Windows 2003 SP2 install fails …. Access Denied!

We have many servers in place which we had to install SP2 on but I have never seen this error before. I have searched the internet, it seems like a common problem but each one of them had a different fix, I won’t be trying them and I had to find a way of applying it.

I have enabled verbose logging during the install by adding /ER option on install. Many files were generated under the %windir% including updspapi.log, svcpack.log, spupdsvc.log, spuninst.log and setupapi.log.

Make sure you look through all log files and search for errors or failed processes, of course each of these files log have different information. In our case, I have searched for over a day through svcpack.log, even though it did mention the “Access Denied” message but it doesn’t show what the update.exe process was doing at the time.

Looking through updspapi.log shown a more accurate error and pin pointed the problem, like below:

#E065 Parsing DelReg section [Product.Del.Reg] in “e:\597b7ce178f8559b20eb\i386\update\update.inf” failed. Error 5: Access is denied.
#E064 Parsing install section [ProductInstall.GlobalRegistryChanges.Install] in “e:\597b7ce178f8559b20eb\i386\update\update.inf” failed. Error 5: Access is denied.
#-086 Deleting registry value “HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost\wugroup”
#E033 Error 5: Access is denied.
#E065 Parsing DelReg section [Product.Del.Reg] in “e:\597b7ce178f8559b20eb\i386\update\update.inf” failed. Error 5: Access is denied.
#E064 Parsing install section [ProductInstall.GlobalRegistryChanges.Install] in “e:\597b7ce178f8559b20eb\i386\update\update.inf” failed. Error 5: Access is denied.

The log snippet showing various errors during the install of SP2. The problem is in accessing part of the registery (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost\wugroup). While checking the registry on the server it became apparent that neither Administrators or System had access to change any of the keys, hence the access denied message.

  1. #1 by DD on 17 April, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    Thank you so much! Other solutions out there point to the wrong log file, “setupapi.log.” “updspapi.log” was more informative.

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