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How to resolve “Unable to open Sub key” Error when installing an MSI package?

Posted by admin as Microsoft, Windows


There are several occasions when you might get a “Unable to open sub key” or “Error 1402.Could not open key:” or “Error 1402.Could not open key: UNKNOWN\Components\XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX” etc. Most of these errors are because you have already installed this product and un-installation or upgrade of the product did not complete properly. Hence there are some registry keys left with bad ACL’s in the registry.

The work around I mention here is for OS’s Windows XP Sp2 and above. Meaning, you are seeing this problem either in Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Open “RegEdit” and browse to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components

  1. Right Click on Components select permissions
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Select the “Owner” Tab
  4. Select  Administrators  (Group) as owner and Click Apply.
  5. Then Select Checkbox that says “Replace owner  on sub containers and objects” and Click apply.
  6. Browse back to the Permissions tab, select the Check box that says “Replace all child objects with inheritable permissions from this object” and Click apply

You should see couple of Warnings similar to below image, but those are fine. Its just complaining about some restricted windows components.



Hope this helps some one

64 Responses to How to resolve “Unable to open Sub key” Error when installing an MSI package?

Josh Romero

February 6th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Thanks! Helped alot and was very simple to follow!


February 7th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

thanks for the tutorial! it was exactly what i needed!

Albert Wydeen

March 28th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Thanks a million, you are a life saver. I tried several times to get my SDK to install but ran into registery problems. Your solution worked like a charm

David Tee

April 7th, 2010 at 6:39 am

Thanks so much for those instructions. I kept having trouble installing microsoft office 2010 Beta. I looked all over the internet for my kind of trouble. Come here and it worked like a charm. :)


April 11th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

You saved me.

Ralph Rainwater

April 16th, 2010 at 7:28 am

I add my thanks to you for your very simple, very effective instructions.


April 18th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Finally, a solution that worked! Bless you.


April 20th, 2010 at 3:51 am

omg mate i cannot believe it. I was pulling my hair out solving this problem then came accross your solution and it worked a trick. You wouldnt believe how thankful I am to you for this. Your a legend and a life saver!! I had problems with the registry when trying to install cs4 photoshop. even the clean cs4 did not work amongst other crap tutorials. Your however was easy to follow and very reassuring (how you said not to worry about the some of the warnings that pop up). I tried to install again and no error code came up! BRILLIANT!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


April 20th, 2010 at 3:52 am

oh i know this post is for the MSI package but as mentioned above I had problems with the install of photoshop and this work a trick for me….. :)

James Gruzanski

April 28th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Thank you!!! Thank You!!!! Thank You!!!

Deepak Sharma

June 15th, 2010 at 2:25 am

U r a dude..u are a life saver..racking my brains to install DPM 2010 AND that bugger was stuck on this message ..folowwed ur advice and it is now running as smooth as silk.

Cheers M8


June 22nd, 2010 at 4:19 am

Thanks a million! This helped me narrow down the search! Thanks again!


July 18th, 2010 at 6:30 am

Thank you very much ! I couldnt use live apps for months and ur solution finally helped me! Thanks a LOOOOT!


July 20th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Great help thank you very much

Chris Mexas

August 9th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

YES!!! this is the solution! I am so lucky to have found this.


September 6th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Thank YOU so very much…Worked great!!!


September 23rd, 2010 at 12:25 am


You know, I was already given the suggestion to reinstall windows. Neither Apple Support (I had the problem with installing iTunes) nor Windows forum could help.
I was already thinking of paying 80 Euros for Windows support…

Thanks thanks thanks!


October 2nd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Thank you so much, i was trying to run Sony Vegas Pro 9.0 and it wouldnt work so thanks a lot. :)

Robert Mastropaolo

October 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH ! That worked perfectly. I have been struggling to try to delete those friggin’ registry sub-keys, but there were so many under the Components tree that I never could have done them all. I knew it was something in the permissions settings, but could never quite get it right. After I followed your instructions, my Microsoft programs are now all installing correctly ! You are a LIFESAVER !


Bob Mastropaolo - RFM PC Repairs


October 5th, 2010 at 6:11 am

Hi, this did not work for me on windows 7, i rebooted and tried again but no sucess to date….any additional ideas?

Carl Peddie

October 23rd, 2010 at 2:01 am

Long time viewer / first time poster. Really enjoy reading the blog, keep up the excellent work. Will most definitely start posting more in the future.


October 27th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Thanks a Lot

Solved my problem with Live Messenger 2011 Installer.
Solved the problem 0×80070643.
This error wa happening in installation.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Hey I tried x64 and x87 neither are compadable with my system wtf?


December 8th, 2010 at 7:38 am

Thank you, it works!


January 5th, 2011 at 9:33 am

Thank you it worked great!


June 17th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Thank you SO much for this. changing the ‘Ownership’ was the key pointer in my case. Much appreciated.


July 16th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

thanks man.


July 18th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Whoaa! Saved My Life! Thank you so very Much! (: (: Great Tutorial! :D:D:D:D:D:D 5*Starts


October 2nd, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thank You, Thank You…… So much. It worked for my VMware


October 13th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

You’ve saved me, man! This Ovi Suite had given me grief for days!! Now running. Thanks


October 14th, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Thanks a lot Man !!!! Really appreciate this.


October 19th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

never comment on forums but I had to on this one. whoeva u r, u r a lifesaver


October 26th, 2011 at 8:38 am

Thank you man! This saved my life :D Much appreciated!


December 8th, 2011 at 11:02 am

Your a life saver bro!!! thanks a million!!!!!!!!!!!!!


December 21st, 2011 at 11:58 am



February 1st, 2012 at 6:10 am

Thanks alot! :)


February 21st, 2012 at 10:58 am

You da man, thank you!


April 4th, 2012 at 8:02 am

Incredible. This has been a problem for several weeks. Found your site and WHAM, just like that! Fixed. I’m impressed.

Steve Cathersal

April 11th, 2012 at 6:51 am

Just another thanks. you saved me.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:27 am

Thank you SO much.

Shashank Gaikwad

April 25th, 2012 at 5:49 am

Thank you for such a helpful information. Appreciate it!!


May 30th, 2012 at 6:16 am

Thanks a lot


June 5th, 2012 at 1:13 am

10 virtual foot kisses from me… my master! ;-)


June 13th, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thanks Buddy! - Exactly what I needed!


July 16th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Nice post-very useful & clearly explained-this fixed my install problem first time.
(You wouldn’t happen to know how I fix Network diagnostic policy services
to run again on Win7? I have several issues with my Win7 PC…:-( )
Many thanks


August 7th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Tnx worked like charm ;)


September 20th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Was trying to uninstall SharePoint Server 2010 when I got that error! This solution worked perfectly!


October 29th, 2012 at 3:42 am

Thank you sooooooo much. This is the only thing that worked for me after searching everywhere!


January 30th, 2013 at 12:48 am

thanks man! got this error uninstalling TFS 2010 and this solution worked nicely.


February 8th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

بعد البحث طويلا في مواقع عدة ومحاولات عديدة
لم تنفع إلا هذه الطريقة
شكرا لهذا الموقع المفيد

ابو الحسين


May 18th, 2013 at 11:45 pm

maaaannn dude you are the best this has been a serious problem for me and you solved wih just a few simple steps and for anyone whom it doesnt fix run your regdit as administrator


June 6th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

your advice kicks, works like a charm. just one error, but it had nothing to do with the setup. Thank you sooo much

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