPlus. In that case there would be no references to it anywhere, including registry keys. Therefore, assuming the offending key is a dedicated key for ThumbsPlus, I'd have thought getting rid of it and starting from scratch should solve the problem. (Although ThumbsPlus is sold as a "service pack" it's a full installer. There is no version 8 for download, just the Service Pack 1 installer.)

When I locate the key within regedit, I can't do anything with it other than export it or edit it. However, as I don't know what values to add to the subkey fields I am stuck.

BTW - I tried to expand another key (for Quicktime) and it gave me the same message/s. It must be something to do with a bad uninstall, I am guessing, as the next Quicktime key is accessible.

Anyway, I am about ready to concede defeat. I will email Cerious and ask them to send me the reg key. If they can be bothered. If I cared more about ThumbsPlus I would restore my system from a backup, but it'd have to be a fairly dated backup and I don't feel like going through the painful process of getting everything else back up to where it is now. I had pretty much stopped using ThumbsPlus anyway (I use Directory Opus now for all my graphics stuff) and the "upgrade" install was just one of those reflex things you do because you've paid for the thing.

Thanks so much for all your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Deleting a registry key that won't be deleted




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