Local_Machine Software Installer Userdata Registry Question

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by greygeek, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Registry keys under HKLM/Software/.../Installer/Components/Userdata contain approximately 1,500 data value entries where the colon in the path has been replaced by a question mark (C?\). These registry keys seem to be primarly associated with media file types.

    The C?\ entries are generated by both Microsoft software (MSXML and MSOffice, for example) and third party software (Adobe Reader, Roxio Media Creator).

    I spent several hours working with MS Tech support to verify that these entries are present in Windows and were not unique to my computer/installation.

    After a support person in the Windows Development team acknowledged that the C?\ registry data values were present on his computer, I never heard back from MS Tech Support.

    The entries continue to be generated with almost every update of MS Office and Adobe Reader.

    Based on my experience, the C?\ registry data values can (in some cases) cause problems...I initally found the strange data values while trying to resolve problems with Roxio Creator and Adobe Photoelements. The problems (unable to locate file) were resolved by manually editing the registry key data value to "C:\...."

    I would like to have a better understanding of the significance of the "C?\" registry key data values, but I've had trouble finding anyone who thoroughly understands the System Registry (hopefully they exist!)

    Screen shots and source counts of the C?\ occurences are available, if anyone is interested.
    :confused:
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I have about 49 possibilities in the registry entry you seem to suggest. Could you fill in the /.../
     
  3. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quicktime Errors1.JPG Initial Corrupted Keys.JPG Initial Corrupted Keys5.JPG Initial Corrupted Keys3.JPG Initial Corrupted Keys2.JPG Adobe Reader Errors7.JPG Adobe Reader Errors1.JPG Initial Corrupted Keys4.JPG



    Location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INSTALLER\USERDATA\...

    Installed Windows 7 Pro 64-bit on Desktop PC...Sept 18th, 2010
    · Intel Duo-Core, 8 GB (Kingston) RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4600, Western Digital 400 MB 7200 RPM SATA 16 MB Cache
    · NOT connected to the Internet
    · New Seagate HD, fresh out of the box
    · Previously unused Windows Installation disk
    · No external devices connected (except MS USB Laser Mouse 6000 & PS2 keyboard)
    · NO Corrupted Registry Keys detected at this point
    Connected to Internet
    · CAT5 to linksys router/Verizon DSL
    · 43 Windows updates, plus 5 Optional updates- including software/driver for Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
    · Rebooted and installed 2 additional Windows updates
    · Installed update for IE8, rebooted
    · 4 Corrupted Registry Keys detected.
    · Installed
    · Microsoft Security Essentials
    · DirectX
    · Silverlight
    · MSXML 4 SP3
    · 2 Addtional Corrupted Registry Keys created.
    · Installed Adobe Reader
    · 21 additional Corrupted System Registry Data Values created
    · Installed Adobe Flash Player & Shockwave
    · ***NO New Corrupted Registry Keys***
    · Installed Apple Quicktime
    · 2 additional Corrupted System Registry Data Values created
    · Installed Oracle/Sun Java 32-bit
    · ***NO New Corrupted Registry Keys***
    · Installed Roxio Creator 2010 Special Edition
    · Over 800 additional System Registry Errors created


     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I just searched my install and found no such entries in the registry. I do run a registry cleaner on a regular basis.

    What are you using to give your the corrupted registry entries message and when was it installed?

    Are you seeing any corruption in any other part of your system? Have you run a system file check?

    I am not the one with the through understanding of the registry, but it looks like the system does not know exactly where the files are located. Do you use one partition on the hard drive? You mention a WD and Seagate Harddrive, are both currently connected?

    Have you ever imaged or cloned one of the drives?

    Are there any error or warning messages in the Event Viewer?
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    There are some other things you might check.

    Does Disk Management show your drive letters correct for your OS?

    Do not change anything, but open Regedit and check the following entries:

    HKLM\System\MountedDevices
    in the name column, you should see several lines with \DosDevices\A: or B: or C: , etc. Check if the C entry show up correctly.

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist
    In the Data column, are the entries correctly identifying Device\HarddiskVolume1

    These are just total guesses, but maybe something will show up..
     
  6. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Registry Cleaners that did not find the corrupted registry keys: CCleaner, Uniblue Registry Booster, Norton Utilities and MS on-line Live OneCare security scanner.

    The initial error message that led me to the corrupted keys were displayed in the Roxio application ("skin files not found"). They do not seem to generate error messages in the MS Event Viewer.

    No system corruption apparent. Microsoft Tech support ran an on-line diagnostic (through EasyAccess) and gave the system a clean bill of health.

    It also looks to me like the system does not know where the files are located (invalid path statement). To try to better understand what was happening, I kept the setup as simple as possible: new hard drive; one partition (created by windows installer). I also tried (separately) both Western Digital and Seagate hard drives to see if it was a hardware problem. The drives had never been cloned at the time I was working on this problem.


