Troubleshooting Windows 7 MSI Installer Errors

For a couple of months, I’ve been plagued with errors trying to update Quickbooks. I’m greeted with various errors during the installation that point me back to pages on the Intuit website that describe lengthy procedures for modifying registry permissions. Naturally, these are “last resort” options after trying to repair my Quickbooks installation, reinstalling Quickbooks, disabling various services, etc. etc. The errors seem to indicate that I have problems accessing keys in the hive UNKNOWN with event id’s 11402 and 1024.

After hours of monkeying with registry key permissions, I finally gave up and decided to leave the update alone and suffer through the update reminder everytime I start Quickbooks.

However, yesterday, my daughter asked me to update Itunes so she could sync her ipad. Lo and behold.. Windows Installer errors with event id 11402. What’s worse, the install FUBAR’d the Itunes installation so that Itunes would no longer start. I uninstalled it, Bon Jour, and all the related stuff Apple foists off on us as part of their installation but could not get it to reinstall.

After much googling, I had a little brainstorm which calls for a minor digression to explain. I am often called upon to remove fake AV software from client computers. To ensure it stays gone, I usually find it on the drive in safe mode and remove all permissions except delete so that on reboot, the bug is neutered and I can safely delete the files. Sometimes, I have to recover ownership of the files before I can edit permissions.

Looking at this typical error:

Log Name: Application
Source: MsiInstaller
Date: 10/20/2011 10:42:02 PM
Event ID: 1013
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
Description:
Product: iTunes — Could not open key: UNKNOWN\Components\7ABFE44842C12B390AF18C3B9B1A1EE8\83AC89C9A1C48CA45BC56149798C28B6. Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

I opened regedit with administrator permissions and I decided to try changing the ownership of all the affected subkeys to the Administrators group to see if it would fix the key in question. All of the wonky keys appear to be in
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components.
I right-clicked on key 7ABFE44842C12B390AF18C3B9B1A1EE8, selected permissions, advanced, owner tab, and then checked the box to “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects.” Click OK. Regedit complained, “Registry Editor could not set owner on the key currently selected, or some of its subkeys.” I ignored it and discovered I could now select subkey 83AC89C9A1C48CA45BC56149798C28B6 without tripping the permissions error.

A right-click on this subkey showed that there were no permissions set. I added the account SYSTEM and gave it full control.

I found a total of three keys with corrupted permissions in the process of fixing Itunes. I found two corrupted keys in the process of updating Quickbooks to 2009R13.

Both applications are now updated and working without further incident.

A short collection of keywords and phrases that might help others find this solution:
Windows 7 64-bit
Error 5
Error 1401
Error 1402
Error 1403
Could not open key: UNKNOWN\Components
Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.
MsiInstaller
Apple Mobile Device Support — Error 1920
Apple Application Support — Error
Error code 1603.

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