Editing keys in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"

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harryman

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Aug 14, 2003
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I'm not real sure if this questoin falls in the Development category, but here it goes. I'm on WIndows XP. I was making a program in VB and I wanted it to delete a certain key in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", specifically "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Ratings" . The key wouldn't delete. So I tried just making a .reg file to add the key, and it wouldn't add the key I wanted. It also wouldn't read or delete the key. Then I found out after trying to add and delete about 20 other keys, that it wouldn't add or delete any keys in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" tree. Is this a restriction or administrative rights thing? Anyone know why it's happening and how I can make it stop?
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
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You must have administrator rights to modify the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive in the registry. Check your XP logon. You can right-click the start button and if you have an option on the context menu "Explore All Users" then you have administrator rights -- otherwise you do not.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
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Just saw the thread in which you said that unless you have admin rights you can't edit any keys in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE".

It also seems that a bit of software I'm trying to use to autodetect whether Acrobat 5 is installed on the user's computer, cannot read this key on computers that don't have an administrator logged in.

However, if I check for a registry key in "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT" (where the association for .PDF is stored) this is fine.

The problem with the latter solution is that it does not determine which version of Acrobat is present - it just checks that .PDFs have an associated program.

Now the third party utility I am using (I'm not a coder) cannot check the values of keys, just their presence (or lack of).

Can you recommend a way round this problem?

Many thanks.

H
 
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"Ordinary Users" (Windows terminology -- not mine) should be able to read the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE section of the registry. I suggest you contact the author of the software you are having trouble with and ask them to debug it.
 
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