    Additional information:
    • I found the corrupted registry keys on 16 different, unrelated computers (I do home computer support for the regional Senior Center in Seattle), including OEM installs from Dell and HP, desktops and laptops, updates and clean installs, 32-bit and 64-bit, and
    • (surprisingly to me) on XP, Vista and Windows 7.
     
  7. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Registry Cleaners that did not find the corrupted registry keys: CCleaner, Uniblue Registry Booster, Norton Utilities and MS on-line Live OneCare security scanner.

    The initial error message that led me to the corrupted keys were displayed in the Roxio application ("skin files not found"). They do not seem to generate error messages in the MS Event Viewer.

    No system corruption apparent. Microsoft Tech support ran an on-line diagnostic (through EasyAccess) and gave the system a clean bill of health.

    It also looks to me like the system does not know where the files are located (invalid path statement). To try to better understand what was happening, I kept the setup as simple as possible: new hard drive; one partition (created by windows installer). I also tried (separately) both Western Digital and Seagate hard drives to see if it was a hardware problem. The drives had never been cloned at the time I was working on this problem.


    Additional information:
    • I found the corrupted registry keys on 16 different, unrelated computers (I do home computer support for the regional Senior Center in Seattle), including OEM installs from Dell and HP, desktops and laptops, updates and clean installs, 32-bit and 64-bit, and
    • (surprisingly to me) on XP, Vista and Windows 7.
     
  8. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    No need to apoligize for the guesses. This issue has been bugging me for months. Any constructive input is appreciated.

    Disk Management shows the correct drive letter for the OS

    HKLM\System\mounteddevices displays the C:\drive correctly in the DosDevices section

    The hivelist may hold some answers. I'm currently working on my desktop, which has two hard drives.
    • The hive listing for the boot drive appears to be \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Boot\BCD, however
    • the hive listing for the system files is \Device\HarddiskVolume2\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM
    I think I better check that out!

    Thanks!
     
  9. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    No need to apoligize for the guesses. This issue has been bugging me for months. Any constructive input is appreciated.

    Disk Management shows the correct drive letter for the OS

    HKLM\System\mounteddevices displays the C:\drive correctly in the DosDevices section

    The hivelist may hold some answers. I'm currently working on my desktop, which has two hard drives. The hive listing for the boot drive appears to be \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Boot\BCD, however the listing for the system files is \Device\HarddiskVolume2\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM

    I think I better check that out!

    Thanks!
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    If you have the special boot partition on your system, it might explain the Volume1 for the boot and Volume 2 for all others, but not sure.

    You might open an administrative command window and type BCDEDIT. Check the drive letters there.

    If you can't find anything out of line, the only other direction I might think of would be some system folder had been moved and certain programs could not install where they needed. Or some security setting was keeping some things from being written correctly.

    There is also a virtual registry that might be involved.
     
    #10 Saltgrass, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  11. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I also found the following on a Microsoft Forum.

    If you checked you registry with this program prior to the errors showing up, it might be related.

    If not, perhaps some type of virus is involved. Maybe something is in your system you get when you go online.
     
  12. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    The registry errors exist even with a clean install of Windows 7 and Office 2007 on a new hard drive on a Stand-alone computer that is not connected to a network (even some of Windows/Office TTF files have registry errors).

    These registry errors are created in the absence of any anti-virus software, in the absence of any system utilities (no defrag, no disk cleanup utilities...other than native Windows utilities) and no registry cleaners, and the errors are always in the same registry keys.

    Microsoft Tech Support worked with me (frequently connected by EasyAccess Remote control) and verified that:

    • A rootkit virus is not the source of the problem - scanned with Kapersky anti-root kit utility and, also, the problem exists on a clean install on a new (boxed) hard drive.
    • A virus or other malware is not the source of the problem - scans included Norton 2010, Malwarebyte's anti-malware, AVG (free), Avast (free), Microsoft Security Essentials and Live OneCare on-line Security Scan
    • Hardware is not the cause of the problem. I found the problem on 16 computers of all varieties (OEM and clean builds), Microsoft found the problem on at least 4 or their tech support computers, and friends back in Illinois (2 public libraries and one museum) found the registry errors on their computers. The errors occur on computers with a single hard drive or dual hard drives, different types of processors, different BIOS, different memory configurations, etc.
    • One anecdotal comment: MS Tech Support was unable to find the registry errors until they "unchecked" the "Match whole string, only" option in the Edit/Find window.
    Issues that are consistent across platform/operating system/hardware are:
    • The registry errors are generated progressively as additional software or updates are installed (The initial install of Windows does not create any registry errors "of this type") The first registry errors occur after Microsoft Office or Windows updates are installed (independent of installation order).
    • The errors are predominately (maybe exclusively) with files related to graphical and other media file types and applications using these file types
    • The registry errors do not seem to be generate by Browser add-ins. For example, Adobe Acrobat Reader generates registry errors, but Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Shockwave do not generate registry errors.
    I do not blame MS Tech Support for bailing out on me on this Service Request. I think we eliminated every obvious (and some esoteric possible sources).

