Microsoft KB Archive/169123

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Error Message: Installation Failed While Installing from .INF

Article ID: 169123

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q169123


When a user, who does not belong to the Administrators local group, tries to run an INF file by right-clicking the INF file and choosing the Install Context menu item, the following error message appears:

Installation failed


The Setupapi.dll that processes the INF files [DefaultInstall] section needs to write to the registry key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\RunOnce to prepare the launch of Grpconv.exe when the installation script is completed. Because a user, not belonging to the Administrators local group, does not have full control permission to this registry key, the according API function, RegOpenKeyEx(), returns an error 5 (access denied). This error occurs when the Setupapi.dll attempts to open the key using the KEY_ALL_ACCESS flag. The Setupapi.dll in turn generates the error message "Installation failed."


To prevent the error message described above, either log on with an administrative account or give the user in question (or the Users local group) full control permission to the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\RunOnce registry key.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0.

Additional query words: inf installation runonce prodnt

Keywords: KB169123