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Old 13th July 2003   #1
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cannot install device drivers - access is denied


I have recently spent a considerable amount of time setting up my XP system and
my applications to perfection with the intent of making a master image with Acronis
True Image so that I don't have to go through this whole reinstall thing the next
time I mess up my system.(which I inevitibly do!)
Somewhere along the line my permissions got messed up.I first discovered this when
I was attempting to install a certain app and I was denied access before installation
was complete.
With a bit of research I ended up fixing the permissions for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE
which alllowed me full control over application intalls again.
Now I've just discovered that I am completely unable to install or update any device
drivers.
This is the message I receive when the driver appears to have mostly installed:

An error occured during installation of the device - access is denied

I have looked everywhere for a solution to this and cannot come up with anything.I
have gone through my registry and messed with all kinds of permissions,created new
user accounts,tweaked this and tweaked that and restored my C drive from backup image
after every sloppy experiment at least half a dozen times and I am still coming up
with no solution.
This is so frustrating.I have a perfectly tuned system that I have spent hours and
hours getting just right and now I cannot upgrade or install any device drivers!

Any suggestions apart from reinstalling windows would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

System specs as follows:
Windows XP/SP1 and all latest updates
Abit IT7 Max2 v2(onboard Raid, LAN,USB2.0 Etc.)
P4 2.53Ghz oc'ed 2.8Ghz
512 MB Samsung PC3200 DDR RAM
2 x 80Gb WD/Raid 0/NTSF
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro/
Audiophile 2496
Some other Stuff/

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Old 13th July 2003   #2
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I assume you haven't disabled system restore?
I'd be going back to one or more restore points till (if) the install prob is fixed. Then carefully tweak/update your system for the backup image you're after.

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Old 13th July 2003   #3
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Nope.No system restore.The closest thing I have is a backup image from shortly after xp setup,driver install and a few of my more basic utilities.Going back to that resembles hours of messing around with installations and settings to get back where I am again.I'm going to try and avoid that if I can...?
All I need is permission to install drivers on my own machine...''

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Old 14th July 2003   #4
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HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP

Note that you should probably take ownership of c:\ which should push down to the entire drive contents.

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Old 15th July 2003   #5
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Newt ,
Thanks for the tip.Unfortunately this didn't work either.
Drivers do appear go through the whole process of installing their files up untill what I would assume is writing information to the registry which I think is what is failing.I do have have full control over c:\windows.
The amount of time I've spent messing with this I could have just started over...
....but that would take all the fun and learning and challenge out of it wouldn't it?

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Old 16th July 2003   #6
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Interesting. If you logged on with an admin account and then did the "take ownership" part, you should certainly have rights to do anything and that for sure would include writing the registry changes.

Are there any event log entries dealing with the failure? If so, could you post the contents of it/them here. May be a clue there.

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Old 16th July 2003   #7
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My System
You could try opening the registry editor, go to Edit, click on Permissions and make sure the account you're using has full permission to write to the registry.

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Old 16th July 2003   #8
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"Are there any event log entries dealing with the failure?"

My log is clean.Actually apart from this stupid driver install/permissions issue,this computer is running as smooth as you would expect from a tidy/clean install on a solid machine.


Concerning setting permissions in the registry,that's exactly what I had to do for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE when I was previously denied permission to install a certain piece of software.
I had likely been messing with my registry previous to that,doing some cleaning and such.This would sort of lead me to believe I had cleaned something I shouldn't have.
I did of course try undoing any registry cleaning that I had previously done but no luck on a fix....
...and of course full virus and trojan scans.


I'm probably just going to restore my last good image and go from there...
As much as I obsess over fixing things when they break,I really ought to get back to actually using my computer for things that a computer is used for(besides breaking and fixing and breaking again'')''
It would sure give me peace of mind to figure this out though.
Seems like it should be a no-brainer....?

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Old 17th July 2003   #9
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Well just when I was about to give up,I stumbled accross the solution.
It was a continuation of my problem with permissions for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE.
I had to go into advanced permissions for SOFTWARE and check the "replace permissions on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects" box.(I could have sworn I had tried this already'')
After pressing apply some warnings were spewed in regards to not being able to set permissions on all keys,however I am able to install drivers again.''

Thanks to those who offered their input on this matter.
Hopefully someone else can make use of this solution in the future.''

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Old 18th July 2003   #10
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Glad you got it working and thanks for posting back with the fix.

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