    The last interaction I had on this issue was when the support request was elevated up to the Windows 7 Development Team. After one phone call from the Development Team (they verified the registry errors were present on their computers) in which they said they would be back to me in approximately a week (4 months ago), no progress has been made on the issue.

    You have suggested some issues that I need to check out, but my conclusion is that the source of the registry errors are the MSI files used to install the Microsoft applications and updates and the MSI files used to install 3rd party, media file related applications.

    My problems running the 3rd party software (Roxio and Adobe PhotoElements) were solved by manually editing the registry errors (C?\<path statement>) with a valid data value (C:\<path statement>)...about 750 total for Windows and these applications. I had blisters on my fingers from the repeated key strokes to deleted and paste in the correct C:\ !

    Hope I haven't bored you to tears. I readily admit I'm a bit compulsive when I can't understand or find a solution to a computer issue.
     
  13. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    You were right about the Match whole string option, I have found several of those entries on my system.

    Two thoughts, it appears ARPPRODUCTICON.exe is associated with some I have traced back, and possibly the ? would indicate the information is actually in the registry and not on the drive. The items referred to by the C? entries will normally show the correct partition, C:

    I will continue checking to see if anything pops up.
     
    #13 Saltgrass, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  14. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    FYI - I talked to Customer Support from Flexere Software, the Vendor that produces InstallShield (ARPPRODUCTICON.EXE), which is the software that Application Vendors (such as Roxio) use to create the installers for their software applications.

    Apparently, the problem lies with the application specific installers created by software vendors (such as Roxio). As unbelievable as it seems, it appears that the errors are "typing" errors when the vendor is creating their application specific installers.

    As pointed out by Flexere, the colon :)) key is directly above the question mark (?) key on the keyboard (and both require the shift key to be depressed).

    If correct, I'm not sure what to do about it. Roxio did not respond to my email about the issue and Uniblue Registry Booster did not seem interested in the issue.

    Seems like you and I have spent a lot of time caused by someones inability to type correctly~ (sorry, wrong key!...just kidding)
     
  15. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I have one other group I am checking on to see if they know, but I will assume leaving them alone is OK.

    If not, I may look for a search and replace situation.

    I will post back if I hear anything.
     
  16. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
  17. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    Just an update, I have heard nothing back from the questions I put out. I did notice the Windows Update process added some more C?\ entries in that same registry location.
     
  18. JimmyAlex

    JimmyAlex New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Its risky to fix this issue manually, it would be better to use a registry booster to fix this problem. I would recommend to use Uniblue registrybooster2012 to fix such type of errors, it will:

    Detect and Fix Registry Errors
    Restructures and Defrags the Registry
    Registry Backup and Restore Feature
    Schedule the Registry Scan at Windows Startup
    Customize the Registry Scan and Make Ignore List
    Records Registry Repair Logs

    Hope above guidelines solve your problem.
     
  19. greygeek

    greygeek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Registry Boosters, including Uniblue, do not locate or correct the type of errors described in this thread (C?/ ). I tried to contact Uniblue and Piriform(CCleaner) to get help on the issue, but no response. Otherwise, I agree with your recommendation of Uniblue Registry Booster.
    Using the "Schedule at Windows Startup" feature does not address the corrupt registry keys....no change.
    Ignoring the registry errors only hides the problem. Not all of the corrupt keys appear to cause problems, but when the problem occurs the only way to correct the problem is to manually edit the path statement in the registry key (and I agree that the procedure has risks!)...would love for Uniblue to address this issue.

    Thanks for the input. I solved the problem for myself, but it still bugs me that the issue persists (unaddressed). Guess I'm a purist.
     
  20. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,046
    Likes Received:
    300
    Hi

    I just checked and I have a lot of entries like that as well, many of them associated with Adobe programs but also TruImage and just plain Windows component files.

    I haven't seen any errors popping up in my software when I run any of these programs, and Auslogic Boot Speed doesn't pick up on these entries.

    Interestingly when I tried to search online for C?\ I could't find any hits at all.
    Everything seems to just substitute a : for the ? no matter how I phrased the question.
    I expected to find some explanation or at least questions about what it means.

    Anyway as far as I can tell it doesn't seem to cause any problems on my computer which was reset to new specs a short time ago.

    Mike

    Ps. I did find an entry about this but the answer seems to indicate that it's not abnormal with no explanation, but it seems this is common on a lot of computers that are working fine. It is weird that I can't find any explanation of this though, I mean almost every thing gets discussed in detail someplace.
     
    #20 MikeHawthorne, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012

Share This Page

Loading...